Vv’s Magazine’s Si Si Penaloza went to explore the Park Hyatt New York, the $375 million hotel that’s Manhattan’s first newly-built five-star hotel since 2003
Luxury hotels have long been the place to see and be seen in Manhattan. The newly opened Park Hyatt New York kicks this premise up a notch with some of the most refined mingling areas in a city stiff with competition. Let’s start with The Back Room at One57. At my lunch date with one of the Big Apple’s most influential doyennes, I spot more power suits and power pumps than at the Davos World Economic Forum.
Rising above Central Park, the 210-room hotel occupies 25 floors of the 90-storey One57 skyscraper on West 57th Street and 7th Avenue. This is prime Manhattan real estate, featuring condominiums on its higher levels — the building’s penthouse recently sold for $90 million.
The hotel eschews the club floor trend, and goes for broke in creating a feeling of ultra-exclusivity throughout the entire property. The whole endeavour, from discreet street-level entry to lofty reception in the sky, feels like a private club. The Living Room offers a divine champagne bar and serves afternoon tea, with savoury lobster eclairs as a main speciality.
There’s a polished elegance here, most evident in top-notch personal service; it’s cordial, but refreshingly unscripted.
Helmed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Christian de Portzamparc with Yabu Pushelberg on the interior design front, a coherent, sophisticated aesthetic reigns supreme. The effect evokes a serene, residential feel. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg are the Clooney and Pitt of celebrity designers: effortlessly cool, collected, and always in demand. A tribute to their work, the vaulted spaces hum with efficiency and feng shui feel-good design.
High-impact visual euphoria is increasingly important to the Park Hyatt. The art collection alone is staggering; 350 museum-quality pieces have been strategically positioned throughout the property. In a clever nod to art multiples, a selection of the collection’s best is duplicated on room key cards.
The next time POTUS shuts down Nolita for a hit of burrata at Estela, why not takeover one of the Park Hyatt New York’s two presidential suites and have it delivered? After the utter mayhem on Houston Street the last time, this may be a wise call. Both suites come with butler service, but I imagine the Secret Service has this covered. Even starter rooms here feel presidential, with two-sink vanity units, a next-level private bar, heated bathroom floors, and Le Labo toiletries are standard. The rooms are among the largest in the city, so lots of room — even for a gangly great dane. Like many Park Hyatts worldwide, this hotel goes the extra mile to be pet-friendly. And don’t fret if your British bulldog has packed on a few pounds, there is no weight max for canine companions.
Spa Nalai at the Park Hyatt has proven a hit right out of the gate. Upon arrival, I’m welcomed by a food and beverage pairing from The Back Room at One57. It’s a titillating amuse bouche to begin this sensual afternoon. A soaring three-story aerie serves as an extension of the spa, featuring a steam room and hot tub. Swimmers are in for a cool treat, listening to a specially curated playlist created by the team at Carnegie Hall. Underwater speakers broadcast their performances throughout the day.
A 13,000 square foot sun-bathed sanctuary, Spa Nalai is inspired by the French atelier concept, an artisanal workshop where works of art are created. The focus is on blending cutting edge healing technologies, advanced beauty rituals, and ancient healing techniques to cultivate the deepest holistic approach. Spa Director Amy Olthoff draws upon top drawer, specially-commissioned products from Carita Paris, H. Gillerman Organics, and Stemulation.
When I walk into the private suite, complete with rain shower and sweet views of Midtown Manhattan, the feeling of elevation begins. It’s a privilege to be among the first to experience the Spa Nalai Signature Body Treatment — think sand-quartz crystals, generously spread onto a framed bed, covered by silken linens, and heated to perfection. The effect? The surreal sensation of lying in semi-precious sand. It’s basically the most reasonably-priced two hour trip to “Bora Bora” you’ll ever find.
I’m instantly sedated by H. Gillerman’s custom massage oil of neroli, blood orange, and sandalwood. Once tucked in, I’m thinking, “Bolsters are so five minutes ago.” Forget old school leg pillows — my therapist piles up sand strategically to swaddle all four limbs, creating sand cradles with the quartz. Crystals are known for healing power, grounding me while she targets specific muscles. By the time she breaks out the warm poultices, I’m a puddle — a melted creamsicle on the beach. I begin to breathe deeply and meditate. The result is total-body liberation. I felt both physically lighter and mentally enlightened at the end of the ritual. One of the best interpretations of the earthing trend, this state-of-the-art sand quartz bed is the first of its kind in New York.
As the spa of the Park Hyatt global flagship, Spa Nalai’s menu is topped up with “greatest hits” from award-winning Park Hyatt spas around the world. Offering wellness rituals sourced from the far corners of the globe, guests trip out to exotic locales without leaving New York. A limited inventory is released for advance purchase six to eight weeks prior to the launch of each season. Once a service is sold out, it’s done. Essentially, each treatment is on the market for mere weeks. Talk about an ingenious strategy to spark booking fever! Because the spa operates in this supply and demand manner, the reservation grid reads like a Vanity Fair society page — a who’s who of Manhattan pamper hounds.
The Park Hyatt New York is located at 135 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
If you’ve stayed at ‘Park Hyatt New York: The $375 Million Hotel‘, let Vv Magazine know how your experience at the hotel was in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.