Bob Marley was a regular guest, Humphrey Bogart was married there, and John F. Kennedy played in Gramercy Park when his family spent several months at the hotel – the legendary Gramercy Park Hotel on New York’s Lexington Avenue has always been a favourite of actors, artists, writers, intellectuals and fashion designers. I went along to investigate what all the fuss was about…
A member of Design Hotels, Gramercy Park Hotel is more than just a playground for Manhattan’s fine and fabulous. With its unique furnishings, paintings and sculptures, it is a living work of art. With a stunning roof garden, restaurant and two bars, you can really immerse yourself in real, authentic New York.
When hotel developer and Studio 54 founder Ian Schrager, and art collector and real estate developer Aby Rosen took over the hotel eight decades after it opened its doors in 1925, their shared vision was to create a groundbreaking experience. They employed architect John Pawson and four-time Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel to completely redesign it, and the result is a bold mix of colours, textures and materials that make the hotel a clear product of the artist’s vivid imagination. Brickwork is juxtaposed with untreated wood beams, and Baroque Louis XV chairs create as much of a statement as the collection of world-class modern art that graces the walls, from the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst.
Schnabel’s signature style brings together handmade furniture from different eras, complemented by antiques and flea market finds. He approached the public areas more as a set designer, using plush sofas, Venetian glass chandeliers, sawfish bill lamps, handmade Moroccan tiles and Italian fireplaces, which all come together to create a journey across continents and decades.
The generously-sized bedrooms offer a unique composition of colour, materials, art and objects, with leather chairs, and imported, hand-knotted rugs, deep red velvet curtains, Italian linens, original red oak floors and hand-stitched leather-topped desks, combining to create an opulent and indulgent ambience, topped off with the latest technology.
Satisfying all cravings, from croissants to cocktails, Gramercy Park Hotel tempts guests to relax in the trattoria-style restaurant, Maialino, where Roman delicacies are created using only fresh, seasonal ingredients from the nearby Greenmarket farmer‘s market and the hotel‘s own vegetable garden. The ricotta pancakes with syrup and stewed figs is a breakfast dish seemingly made in heaven…
The Gramercy Terrace on the 18th floor offers stunning views of Manhattan, and acts as a leafy oasis from the bustle below. Striking a balance between after-hours chic and the classic style of private membership clubs, the Gramercy Terrace is nothing less than a country club in the city. With its retractable glass roof, it’s a year-round hotspot for guests and locals looking for a respite in the heart of the city – a particularly magical vantage point at sunset and under the stars, cocktail in hand.
2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010, United States