The Art of Hospitality

nycgo.com staff

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The gorgeous views at New York City hotels often extend to what’s on display inside their rooms and in common spaces. Below we’ve collected a few of our favorites, featuring works by the likes of contemporary luminaries such as Chuck Close, Alex Katz and Lee Quinones. Visit these hotels for a stay that will lend a gallery-show vibe to your travel experience.

"Unbounded" by Rachel Mica Weiss. Courtesy, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
60 Furman St., 347-696-2500, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Mica Weiss’ Unbounded is displayed prominently in the lobby of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. As the hotel’s website notes, the 6,000 pounds of obsidian rocks tied together with rust-colored rope “prompts the viewer to consider both natural and manmade influences on the area”; similarly, this luxurious, eco-conscious hotel utilizes greenery native to the region and industrial-steel and reclaimed-wood accents. Equally dazzling are the waterfront views from the rooms and suites—not to mention the rooftop bar.

“Primavera Materia” by Lowell Boyers. Courtesy, Exhibition A & Hotel 50 Bowery

Hotel 50 Bowery NYC
50 Bowery, 212-508-8000, Chinatown, Manhattan
This newcomer to Manhattan’s Chinatown is a stunner: stylish rooms outfitted with bath amenities by design guru Jonathan Adler; dining experiences from the Three Kings Restaurant Group, which includes notable chef Dale Talde; and artwork throughout the hotel (like the painting pictured here, at left, Primavera Materia by Queens native Lowell Boyers), courtesy of art purveyors Exhibition A. As befits its location, 50 Bowery also has a partnership with the Museum of Chinese in America, which curates the pieces seen in the hotel’s second-floor gallery space.

Artwork by Kiki Seror. Photo: Evan Joseph

Chambers Hotel
15 W. 56th St., 212-974-5656, Midtown West, Manhattan
The Chambers emphasizes urban sophistication in its ultramodern design and commitment to beauty. To wit: the Midtown hotel has a collection of more than 500 original works of art in its guest rooms and common areas. Among the artists showcased are film director John Waters, Bob and Roberta Smith (actually the nom de plume of British icon Patrick Brill) and Kiki Seror, whose piece pictured here incorporates text from online chat rooms rendered in backlit 3-D neon graphics. The design touches offer visitors a unique experience, as do the hotel’s loft-style rooms, some with private balconies, and the in-house dining options—Má Pêche, Fuku+ and Milk Bar—courtesy of acclaimed Momofuku chef and Lucky Peach magazine founder David Chang.

"We Waste No Time at All" by Leon Bronstein. Courtesy, Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island
1100 South Ave., 718-477-2400, Bloomfield, Staten Island
Located on 415 acres of preserved woodland, the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island provides guests with a bucolic and artistic escape. Hoteliers Richard and Lois Nicotra have curated an extensive collection of artworks inside the hotel, as well as on its grounds, like We Waste No Time at All, the sculpture pictured here by Israel-based artist Leon Bronstein. Among the other amenities are Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret, serving American and Italian cuisine, and Above Rooftop, a club and event space that boasts breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

14th-floor ceiling artwork by Lee Quinones. Courtesy, Hotel Indigo Lower East Side

Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York
171 Ludlow St., 212-237-1776, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Hotel Indigo abounds with area-appropriate artwork, including pieces by Lee Quinones, the famed NYC street artist who exhibits internationally and appeared in Blondie’s video for “Rapture” (along with the classic graffiti film Wild Style). Quinones is responsible for the mural here—actually the ceiling of the hotel’s 14th-floor lobby—which includes references to Lower East Side art stars like Maripol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and local fixture Adam Purple, whose activism came to characterize the neighborhood’s fiercely independent spirit. Be sure to check out the hotel’s restaurant and bar Mr. Purple (named after the activist) and the heated outdoor pool.

Installation by Alex Katz. Courtesy, Langham Hospitality Group & Michael Weber

Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue
400 Fifth Ave., 212-695-4005, Midtown West, Manhattan
Artworks by contemporary American master Alex Katz are on permanent display at this luxurious Midtown hotel. The $2 million collection includes 11 originals, like those pictured here, which lend the lobby a sharp aesthetic, along with 229 reprints. That level of sophistication is in keeping with Langham Place’s other covetable features: marble-clad bathrooms with rainfall showers; Chuan Body + Soul, a spa offering a wide range of treatments influenced by Chinese traditions; and Ai Fiori, chef Michael White’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which focuses on the cuisine of the French and Italian Riviera. If you’re looking for an urban escape, here’s your spot.

