It’s a thing with us: admittedly, we’re sometimes more taken with what we see outside our hotel window than what’s actually there between the four walls. And a recent stay at the new AC Hotel New York Downtown did, indeed, find us pressing nose to glass, taking in the august tableaux of the afternoon sun glinting off the towering edifices of Lower Manhattan.
AC, if you didn’t know, is a Spanish hotel company (partnered up with Marriott in 2011) that has always put design at the center of its singular ethos. Last summer, the jaw-dropping AC Hotel by Marriott New York Times Square debuted across from The New York Times Building, with one of the more fabulous rooftop scenes in the city. Its recently opened, dramatically glass-clad downtown cousin, perched on a low-key corner of Maiden Lane, is a more intimate affair, though hardly less disposed to good looks.
Indeed, a sprawling, living-room-chic second-floor lounge-bar has the cool residential feel of your Wallpaper*-reading friend’s very smart apartment. It’s a comfy place for work and meetings by day, a very stylish spot for cocktails in the evening.
But the minimalist elegance of the rooms, with their warm woods and sharp, clean lines, also includes impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, even in the bathrooms (so you can shave and primp to a spectacular view). On a clear day, the skyline reflections are literally breathtaking. And with the AC’s reasonable rates, splurging for a King Terrace River View Room will kick that visual dazzle up several notches – especially on a clear day.
With the banks all leaving and the former Financial District going much more residential these last few years, as well as the location just a couple of blocks from the newly fashionable Seaport District, the AC Hotel New York Downtown is definitely our pick for aesthetes traveling on a less-than-five-star budget.