A weekend at The Chatwal, New York City
New York City is famous for skyscrapers, being expensive and having not much space to use and build. Hotels are always enormously vast with 500-1000 rooms, lacking personal service and rarely are furnished in an expensive and exclusive way. It's more easy to find a Starwood branded hotel rather than a hotel with the perfect attention to details. Unlike other cities where these two don't work very well, New York has got The Chatwal. A Starwood managed hotel under the brand of Luxury Collection plus amazing interiors with a blend of the city's old glamour. In fact it's always a great idea to return to the city that never sleeps and I really love to go for the unique places in the world. There is nothing more annoying than staying in a hotel sharing the concierge with 2.000 other guests - no way! That's when I came across this small hidden gem. While I thought that the Chatwal is situated somewhere in the Upper East Side or Lower Manhattan, I was totally surprised once the yellow cab stopped right across Times Square. What? A hotel on times square that has not even 200 rooms, how can that be?
All of a sudden I saw an elegant door that reminded me more of a home entrance rather than hotel door. Next to that door there was a small sign indicating the hotel's name. I did hesitate a bit since no bellmen was around neither so we took our carry-ons and made our way up the stairs to the front desk just like when returning home. The guy from the front desk Kyle welcomed us and did the check-in. A nice touch was that he did not send us to the room right away, as he wanted to call the housekeeping manager in order to check if everything is set in the room - a thing that the hotel on the following day didn't do causing a very embarrassing situation for the management. So let's forget the fact that no bellmen was here on first instance since our luggage was now in good hands on the way to our room. Kyle arrived again and informed us that our upgraded Junior Suite would be ready even tough it's not 3pm yet. We made our way to the elevators where we found a lovely fire place with complimentary lemonade - such a wonderful idea so no guest has to leave the hotel thirsty.
The entire hotel has a very cool and sexy appeal with dark hallways, airy public areas such as the lobby and elevators as well as cozy and warm rooms and suites. We had the pleasure to stay in a junior suite on the sixth floor overlooking the 44th street. I already fell in love with the design upon opening the leather door handle showcasing the major part of the suite with a chic king bed opposite the elegantly hidden television just next to our semi separated living room consisting of a comfy sofa, relaxing arm chair along with a writing desk with the current issues of the GQ and Vogue on it. I loved to find the hotel's own game elegantly packed in a grey leather case next to two complimentary bottles of Voss water and handmade chocolate. There was even an handwritten letter to welcome us which I always highly appreciate, it gives a feeling of being welcomed.
One of the hotel's highlights are their bathrooms. It's actually one of the coolest bathroom in a hotel I have ever seen. All the walls are in dark blue glass that gives you the feeling of being in a huge room since the glass walls make it look vast. While it's very easy to loose orientation, it gave a really warm and cozy feeling. All toiletries were by British brand Asprey (just like at the Ritz Carlton) and I really liked the amenity box in leather with the hairdryer and additional amenities. There were plenty of towels in the room and the shower was extremely good in terms of pressure and space. Another highlight was the electronic toilet by Japanese brand Toto which reminded us already a bit of home. Turndown service was excellent and got us one additional set of toiletries along three complimentary bottles of water. Travelling for 8 weeks, we were happy to have a hotel room that provided enough space to store our luggage plus had plenty of wardrobe space. I was totally speechless when I opened the last door of the wardrobe which was a full size floor to ceiling in-room bar with full size alcohol, upscale water and miscellaneous such as a hotel branded card game.
It was extremely calm in the room and one could not hear any noise from outside which is also due to the traffic situation of the 44th not being a busy street. The hotel also has a Mercedes E in the colours of the corporate design which is available to in-house guests free of charge with a radius of 20 blocks. I called the front desk at around 4pm in order to inform the staff that I would like to profit from the car to get to the restaurant on 5th Avenue at 8pm. Once we came down at 8, we were informed by a different staff member that the car would be in the garage due to tire problems. Not a problem at all but (me as a total lover of special hotel amenities eager to try them all out) I would have loved someone calling me to inform us about this issue. We ended up walking which was not a problem at all but would I just have chosen this hotel because of the special add-on, I would definitely be upset about it.
On the other side, I found the service to be very welcoming and nice - due to the small amount of rooms it's easier for the staff to interact on a more personal level. After I returned from a day of sightseeing, our feet felt heavy and I said myself why not trying out the Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden. Situated on the lower basement, I was welcomed in a friendly way and given an instruction for the spa. Next to the small but chic fitness centre was the cozy vitality pool along a small jacuzzi. Generally the features are for no more than two persons, but being in New York City I guess there is not a huge demand for services like this which was also the reason I have been the only guest down there at 7pm. I really enjoyed my feet getting massaged while enjoying the hot bubbles dreaming of a mountain river flushing theough the wood while hiking in my home, Austria!
Overall, I was satisfied with The Chatwal and it's a really wonderful boutique hotel in a vibrant part of New York City although you don't feel the hectic of outside once having stepped in. Since I totally fell in love with the interior design and found the location not to be bad, I will be staying there again in the future - though will make sure their car is available to avoid disappointment :)
We were guests of The Chatwal, however all above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.