LWSY The Loews Regency Hotel, 540 Park Avenue, Manhattan
Conde Nast Travellers Hot List is a pretty secure way to guarantee a hotel you might be considering to be a safe bet. The Loews Regency Hotel is included on this years list and I was looking forward to my last night in the city last month, to be spent here. A week of staying in a different hotel every night usually leads to my last night being completely exhausted, and ready to crash for the night, but here at The Loews Regency, I left completely restored. I came across the hotel following an industry article sharing the news that Rottet Studio had been the selected design partner to bring this Park Avenue address back to life.
The hotel is perfectly suited to new visitors to the city, with its close proximity to the Museum Mile, Fifth Avenue and Central Park. Having spent a few nights downtown you forget once you head back Uptown how much there is to see in this part of the city. It’s Park Avenue address exudes all that you would hope for in such a prestigious spot. A combination of completely charming staff, and a hotel that is still sparkling following it’s $100 million renovations. Think lots of chrome, marble, glossy finishing touches, it has quite a strong Deco influence as do many grand New York interiors. There is lots to share following my 24 hour stay.
The Rottet Studio designed hotel lobby offers a grand entrance to the check-in desks. To the left you access the hotel bar, restaurant and guest lifts, and to the right, a space for guests and visitors to enjoy. The elegant lobby features sumptuous velvet sofas, bespoke designed stools and antique mirrored coffee tables. The most arresting piece is the breathtaking art installation by Brooklyn-based artist Nina Helms called “Brise de printemps” (spring breeze). This really is more spectacular in the flesh. It’s a modern space, with some beautifully designed details such as the ceiling light and grand surfaces throughout the space. The staff are also lined up in some what military precision so you’re never short of any assistance.
Jonathan Tisch, Chairman of the Loews Hotel Group was responsible for selecting Meyer Davis Studio Inc to design the hotel bar and restaurant, Regency Bar & Grill (designers also of Wayfarer next to The Quin, The Nolitan and The Dutch in NYC & Miami), Rottet Studio (for the bedrooms and lobby) and Jonathan Nehmer + Associates. Blending modern design with clean and classic styles, the luxury here is space and light. All parties involved are experts in their field of hospitality and corporate interior design. Not a thought goes unconsidered for us travellers, whether business or pleasure. Free wifi (hurrah), plug sockets everywhere even in the common parts, you really can settle anywhere for a couple of hours work and have everything you need around you.
I arrived at the hotel late afternoon and enjoyed watching the hotels demographic to try and sum up the place whilst I was being checked in. The bar was buzzing (it was a Sunday night) and I had a few minutes to myself to have a quick sprint around the ground floor before being taken to my room. The Regency Bar & Grill is somewhat of a destination here on Park Avenue. The hotel is still just a few months old so of course the place is immaculate, but the charm that I felt here was that even as a guest staying solo I was very welcome at the bar, and I wouldn’t have felt out of place or bothered in any way. I travel a lot on my own and don’t always want to pull up a stool on my own in some locations. There was plenty of people watching here, and the staff were beyond charming. I felt very welcome.
I sat here just before heading off for dinner with a bit of a heavy heart for not wanting to leave quite so soon. I really need to spend more time in New York. Something must be done about this.
I snuck into the restaurant before I went to my room, and what a handsome room it is. THE place for your morning power breakfast I am told.
The hotel offers 379 guest rooms, 58 suites and 36 doubles. There are ten room types from a Superior King, Executive Suites, Park Avenue Suites, some with terraces and 7 signature Suites being the largest spaces. My room was a dream. The largest room I had stayed in all week, it pays off to go Uptown! I had a bath, another assumed standard but not always the case even in the higher tiered hotels in the city. The Julien Farel Salon attached to the hotel offers us the same amenities so the soaps and shower gels/hairdryer etc were all a lovely addition. The bedside lamps had the bonus of saving us from scrambling along the skirting boards looking for plug sockets. All hotels need this please. Lauren Rottet has built one of the finest hospitality design brands worldwide so it’s unsurprising features such as this exist in one of their most recent projects. Their concentration to detail confirms their position as one of the most successful design studios worldwide.
