New York drops an epic look at latest crop of Manhattan's nightlife loving hotels, declaring these bourgeois boutiques to be at the "forefront of interior design", all competing with one another to employ the biggest celebrity chefs wear the hotel nightlife crown. And with properties like the soon to open Gansevoort Park, with its three story rooftop nightclub and pool, the trend shows no sign of slowing down. But with success comes an inevitable backlash, as many of the impresarios who infected New York with a hotel state of mind have grown a bit bored of the beast and a wee bit snippy.
For example, Gansevoort owner Michael Achenbaum spits on his new neighbor, the popular Ace Hotel, saying, "it’s very hipster. I mean, it’s fine. It’s not my demographic." That's tame compared to what Andre Balazs thinks about the Cooper Square Hotel, the Standard's crosstown rival that has hosted a wild night or two in its penthouse party space, saying, "the Cooper Square is such a travesty of architecture. It’s really sad. The rooms are awful."
After bashing the Standard as being too corporate, Eric Goode and Sean Macpherson of the Jane, Bowery, and Maritime hotels lament nightclubs being replaced by hotels, as Goode explains that the 21 year old nightclubber he remembers could never afford to party at these hotels, saying "if hotels are replacing nightclubs, then they’re replacing nightclubs for yuppies." The two fought their investors tooth and nail to keep the Bowery Hotel nightclub free, if you don't count the weekly parties on the second floor. Finally, Ian Schrager weighs in, still believing in the idea of the all-in-one hotel property but bemoans the sheer number of them, saying "that these unique hotels that we did become the rule rather than the exception".
And that's just the point. After a while, going to a bar in a hotel becomes going to a hotel bar, and hotel bars are usually filled with a mix of hotel guests, bankers, and people that heard about this great hotel bar. Call us crazy, but that's not where most New Yorkers want to spend their free time. But since hotels are much larger investments than standalone hospitality venues, they can sometimes have an easier go of getting a liquor license blessed by the community boards, so expect to see more nightlife loving hotels for the next few years.
But this trend doesn't mean New York is doomed to a lifetime of hanging in hotel lounges. Like the basement bar, 27th Street, and the midtown roof, this is most likely just another trend that will seem unstoppable until it stops. Then everyone will look back and remember how crazy it was to spend so much time drinking overpriced drinks with transients and tourists at hotels.
· Travels Through the Hotel-Nightlife Complex [NY Mag]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]