Midtown Manhattan's new boutique hotel
180 Rooms / 1 Suite
Manhattan’s Garment District has been blowing up with new businesses in the last few years, and Archer Hotel New York is one of the latest additions. Opened in May 2014, the LEED-certified hotel has 22 floors, 180 rooms and a sleek style that pays homage to the neighborhood's history in the fashion industry. When you first walk in, it might surprise you that Archer is a hotel at all; the lobby looks more like the entrance to a swanky restaurant, a sentiment enhanced by the actual chic, industrial-style bar to the right of the main door and the Charlie Palmer Group’s recently relocated Charlie Palmer Steak just beyond. But look to the left and you will find a robust marble counter staffed with smiling concierges eager to check you in and show you to your snug and fashionable room.
Behind the hotel's facade is the omnipresent hand of Archer, a Gatsby-like presence that guests neither see nor decipher who this person is, save for the information that this hotel is the maestro's dream. Every detail, from the tufted couches to the box of complimentary old-school kids toys to the leather desk caddies, comes down to a simple formula — what would Archer do and what does Archer want?
With steel-gray accents, 1940s- and '50s-style wood paneling, exposed brick and touches of white, it's easy to see the vision that designers Glen Coben (of Glen and Company) and Barbara Gisel (of Barbara Gisel Design) had when giving this space an elegant, industrial twist that tips a hat to the Garment District. From the moment you enter through the sparkling-glass facade, hints of the neighborhood's past shines in the details, from the vintage catwalk over the bar to the old-school luxury of the Chesterfield-style sofas.
Also, not every hotel can boast all original artwork, but at Archer, little touches of creativity — courtesy of Manhattan-based creatives Deborah Goodman Davis and Liz Sterling — add an ingenious characteristic. Paintings and photographs found throughout the hotel are the products of local artists. Pay special attention to the intriguing photo display by Martin Klimas in the parlor of colorful paint moving to different iconic songs, and the dress sculpture by Thea Lanzisero, which pays respect to the hotel's Garment District history.
A unique thing the designers did when planning Archer was to blend a comfortable refinement into the space. You will feel it whether you’re lounging in the industrial-chic lobby or tipping back a few cocktails at the bar.
Part of the appeal of the hip hotel is the idea that Archer himself is expecting you, and anything you can conceive of subsists there, waiting to be used. From stylish "blue sky" umbrellas by the Museum of Modern Art in each room to Malin + Goetz toiletries to phone chargers built into the digital clocks by the bed, there are thoughtful details. Expect complimentary sea salt caramels and bottles of water at arrival and daily turndown service complete with locally sourced and house made surprises. Plus, everywhere you go in this chic hotel, it offers a gratis wireless connection, whether you are in your room, working in the lobby or enjoying a cocktail at the rooftop bar, Spyglass.
If you bring children along, ask at the front desk to peek into the Kid in Archer Box, a secret treat for the younger guests. Inside, kids will see old-fashioned toys, including Alexander McQueen paper dolls, Barrel of Monkeys and a miniature Etch A Sketch. Each child gets to pick a toy to keep, and for adults who book direct, there’s a special deck of cards with etiquette tips and a voucher for $20 off any food, drink or service the hotel offers. As a bonus, once the other two planned Archer Hotels in Austin and Napa open, if you collect a "destination joker" card from all three locations, you receive a free night's stay.
Finally, while you won't find a gym in this boutique hotel, it does provide you with passes to the New York Sports Club, a mere four-minute walk away. The perk about this setup is that instead of a tiny gym inside the hotel, you get unlimited access to a larger establishment complete with towel service, a sauna and steam room, and classes including cardio kickboxing, zumba, spinning and yoga.
Though the glass-fronted building doesn't look big from the street, tucked inside you will see 180 rooms varying in size, each with one of four custom-designed palettes with muted grays, tans, cream and dark purple. Book an Empire View suite for a stunning vista of that iconic building, or seek one of the 22 hardwood-floored Archer Kings for exposed brick to accompany the view. The New York City hotel also has 57, 208-square-foot Double Double rooms if you need two beds, and 40 suites equipped with adjoining doors so you can connect accommodations. No matter which room you choose, each one comes with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bed with a Eurotop mattress and upscale bedding.
Though the rooms prove compact, they are designed to function to maximum capacity. The specially made bed frames offer luggage storage and drawers, there are full-length mirrors on the doors and the subway-tiled bathroom is spacious enough for a comfortable shower and a shave for two. As far as in-room amenities go, there are Frette robes and slippers, the closet contains high-end umbrellas designed by the Museum of Modern Art as well as laptop safes, everyone gets use of a Nespresso machine and the refrigerated minibar comes stocked with made-in-NYC foodstuffs.
The Food and Drinks
As you walk into Archer, you will find the Foyer Bar on the right and this craft cocktail spot caters to the restaurant, the parlor and the outdoor seating area in front of the hotel. In nice weather, the garage-style doors open up toward the street-side, a trick that makes the quaint space feel larger than it is.
Further back in the hotel, enjoy a seasonal menu featuring exceptional American beef, world-class wine and craft cocktails at Charlie Palmer Steak.
You can also order bites from Spyglass, a stunning rooftop bar and restaurant featuring industrial steel beams mixed with modish purple leather chairs and a sleek, steel-lined bar. This indoor-outdoor space is surrounded by windows that open up, so even if it's raining, you still feel like you are sipping cocktails alfresco. Give drinks like the sparkling 75, a refreshing Cucumber Crisp or a modern take on the classic Manhattan a try — they're sure to become go-to options for guests and locals alike.