Greenwich Village's bohemian find
You might be surprised to find Walker Hotel Greenwich Village nestled among the prewar buildings lining 13th Street. The delicate and artistic Georgian facade of the hotel feels better suited on a cobblestone street in Soho or even Paris. Yet, here this 18-floor edifice stands, offering a beautiful oasis for travelers looking to stay at a boutique hotel with a bohemian flair in Greenwich Village.
From the moment the doorman opens the heavy glass door so you may descend the glowing marbled steps and into the comfortable and intimate lobby, it's like entering another world where the harried streets of Manhattan are left far behind. Pick one of the velvet couches and fall into luxury as an attendant serves you cocktails, food or peace and quiet. A roaring fireplace across from the tucked-away concierge and a plush Oriental rug add to the comfortable surroundings. In the unique Maker Library nook, leaf through pristine tomes about art, design, food and the city. The library brings to mind literary salons of a bygone era. It's a nice spot to wait for your room, or to sit back with a blood orange cosmo or a bottle of 2010 Portes Saints Georges Cru — after all, anything you see on the menu from Grape & Vine bar next door can be ordered in the lounge.
Just as the entryway exudes 1920s Parisian charm, so do the rooms. Designed by Andres Escobar & Associates, each space is clean and stylish. Accented with gold, blue or red, each comes with the same art-deco-inspired furnishings, like a gorgeous dark wood and antiqued glass wardrobe, stunning brown-and-black striped desks made out of Makassar ebony, vintage rotary telephones and lamps, and 37-inch televisions that are covered by a decorative sliding door. The bathrooms boast black-and-white-tiled floors, a sizable shower, Frette bathrobes and slippers, and products by C.O. Bigelow, a company that got its start right down the street. Wi-fi is complimentary, and you can order room service from the restaurant 24 hours a day.
All of the room choices are named after streets in the neighborhood, and this nod to the area is something you can find throughout the space, from the dry bar goods to the art to turndown service by the local Bee's Knees Baking Company (famous for its decadent cake truffles). When booking a room, choose between the standard Grove Queen or the two comfortable beds in the Bedford Double. The Greenwich Village hotel also has the Barrow Queen, a slightly larger room with extra space and a large window seat, which is great for those traveling with a lot of luggage. In the summer, try to book one of the two Hudson Queen rooms. They have an outdoor patio that’s ideal for taking your morning coffee alfresco or soaking in some afternoon sun. Walker Hotel also offers four Greenwich penthouses, which feature north-facing balconies with views of the Empire State Building, and are the only accommodations in the venue that have a bathtub — and a luxurious deep-soaking one at that.
When you aren't enjoying your room, work off a sweat in the 24-hour gym, a retro-styled space with wood-paneled walls and floor, a couple treadmills, an elliptical, free weights, a balance ball and a weight machine. After the workout or in lieu of, head to the charming Grape & Vine downstairs. Tucked into the back of the New York City hotel, this elegant, white-table-clothed eatery is decorated with pressed-tin ceilings, lavish red-velvet booths, a skylight, photos of the city by Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah, and a bar reminiscent of the Gilded Age that serves superb original cocktails like the spicy yet refreshing BB Ginger. On the food menu, you will find American dishes tinged with a bit of French, all made from local, market-driven ingredients. Order oyster and salmon tartare, wild mushroom flatbread, grilled short rib and a Union Square market salad, a changing dish that showcases both the season and the state. Pair that with a glass of premium wine or local craft beer before heading back to your room, or explore downtown Manhattan by walking several blocks to Union Square (and its lauded farmers' market) and the Meatpacking District.