WHEN VISITING THE BEEKMAN HOTEL, BE SURE TO LOOK UP
We always knew that The Beekman, Thompson Hotels’ third property for New York City, would be stunning simply because of its architectural past. (Brief hotel history lesson: The Beekman was one of the first skyscrapers in Manhattan, originally built in 1881, with a stunning nine-story interior atrium and pyramidal skylight.) But walking through the hotel last night had us wowing all over the place.
Despite its name, the hotel’s entrance is actually on Nassau Street, just a few clicks in from Beekman. It’s a fairly understated entrance with a simply canopy above the double-doors. Stepping through the doors and on to the hexagon-tiled floors, you’ll see a sprawling front desk at the far end of the lobby that’s upholstered in an unusual material: Victorian-style carpets, which is actually the perfect way to let guests know this hotel is mostly one giant throwback to the late 1800s.
That vibe continues to the right of the reception desk, inside the bar and lounge for Fowler & Wells from Tom Colicchio. Partially walled-off by towering glass-enclosed bookshelves, filled with old-timey knick knacks and books, the lounge has a mix-match of seating vignettes, with armchairs and sofas big and small, leather and velvet, and intricately patterned tables, along with the occasional Tiffany lamp. But by far the best thing about the lounge is the absolutely stunning view up the atrium to the skylight. Each of the floors around the atrium have different tile patterns but the same tin ceilings.
The ground floor is also home to a full Fowler & Wells restaurant, which has two entrances that are draped-off by heavy velvet curtains. The separation of restaurant and lounge felt very similar to the different restaurant and lounge rooms at The Nomad Hotel and the menu is so very Colicchio (a blend of familiar and unusual), but we were digging the bright-coloured stained-glass windows and other vintage décor touches. Augustine, a new brasserie-style restaurant from Keith McNally (of Balthazar and Pastis fame) will also open in the corner space of the ground floor in a few weeks.
As for the rooms: we actually didn’t get inside a guest room during our trip, but the throwback Victorian style definitely continues upstairs, although in a lighter, warmer way. And speaking of lighter, we were in the atrium late at night and thought it was magical. We’ll have to return again on a sunny day to get the full effect.
Rates for The Beekman start at $350 a night.
[Photos: The Beekman]