Take a mini-break in Manhattan at the W New York Downtown Hotel

In a city with a white-hot hotel scene, how do you choose a spot that has more sizzle than August asphalt?


Hulking above the pit, the pools and soon-to-open 9/11 Memorial Museum is the 58-storey W New York Downtown Hotel—one of 10 new hotels that have opened in Lower Manhattan since Sept. 11, 2001.

With four W hotels in NYC, the brand’s cred as a design pioneer is evident in all its “boutique” properties. Right next to the lobby, the fifth floor bar in the Washington Street location—the Living Room in W-speak—overlooks Ground Zero where construction workers continue to dig and scrape away what was once the Deutsche Bank building. Set under a rippling ceiling resembling the rib cage of a whale, you can flop down on a leather couch in the Living Room and, quite literally, watch the future of NYC’s skyline morph before you.

Fashionable coffee-table books, signature cocktails like this summer’s White Manhattan a muddle of corn whiskey, vermouth, Solerno and orange bitters—plus a DJ who spins Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are other magnets that lure more than just hotel guests and residents to this bar. (Love it enough to move in? You can buy one of 233 W condos in the same building for a minimum of US$1.85 million.)

Rooms and suites use more W-speak: the suites are Fantastic, Marvelous, Wow and Extreme Wow, and the standard rooms are Wonderful, Spectacular and Cool Corner. And the room décor is best described as luxury IKEA: white leather mid-century desk chairs, slick lacquer desks, low-platform plush beds, LCD flat-screen, minibars replete with gummy bears, window seats plumped high with pillows and bathrooms loaded with BLISS products. While this W lacks a spa, there’s SWEAT (gym), BLT (great resto) and an Acura car partnership that gives guests free rides in Manhattan.

363 Extreme Wow Suite at W New York Downtown Hotel.

Powered by the Financial District, business travellers don’t have far to go from this property if they’re attending meetings at most national and international headquarters. World domination, in fact, feels like a mere step away. Theatre-goers and museum mavens, however, might find staying here a bit of a trek to most of Manhattan’s top sites, other than these nearby must-sees.

W New York Downtown Hotel, 123 Washington St.; 646-826-8600; wnewyorkdowntown.com; 217 guest rooms; from US$389. For fresh updates on NYC, visit: nycgo.com.


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