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.
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
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.
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.
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.