If you wanted to find yourself at the molten center of the current media zeitgeist, proximity to the presidentially-dubbed “Failing New York Times” would surely be a good start. And so the opening of the new AC Hotel New York Times Square, right across the street from the offices of The Grey Lady, comes with a particularly zeitgeisty frisson. (Plus, looking out your window towards the paper’s dazzling Renzo Piano tower makes for a breathtakingly NY experience.)
In fact, if you’re hoping to pick up some hot media biz gossip, this is surely now one of the best places for a bit of casual eavesdropping. (Not that we’re condoning it.)
But there are so many reasons to fall for this hotel – the latest in a growing Stateside portfolio for the Spanish brand (partnered with Marriott since 2011). Especially as the company itself has a long standing love affair with architectural statement-making.
Here’s what we’re loving about it.
A hallmark of the AC brand, the entrance hall announces the sheer, awe-inspiring grandiosity of the property. With its marble floors, cool mid-century furnishings, soaring ceilings and overall sense of wide open space, it begs for casual business meetings (what client wouldn’t be impressed?), or lingering over a book from the hotel’s own library. And, of course, Instagramming.
Paradigms of cool understatement, the rooms here are focused on the guest user experience – with an exceedingly well-thought-out dedication to ergonomics, and an easy sense of style. The sleek wood floors and leather headboards give each chamber a real touch of class. N.B. – Some have a wall of windows framing the skyline, still others have views of the Empire State Building.
Korres Bath Products
Face it, those Molton Brown and Bulgari toiletries just don’t seem all that special anymore, do they? Rather, AC has a new partnership with the forward-thinking namesake Greek brand founded by Lena Korres (described as a “modern green apothecary”), whose products have a unique herbal/floral base, and distinct homeopathic-therapeutic qualities. It just feels good using them.
From its perpetually trendy Flatiron original, Boqueria has become a genuine New York phenomenon, with current locations in Soho, Brooklyn, the UES…and now at the AC in Midtown. Here, its endemic sultry style adopts some of the aesthetic signifiers of the hotel – warm woods, subdued but elegant color schemes – while still serving up a similarly sublime menu of Spanish specialities. Lunch and happy-hour/dinner are equally abuzz here, for classic tapas (gambas al ajillo, pintxos morunos), as well as charcuterie, Barcelona bowls and pitchers of delicious sangria.
Castell Rooftop Bar & Lounge
Sure, you can’t throw an artisan ice cube without hitting another rooftop bar in NYC – but most are fairly quotidian and obligatory. The absolutely stunning Castell, however, has quite an excellent sense of style and design flow – giving the whole place a remarkable feeling of chicness and energy. The vibe is more sophisticated than sceney…yet they do certainly know how to have fun. With its Spanish soul, specialty gin cocktails are a thing here; but be here at the right time, and the cava will be free-flowing, as well. Seriously, this is now unquestionably one of the best rooftop destinations in the entire city.
Perfect for theater buffs, obviously, as it sits right at the edge of the Broadway perimeter (if that’s your thing, make sure to also pop in to the delightful Drama Book Shop right next door). But it’s also a casual walk to Central Park – and an easy subway ride to just about anywhere in Manhattan.