The past year marked several impressive additions to New York's hotel scene, spanning luxurious skyscrapers to historic buildings.
Most notable Manhattan openings occurred in Lower Manhattan, while Williamsburg and the Catskills welcomed eclectic design properties worth traveling for.
Here, the top seven New York hotel openings of 2016.
The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel
Originally home to the Chapel Street Theater where Shakespeare's Hamlet made its New York City debut and later known as Clinton Hall where Edgar Allen Poe wrote many of his great works, The Beekman’s landmarked façade complements its fresh new look after the Queen Anne 1881 landmark property underwent a four-year, $500-million renovation to transform into a 287-room hotel.
Opened in Lower Manhattan in September, the property features a nine-story Victorian atrium and beaming pyramidal skylight, both the backdrop to sophisticated interior design by Martin Brudnizki. The property has the culinary cachet of James Beard Award winners, with Keith McNally at the helm of French-style bistro Augustine and Tom Colicchio leading Fowler & Wells and The Bar Room.
Danish design meets New York City’s industrial charm at 11 Howard, a property opened in April in SoHo. Creative Director Anda Andrei led the interior design in collaboration with Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou of SPACE Copenhagen, transforming the 221-room property into an architectural marvel, complete with 15-foot lobby ceilings and a steel cylindrical staircase connecting reception to the second floor.
The property offers convivial meeting points like The Library, a sun-drenched space for mingling and reading, and The Blond, a cocktail bar by evening and DJ-clad club by twilight. Perhaps the property’s most impressive feature is Le Coucou by the famed restaurateur Stephen Starr and chef Daniel Rose of Spring and La Bourse et La Vie in Paris, who collaborated to create the best French restaurant in New York. As if it couldn’t get in better, contemporary artist Jeff Koons mentored emerging artists to create a Basquiat-inspired mural on the property’s south facing wall.
Four Seasons New York Downtown
Located just a block from the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, the Four Seasons New York Downtown is among the many establishment’s ushering a renaissance in one of New York City’s oldest areas. Featuring a two-story lobby with cream-colored travertine and soft wool carpeting and rich wood walls and woven metal screens, the hotel offers a refuge in one of Manhattan’s most bustling areas.
The 189-room property debuted in September and features modern, yet welcoming interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg and CUT by Wolfgang Puck, the first Manhattan restaurant by the acclaimed chef. If you like the hotel so much you don’t want to leave, there’s always the option to purchase one of 157 Four Seasons Private Residences set atop the property.
The William Vale
Set on a 15,000-square-foot elevated promenade of rare New York green space, The William Vale is the most notable addition to the Williamsburg skyline in Brooklyn. The boutique hotel opened in September to much acclaim, featuring 183 suites with private balconies, the longest hotel pool in the city, and an outdoor public park.
The hotel boasts a partnership with acclaimed restaurateur Andrew Carmellini and the NoHo restaurant group, who leads the food and beverage program, including the hotel’s main restaurant, Leuca, featuring Southern Italian fare, and Westlight, the rooftop bar that debuted in the summer serving craft cocktails, street snacks, and wine and spirits inside, while floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor seating area reveal the best terrace views of Manhattan to date.
Featuring 150 guest rooms encased in brick, glass, and Corten steel, The Williamsburg Hotel’s classic marble and brass finishes recall the neighborhood’s industrial roots, while 10-foot window views of Manhattan and private balconies channel the borough’s future. Designed by Michaelis Boyd and opened this December, the eight-story hotel has double-height ceilings and more than enough charm to attract the neighborhood’s community of creative entrepreneurs.
The true standout of the property is its number of eateries, the last of which are set to open by the spring of 2017. Chef Adam Leonti will be at the helm of Harvey, the hotel’s signature restaurant, and The Hotel Bar is set to be an unpretentious, laid-back haunt for evening nightcaps.
Scribner’s Catskills Lodge
Originally built in the 1960s and paying homage to the rich, multi-century past of the Catskills region, Scribner’s Catskills Lodge in Hunter, New York, is a year-round refuge for cosmopolitan explorers looking to enjoy the nature of upstate New York without venturing too far. Opened in November, Studio Tack led the 38-room mountain lodge’s design, including the two-story lobby, framed by overhead skylight windows, capturing the region’s sense of place through nostalgic craftsmanship, bohemian textiles, and high-peaked, lofted ceilings.
Terracotta tiles line each guestroom shower, complemented by overhead rain showers and mint-and-rosemary-infused bath amenities. The property’s restaurant, Prospect, is helmed by executive chef Joseph Buenconsejo and backed by Matt Ricke and Chef Adam Volk, partners behind popular Brooklyn spots, Esme and The Exley.
Set directly across from Historic Saratoga Race Course and a short seven-minute bike ride to downtown, the Brentwood by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack gives New Yorkers even more reason to venture three hours north to Saratoga Springs.
The 12-room, single-story hotel opened in November and occupies a former motor lodge, inclusive of a white board-and-batten exterior and billowing grasses and birch trees. Custom interiors include oak and brass detailing, antique gilded mirrors, vintage oil paintings, and custom pine beds with octagonal posts by Dave Cummings, made entirely by hand in his upstate wood shop. Each room features cast iron marble bistro tables reproduced from frames made during Paris’ 1920’s Belle Epoque, and bathrooms come equipped with chamfered mirrors and bath products from C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries.