Very Film Noir > Meet The Viceroy, A Roman & Williams Hotel in New York
As an avid follower of the Viceroy Hotels design aesthetic I’d been quietly following the building updates of this new New York design location which opened in the final months of last year (2013). You’ll find the Viceroy New York on Manhattan’s 57th Street (120 west to be exact), just a short walk from The Quin Hotel and it’s sister restaurant Wayfarer (where btw you should go for lunch). Culturally you are pretty much in the heart of the city. Home to the most iconic shopping avenues, important institutions and buildings. Over the years though this east-west axis with it’s buildings built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries have lost some of their sparkle, and so Roman & Williams designed the structure with particular intention.
I had been hotel hopping 3 nights before my night here, and it was one of the hotels I was most looking forward to for the design. It also happened to be the one night I was totally cemented to my bed after 4 days of burning the candle at both ends. Jet lag, illness and exhaustion had caught up with me by the time I got here, and I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful place to crash and burn that night. The hotel checked up on me, brought me soup to my bedside and filled me with power juices and pancakes before setting me on my way the next day. For which I am so grateful to the team last weekend.
Husband and wife team, Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer AKA Roman & Williams are responsible for the design on the Viceroy New York. They are very clear to call themselves designers and not architects, and simply state on the front page of their website, ‘Buildings and Interiors’. This is exactly what they were instructed to create here on 57th Street. Think simple forms and complex textures. Using iron-spot black brick between the two side walls of the structure, this element defines the frame of the building and its front elevation. At night the windows glow with the dimly lit pendant lights hanging above the beds, there’s a particular glow to the building when you walk past it across the street. Very film noir. You know what they say about New York, always look up.
The project began in 2008, hotel developers ARK Real Estate approached Roman & Williams with just the interiors project which soon evolved into the whole building. Soon the team were designing every single detail from the perforated bedside wall lights, heavy brass door hinges and pulls, intricate flooring and wall panelling, and all the custom furniture.
The lobby is very deco, with boldly veined marble walls cladding nearly the whole space. The honey-toned woods and tambour panelling has created and very handsome space. Woka lamps are featured on the side tables and bespoke designed leather banquettes, armchairs and benches greet you as you arrive on street level. The wall mural to the left below, was also created by the couple. The giant metal map above the check-in desk marks the location on the hotel.
To the right, below is the hotel entrance to the restaurant, Kingside.
Once I was all checked in I went off to explore my room and the hotels amenities. The hotel has 240 rooms, I was in one of the standard rooms of which there are 189, very glam for a standard FYI. There are 42 luxe suites, 8 terrace suites and of course no hotel is complete without it’s Penthouse.
My view was incredible, the giant iron windows flooded my room with light, and ahead of me I had direct views to Central Park.
Never without my trusted Globetrotter Cruise case…
My bedside Lights, designed by Roman & Williams. If only I could have taken them with me in my case…
I arrived to the roof top bar just in time as they were closing it to guests for an evening event (a total bug bear of mine!Guests spend so much money to stay in hotels like this, it’s the most frustrating thing when you are prevented from enjoying the absolute highlight of the hotel. Obviously I snuck in to take some shots, I wasn’t coming all the way from London to not get through that door!). It’s a beautiful spot.
The bar is magnificent. A stunning addition to the hotel, although packed when I arrived, it was a Saturday early evening so of course that was to be expected. Killer cocktail menu, I’m afraid I was ready for my soup in bed by this point though.
Now also a little something I didn’t know. Why was there a little babe and her dad in their swimming gear in the lift? Did I not know there was a mini pool in the basement? NO! If I wasn’t feeling so under the weather I would have sprinted round the corner on the advise of the concierge to grab a swim suit so I could have a dip, but no I just looked this time.
Now because of what I do I will always ask on arrival if they can share any information on what I might like to know about the hotel. I wasn’t told about the event on the roof that evening (of course I accept that happens, I had just made plans to meet someone there and we couldn’t enjoy it together), I didn’t know about the pool until late that night which was a shame. There are services offered on their website that I would have loved to know about. Their affiliation with Uber for example, (not that it’s a huge deal but they also mention full size bathroom amenities in all bathrooms which there weren’t, as I say not major but a point to consider). I am always on such a whirlwind trip every night, but when I go back to NY I’m certainly going to return to enjoy the bar.
Back to my very handsome room though. One of my absolute favourite delights when checking into a hotel is the ability to play my own music. None of this tinny TV radio, the Viceroy supply each room with a giant Beats by Dre wireless speaker box on your bedside. Pure heaven. Bluetooth musical heaven I tell you. To the right of the bed was a complimentary coffee machine (again so British but why not a couple of tea bags and a kettle too?). To the left was wardrobe space. A neat little door concealed an iron and board. Again such a delight for one to just be kept in your room instead of having to request them mid way through changing then clambering to find a robe to let them bring it into your room.
Exhausted and ill, I crashed out with room service and the movie channel. How rock and roll, Saturday night in New York city, I’d cancelled a dinner date at the Musket Room to sup on a bowl of soup in this glam hotel on my lonely own… Oh well tomorrow was to be a new day!
A great bonus to each room is your very own handheld tablet which allows you to control the AC in your room, order room service, go online and connect to your social media accounts. Of course I bookmarked LWSY for the next guest after my stay 😉
The bathrooms are beautiful, layers of textured stone, brass and mosaics. The mirrors are to die for! The sinks are Kohler and the hardware is Roman & Williams for Waterworks. The bathroom amenities are Neil George exclusively made for the Viceroy Group. I remember the packaging from my stay at the Viceroy in Santa Monica. I have to remember not all New York hotels can afford the space for baths, and man did I want a bath that night. Ah ha, perhaps why they installed the mini pool in the basement I guess? The tiles reference the colours in dollar bills.
Rise and shine, feeling as good as new again, it was time to wake from my Sferra induced coma and head down for breakfast and the adjoining restaurant, Kingside. I wish I’d been well enough to have some dinner at the bar stools to the back of the restaurant. This is such a fabulous restaurant, very warm, I would have felt perfectly comfortable on my own at dinner. Almost like a light bright version of the Electric Diner on Portobello Road here in London.
Run by Scott Gerber CEO of hospitality and nightlife company The Gerber Group and restaurateur and Chef Marc Murphy, they have brought their restaurant and bar expertise together to open Kingside which is connected on the ground floor of the hotel. They also operate the roof top bar.
Think of it as an upscale diner, and then imagine Dick Tracey in the corner. My first order of pancakes in New York and one very green juice down me, I was a new woman and ready to hit ICFF, one of the main reasons I was visiting New York.
You can follow The Viceroy NYC on Twitter here
The Roman & Williams website can be viewed here.
Thank you all the staff who looked after me in my poorly state that night and the team at Mason Rose London for arranging my stay.