The Fifth Avenue Hotel, NYC
Food & Wine
New York City
A Fifth Avenue address is a sign of prestige, a signal you’ve made it. That you not only belong in New York City, but also that this city belongs to you.. When you think of 5th Avenue, you think of culture — the MET and the Guggenheim live on 5th. You think fashion — Cartier, Gucci and Bendels all have residences on 5th Avenue. And, of course, 5th Avenue is the eastern border of the illustrious Central Park. The Fifth Avenue Hotel fully embodies this essence, but it is also cool. It’s downtown, in the up-and-coming-NOMAD neighborhood. It’s a respite from the stuffiness of the upper east side. Or a hiatus from the never-ending buzz of Chelsea.
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Fifth Avenue Hotel
Where classic elegance meets modern luxury at the heart of the city.
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I visited the hotel before its October 16, 2023 opening date. (They are taking reservations right now, so give me a call if you want to be one of the first guests to stay here!) The building is actually two buildings — the Gilded Mansion and the Carriage House — though they are connected on certain floors. The main building was the last gilded mansion to be constructed in New York City. The taller addition was affixed to the mansion’s carriage house, presenting a physical embodiment of the building’s stature, while complementing and respecting its history.
When you walk into the lobby, which is actually located on 28th St, the first thing you will notice is the interior design. Martin Branzinski, who you may know from staying at The Dorchester or The Beekman, is responsible for this. The hotel’s owner, Alex Ohebshalom, is the curator of the artwork and curios throughout the hotel. Every piece is custom made for the space.
Behind the lobby, you’ll find the dimly lit, sophisticated and sexy, Portrait Bar, which will welcome neighbors as well as cater to guests, some of whom may descend from the conservatory by secret stairway into the lounge. The hotel plans to have a cultural program of author readings, poetry and music here. It’s in the Portrait Bar that you may first notice the tortoises, the spirit animals of this hotel. They are depicted everywhere — a symbol of the hotel’s heaviest influence, the Flâneurs Society. Those Flâneurs believed slow walks and close observation of society leads to enlightenment. Their insignia? The tortoise. This space is designed to slow you down.
Upstairs, the Mansion has 26 rooms, starting in the Junior Suite category. The Tower has 125 rooms ranging from Standard Queen to Suite. All Suites (and above — there is a penthouse with a private terrace garden on the top floor, of course) are provided with Butler Service. Each room is uniquely designed — every room has a distinct book of artwork — but all feature amenities with the Fifth Avenue Hotel’s custom branded scent, and heated floors in the bathrooms. The hotel does not offer connected rooms, but there is the ability to group rooms with a common, private, foyer. It’s remarkable to look out over the city and hear nothing. The windows are triple-paned glass.
For dinner, head to the ground floor — or maybe the floor above, as there are seven semi-private dining balconies overlooking the restaurant’s main seating area. Or, if you’ve got a party of up to 10, reserve the wine vault. There is also a private dining area with a private bar for 20 people. Their soundproof ballroom allows for 100 dancers or 200 people if you’re having a seated reception. (I’m not sure how many will be here for Oscar de la Renta’s runway during fashion week this year, though!)
Oh, dinner! On the ground floor will be Cafe Carmelini, headed by James Beard award-winning chef, Andrew Carmelini. The open kitchen serving Italian cooking with French influences promises to be a contender for a Michelin star (or two!)
Finally, as if that’s not enough, there will be a small spa area providing facials and bodywork. The basement will house a small fitness room. The hotel is also in a partnership with a nearby wellness facility, should you require more.
Need to Know
The Fifth Avenue Hotel is a welcome complement to life in New York City. Every visitor will find it a wonderful spot from which to both escape and observe the city. It’s a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway, with all you need within its four walls, or a phenomenal holiday base, centrally located to easily visit Broadway, high-end shopping and all of the city’s cultural institutions. It’s even the perfect place for a CEO with days packed full with meetings to pause and refocus on the reasons we work so assiduously.
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