By my last night in the city I was beyond excited to nestle into the biggest bed I’d had all week. As I started to get ready a polite knock on my door delivered a healthy fruit plate, some complimentary water (just in time as was about to crack a $12 bottle of Fuji until I realised the price) and the offer of a turn down service. I mentioned I was leaving in an hour so the housekeeper offered to come back later. A lovely added touch was that I had just pulled the ironing board out to iron my outfit for my dinner that evening when I was told that the hotel offer a complimentary pressing service for a couple of garments. How charming, no need for me though I could do my own in super speedy time. Sweet thought though to mention it to me.
So often services are offered online to entice you to book but it’s always appreciated when the staff re-remind you of these services. I was also offered to be driven to dinner by the companies affiliation with a car service that evening. A truly valued touch in such a welcoming hotel. So a quick dip for me and I was off for dinner at The Musket Room.
I arrived back later that evening and my turn down service had set the lighting beautifully, with some more water provided, and some shortbread from Sant Ambroeus, the café next door. After catching up on my schedule the next day I hopped into bed with my petit fours I’d saved from dinner. Bliss. Bed time happiness at the Loews Regency.
The following morning, I unfortunately had quite a rude awakening. Such a blissful nights sleep, how I felt oh so rested, and then the shock horror! The hotel had black out blinds so for all those hours I kept waking up in the morning and thinking it was dark still, it really wasn’t! My maid had lowered my black out blinds (something I never do and totally not her fault!!) but I was so late for my mornings appointment there was only one thing to do. Call the concierge and have them book me in for a Power Hour at the 10,000 Sq Ft beauty Julien Farel salon downstairs. I could have my coffee, do my make-up, have a blow-dry and mani/pedi (yes I realise the pedi wasn’t exactly a necessity but when in Rome and all that…) the hotel would arrange a car for me to get to my morning appointment. Thank goodness I did, because I ended up at the uber chic Four Seasons Grill Room at lunch. Not a place to look scruffy. Crisis averted (more on the Spa in a separate post this week).
Whilst I had my own kind of power hour in the spa, the hotel is actually one of the most well known locations in the city for the Power Hour Breakfast, a term coined by the Tisch Family in 1975. Considered the birthplace of the Power Breakfast, Loews Regency stands as one of the most iconic spots, offering locals and guests the perfect opportunity for people watching. Don’t be surprised to see some familiar faces here. As I fled past to my car I noticed tables full of men pow-wowing there way through their continental breakfasts and stuffed bagels. Yum.
The restaurant, designed by Meyer Davis Studio Inc. encompasses a 135-seat dining room and a 32-seat full-service bar and lounge. It was conceived by New York restaurateurs Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli of the Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group (Sant Ambroeus, Casa Lever and Felice) and overseen by Chef Dan Silverman, who used to be at the Standard Grill. I first discovered Sant Ambroeus on my trip last year whilst staying with a friend we used to walk together every day to Madison Avenue so she could get a hit of the best coffee in town.
The calm before the early morning storm…
Sant Ambroeus above, where I grabbed my second coffee of the day before checking out.
So goodbye to Loews Regency for this trip. Truly this place was wonderful. Whilst I felt like a lot of my fellow guests were couples or on business, I felt completely comfortable here. So much so, I went and thanked the concierge again on leaving because I wanted her to know how wonderful I thought the team were. Nothing was too much to ask, and helping me with reservations and transportation really did take the stress out of my stay. I wish I could have stayed a little longer.
With all thanks to all at Mason Rose for arranging my stay, Kristi Blake at Loews Regency and the team at Julien Farel for being so accommodating so last minute. My trusty luggage companions were courtesy of Smythson & Globe-Trotter.