Nu Perspective Room 202 by ICY & SOT. Courtesy, Independent Collection

Nu Hotel
85 Smith St., 718-852-8585, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
The loftlike rooms at Nu Hotel proved to be perfect canvases for inspired murals—and a number of area artists rose to the occasion. Among them: Icy and Sot, brothers who originally hail from Tabriz, Iran. Striking stencil works from the duo, now based in Brooklyn, have adorned galleries in Iran, Germany, China and Norway and across the United States. (See this piece in Nu Hotel’s room 202.) The street-style feel is in line with the hotel’s other hip details, including select rooms with bunk beds or hammocks and minibars stocked with locally produced refreshments. Ground-floor restaurant Misdemeanor serves snacks from similarly local establishments; enjoy cheesecake from Junior’s or cheese from Stinky Bklyn.

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Courtyard by Marriott Central Park Artwork by William DeBilzan Painting by William DeBilzan, Courtyard by Marriott Central Park. Photo: Anna Gross

Residence Inn by Marriott Central Park
1717 Broadway, 212-324-3774, Midtown West, Manhattan
At 68 stories, this stunning glass edifice—which houses both the Courtyard by Marriott Central Park and the Residence Inn by Marriott Central Park—claims the title of tallest hotel in the western hemisphere. Take advantage of breathtaking views from rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, and enjoy the hotel’s other intriguing amenities, including complimentary yoga classes, free WiFi and plenty of artwork. Artist William DeBilzan was commissioned to create an incredible number of site-specific pieces for the hotel—2,900 square feet of works, including large murals in the lobby. Many of the works feature the artist’s signature elongated figures.

“(Untitled) A Sea of Grinding Tectonic Plates...” by Raymond Pettibon. Courtesy, Smyth a Thompson Hotel

Smyth, a Thompson Hotel
85 W. Broadway, 212-587-7000, Tribeca, Manhattan
Boutique downtown hotel Smyth has a warm ambience, courtesy of Soho-based design firm Gachot Studios. That vibe is evident in Smyth’s ground-floor Living Room space, which features, among other chic elements, Untitled (A Sea of Grinding Tectonic Plates…) by Raymond Pettibon—the renowned artist who was the subject of a massive retrospective at the New Museum on the Bowery. The hotel’s cosmopolitan cool extends to its 100 rooms and suites, appointed with oversize flat-screen TVs (Netflix, Hulu and Pandora included). Chef Andrew Carmellini’s Little Park serves delectable seasonal fare, and the Evening Bar’s cocktail menu draws from artisanal distilleries.

“Kate Moss” by Chuck Close. Courtesy, The Surrey

The Surrey
20 E. 76th St., 212-288-3700, Upper East Side, Manhattan
The world-class dining and amenities—Café Boulud and Bar Pleiades, a private roof garden and Cornelia Spa—make excellent reasons to choose The Surrey for a stay in NYC. So does the upscale hotel’s art program, including this portrait of Kate Moss, located near the elevators, by noted NYC artist Chuck Close. Among The Surrey’s other pieces are works by the likes of Jenny Holzer, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra and Cecily Brown. In addition, guests can expect luxurious touches like Pratesi robes, bath products by Diptyque made specially for the hotel, and access to Bobbin bikes for excursions around the Upper East Side and to nearby Central Park.

“Mannahatta” by Marela Zacarías. Courtesy, The William Vale

The William Vale
111 N. 12th St., 718-631-8400, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is synonymous with the City’s up-and-coming culture, so it’s only fitting that The William Vale’s lobby feature an impressive sculptural installation: Mannahatta by Brooklyn-based artist Marela Zacarías. The colorful piece references both Brooklyn history and the borough’s current status as a hub of art and design. The energy of the work mirrors the hotel’s other offerings, including cuisine by celebrated chef Andrew Carmellini at Leuca and Westlight; rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, each with a balcony; and beautifully landscaped outdoor areas, like the pool deck and Vale Park, a 15,000-square-foot elevated promenade that affords fresh-air relaxation.


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