Superior/deluxe room, $565-$615; suites, $925-$1,325; penthouse suite, $1,800-$2,200
6 at 23rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
A New York fixture since 1924, the Gramercy Park Hotel was beloved for its faded-glory vibe, rich history (Bogart married actress Helen Menken on the rooftop) and proudly un-hip bar that served everyone from Babe Ruth to Joe Strummer. So when hotelier Ian Schrager—master of the boutique concept—announced plans to renovate the property in late-2004, fans worried that the hotel was in for a trendy, minimalist makeover. In fact, they got the just the opposite: Reopened in August 2006 after a complete gutting, the new Gramercy Park is less a reinvention than a rebirth, boasting a rich, traditionally Bohemian décor that pays homage to the neighborhood of Edith Wharton, Mary McCarthy, and O. Henry. The 184 well-sized guest rooms are done-up in warm jewel tones, with accents like velvet-upholstered head- and footboards, tapestry-covered chairs, leather-topped tables and furnishings custom designed by artist Julian Schnabel, who served as the hotel’s art director. Instead of a mini-bar, each room contains a mahogany “English drinking cabinet” stocked with custom-cut crystal glasses, regular-sized liquor bottles, snacks from local grocers like Balducci’s. Add to that iPods pre-loaded with 10 genre-specific playlists, silk shawls thrown haphazardly about, and “Best Of Beauty” bathroom amenities chosen by Allure Magazine, and rooms feel more like an artist friend’s cozy garret than the standard boutique fare. The hotel’s entrance feels inclusive, too: smoked wood beams, Moroccan tile floors, and a 10-foot-high fireplace welcome guests to the lobby, while the adjacent Jade and Rose bars are adorned with a rotating collection of art from names like Warhol, Basquiat and Schnabel.Pros
Guests enjoy coveted key access to the private Gramercy Park—an honor otherwise reserved for residents of the 39 buildings facing the greenspace.
Everything—from WiFi access to the in-room furnishings and even the laundry bags—is available for a price, which infuses a jolt of commercialism into the otherwise Bohemian vibe.
Hotelier Ian Schrager completed this bohemian landmark’s latest transformation in 2006, and wedding couples have since flocked to the lushly landscaped Private Roof Club & Garden, which can accommodate up to 250 for cocktails. Prices upon request.