For our latest escape we’re thinking style, sophistication and some serious shopping. We’re channelling Carrie from Sex and the City and heading to the unashamedly swanky Chambers Hotel in New York City. Chambers is a David Rockwell-inspired world suffused with modern art. It’s just a stroll from MoMA, Central Park, designer shopping on Fifth Avenue and Broadway’s theatres – the perfect place to immerse yourself in culture, glamour and all-round fabulousness!
Plantation-style woven woods warm the lobby, offset by colourful flashes of ’50s America in furniture influenced by nearby fashion houses (Gucci, Prada, Armani). Throw in a few Turkish rugs, a fireplace, Zen drapes and a selection of the owners’ art, and the result is softly masculine and intriguingly eclectic. The extensive modern art collection runs throughout the hotel, with several original pieces in every guest room and a unique installation on every landing of the building. Yet, for a hotel so style-conscious, it’s a relief to find that the first priority is always comfort.
Rooms: “Bohemian downtown artist’s loft meets uptown luxury” was the vision for Chambers’ chambers, and the result is an eclectic mix of utilitarian chic (exposed pipes and concrete shower floors) and creature comforts (touchy-feely upholstery, underfloor heating and deluge showers), plus all the technology you could wish for. Rooms have unusually high ceilings and are a good size for Manhattan. And all have additional living areas, from a small seating area in a Standard Queen to a massive Duplex set over two levels with an outside terrace.
Food: Wander from the lobby through the hotel bar and beyond to Má Pêche, Chambers’ equally design-conscious partner restaurant serving French-Vietnamese cuisine. There’s something orchestral about the space here, in height and curvature, where epic ceilings and a dining mezzanine conjure space in the absence of windows and clever lighting brings intimacy. If you prefer, book a suite, have food brought to your balcony and dine against a twinkling backdrop of glittering skyscrapers. Very special.
When to go: With skating in winter and picnics in summer, Central Park serves up New York magic all year round, but spring and autumn provide the most clement weather, as it can get very hot in July and August and snowy in winter. Many come here for the excellent shopping, whether for Christmas or the January sales.
i-escape guest review: “A real find; we loved the combination of minimalist style with comfort, and of course the amazing artwork on display. The food and wine at Ma Pêche was of an exceptional standard, with waiting staff who were both knowledgeable and helpful. Joseph the doorman has an instinctive sense of what you’re looking for in New York and where you need to go to find it.”
Liz, Australia (25.01.11)
i-escape gift: free fruit and bottled water
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