3 -min. read

Oh, happy day, one of the most anticipated hotel openings in New York this year is almost here. Public New York was slated for the spring but is now opening on June 7, just in time for summer. (And, since this is an Ian Schrager production, we’ll call it fashionably late, rather than late.)

What makes this such an interesting opening, aside from the Schrager magic, is that a hotel with rooms from just $150 a night (in Manhattan!) promises to be just as coveted as the high-end New York hotels that charge well over $500 a night.

A refresher for those who haven’t been breathlessly tracking the progress of Public New York the way we have: This is the first Public Hotel in the city and even though there is a Public Chicago, that property is no longer owned by Schrager. The New York hotel is located on the Lower East Side, and the project has other big names attached to it in addition to Schrager’s—Pritzker Prize award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who helms the restaurant and grab-and-go marketplace. (As fans of his Market at EDITION in Miami, we have high hopes for this new collab between Schrager and the chef.)

When Public New York first unveiled online bookings, there were indeed rooms from just $150 a night in June, although they are now closer to a starting rate of $265 a night (some Sunday nights and the first week of July are still showing rooms for $200 a night.)

But the idea here, Public’s premise, is “Luxury for All.” Who can argue with that? As Schrager has made clear, his original trailblazing work on hotels like Morgans, Royalton and Paramount were copied ad nauseam, so it was time for something new—something that reflected current popular culture and modern travel habits while still representing his design-centric tastes.

“I truly believe that everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind experience that lifts their spirits and makes their heart beat faster,” says Schrager in the opening press release for the property. “One that elicits an emotional response…and to deliver this at a reasonable price point is even more on the mark for today’s savvy and sophisticated traveler.”

So, what will guests get for their affordable room rate? To start with, Public promises personalized service with the introduction of what they’re calling the “PUBLIC ADVISOR”—the “go-to people” on-site who will solve problems, guide guests and generally be a source of info and assistance for anything guests may need during their stay. Meanwhile, knowing that today’s guests all have their own powerful city guide/dining guide/personal assistant in their own pockets, Public New York is claiming to have the fastest Wi-Fi in the city, free for everyone, throughout the hotel. They’re even promising that cell phone service will work everywhere.

Additional tech touches—which Schrager insists are all there for a purpose, not for the sake of being techy—include mobile and self check-in, mobile key, Apple TVs in every guest room, online food ordering, and a chat bot to communicate with the hotel team. One of the best tech assets here in our books is the abundance of outlets: 12 easy-to-reach outlets and USB ports in all rooms.

The hotel’s public spaces were designed for co-working and communing with neighbors and friends, and this being New York —and the LES, and Schrager, and Jean-Georges—we expect the bars and restaurants to all become hotspots within days of opening.

Public Kitchen is the main restaurant, with a smoker, wood-burning oven and wood-burning grill. Menu highlights will include spicy Korean chicken, hot pastrami sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sushi and Dim Sum. For quicker bites, LOUIS is a part grocery, part coffee shop where guests can choose to linger or grab items to go.

Public New York will have three bars—Diego (akin to “a gentleman’s club in London”), The Roof (a “crazy bar” with 360-degree views of the city) and a Lobby Bar.

See you there?


Rebecca Wallwork
Rebecca Wallwork is a writer based in Miami Beach, although you’ll also find her checking out the newest hotels in New York City. She is a former contributing editor to HotelChatter, and loves dogs and books as much as she does hotels.

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