Review: Andaz 5th Avenue, New York

Gary Allen checks in to the Andaz 5th Avenue

Hotel

The hotel’s address at 485 5th Avenue in New York has a storied history in fashion and retail. Built in 1914 during the era of Manhattan’s legendary department stores, it was the largest and last of the Rogers Peet & Co. department stores, known for their men’s clothing. Located in the city’s Garment District, it later became the Tommy Hilfiger global headquarters before its transformation into the Andaz 5th Avenue hotel.

 

Locale

The hotel is right on 5th Avenue, directly across the street from the landmark New York Public Library and Bryant Park, and only a few blocks from the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station. Times Square is only a 15-minute walk away. You’re right in the action of Midtown Manhattan, yet the neighbourhood seems to be a little quieter than the areas surrounding Rockefeller Center and St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Andaz prides itself on being a hotel full of locals; the employees are called hosts and are eager to let you in on where to find the newest and coolest bars, restaurants and nightlife.

 

Look & feel

I love that there is no ‘front desk’ in the lobby – at the Andaz, check in is normally via an iPad en route to your room. The 184 rooms have high ceilings and, at a minimum of 30 square metres for Standard Rooms, they feel huge compared to other city hotels. The property was designed by Tony Chi, so expect clean lines and a contemporary feel. It’s cool, but still classic New York.

Andaz King Suite

 

Eat in

The Shop restaurant on street level is the place to head for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It fits right in to the neighbourhood, and serves up locally sourced, seasonal fare – the menu even lists the names of the shops, farmers and wineries whose produce is featured, from Katz’s Delicatessen to Sullivan Street Bakery.

For Latin-inspired tapas or an after-dinner cocktail, head down to the basement and the aptly named Bar Downstairs. It’s a comfortable lounge with a roaring fire in winter, plus a cheese room, long communal tables and large leather lounges.

 

Treat yourself  

Don’t expect a big spa and swimming pool as you won’t find them here. Instead, your hosts are happy to arrange in-room massages on request. There is a well-equipped Life Fitness gym downstairs with plenty of options for a workout. It’s unattended and quiet – I had the gym to myself when I was there late one afternoon.

 

Special touches

Expect low-key and laid-back service with lots of complimentary offerings including minibar snacks and beverages, as well as books and laptops for the duration of your stay. There are also lounges off the lobby where you can pick up fresh coffee and muffins in the morning and enjoy wine in the evening.

The hotel offers a pet program that allows you to bring your canine to stay with you and provides them with a doggie bed and bowls. 

 

Illustration by Taylor Conacher

The Checklist

  •  Free Wi-Fi
  •  Complimentary mini bar
  •  24-hour fitness centre
  •  Turndown service

Stay here

Price: Suites from US$710 (A$887) per night

newyork5thavenue.andaz

Upgrade

The Empire Terrace Suite spans 91 square metres and features a 165-square metre wraparound terrace with views of iconic NYC

 

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Weather to go

New York experiences its prime weather from May to October with warm, sunny days the result of a humid subtropical climate. New York in the springtime (March-May) is accompanied by light winds, rain and cool to very warm temperatures, while summer (Jun-Aug) is characterised by hot, sunny days and late sunsets. The gorgeous autumnal leaves of fall make it a popular time to visit with layers recommended to keep warm in cool and crisp temperatures. The first snows usually appear in December, with winter (Dec-Feb) temperatures below freezing. Occasional snowstorms, freezing rain and bitter cold winds mean heavyweight clothing is a necessity for travellers heading to NYC travel in winter. 

 

 

 

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