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Soon afterwards the coronavirus absorbed New York City, I larboard town.
I know, I’m a sellout. I didn’t stick with the burghal aback the activity got tough.
But at that time, we had no abstraction what was happening, and I had no absorption in accepting “trapped” in the 600-square-foot accommodation I allotment with a acquaintance for what could accept been a year or more, for all we knew.
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Around the aforementioned time I left, tourists vanished from the streets of Midtown Manhattan and businesspeople chock-full milling about appointment building downtown. As a result, the city’s once-thriving auberge industry took a beating, causing abounding backdrop to shut bottomward absolutely for months — if not forever.
One of the hotels that bankrupt briefly was the Four Seasons Auberge New York Downtown, which instantly became one of the city’s best adorable backdrop aback it opened in 2016.
Eight months aback the alpha of the communicable in the U.S. and the cease of the hotel, both the Four Seasons and I are back.
I alternate to the burghal with a new acknowledgment of what it agency to be a New Yorker, an alarming faculty of abasement and acknowledgment for restauranteurs and artery vendors accomplishing whatever they can to scrape by and a faculty of optimism that, admitting the naysayers, this burghal will appear back. And the reopening of hotels like the Four Seasons (which, by the way, is the abandoned auberge in Lower Manhattan that has a Forbes Five-Star appraisement and a AAA Five-Diamond rating) is a analytical allotment of that rebirth.
After actuality bankrupt aback March 22, the auberge reopened on Nov. 30 with acute cleanliness and assurance protocols, a anew adapted “Empire Suite” (the name the auberge assigned to its top room) and a clearer-than-ever abstraction of what it agency to board best service.
Its doors are accessible to guests already again, and it stands accessible as anytime to acceptable guests aback to its haven of quiet affluence in the average of commonly active Burghal Manhattan.
The auberge arrive me to break for two nights anon afterwards it reopened. So, I arranged an brief bag and fabricated the 15-minute adventure from Brooklyn to see what the auberge was like afterwards it had been bankrupt for the majority of the year. Here’s what I abstruse during my staycation.
Over the years, Four Seasons has congenital a acceptability for arch service.
In today’s world, that agency — aboriginal and foremost — befitting guests safe. Based on my break in Burghal Manhattan and my aide Zach Griff’s acquaintance at the Four Seasons Philadelphia, you can apprehend the absolute anticipation aback you analysis in to any Four Seasons property.
You’ll apprehension the Four Seasons COVID-19 assurance program, accepted as Lead With Care, as anon as you canyon through the doors. Afore I was able to analysis in, I batten with a attendant who asked me to acquit my calmly at the automatic dispenser.
After I sanitized my hands, I took a footfall to the larboard in advanced of a apparatus that bound took my temperature.
Finally, he asked me to verbally affirm that I had not catholic aural the aftermost 14 canicule to accession state, with the barring of a scattering of states adjoining New York such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey.
All auberge guests and visitors charge complete the aloft accomplish afore they’re accustomed to access the hotel, admitting the action was seamless and unobtrusive.
In accession to the antecedent screening process, the auberge placed abundant placards answer the Lead With Care affairs about the hotel’s accessible areas forth with dispensers abounding with duke sanitizer and cartoon on the attic reminding bodies to accumulate their ambit from one another.
Perhaps the best apparatus we accept in angry COVID-19 is cutting a face covering, and I’m blessed to say this Four Seasons took affectation acquiescence actual seriously. I never saw an agent afterwards one. And, I can’t anamnesis seeing any added guests walking about afterwards a affectation or cutting one improperly.
As a New Yorker, I’m acclimated to baby spaces — and that apprehension is no altered in auberge rooms. Best accommodation in the Big Apple aren’t absolutely palatial, but I was abundantly afraid to acquisition a actual ample Manhattan Room.
Measuring 425 aboveboard feet, the allowance may not be as ample as what you’d acquisition at a sprawling coffer resort, but it had amplitude for a sitting breadth complete with a bassinet lounge in a admirable gray houndstooth fabric, a armchair and a ample chiffonier that served as the minibar. This is far added amplitude than you’d acquisition in abounding added auberge accommodation in the city, which adeptness accept aloof abundant accommodation for a bed and maybe a chair.
There’s additionally a committed board and armchair — absolute for alien assignment in the age of Zoom meetings.
The ablution was analogously large, with a standalone assimilation tub, actor shower, baptize closet and distinct vanity. I was a little afraid there weren’t two sinks, but that’s acquisitive at straws because how able-bodied the ablution was appointed.
The adequate single-use toiletries (great for COVID-19, not so abundant for the environment) were Replica by Maison Margiela, and some of the best high-end articles I’ve apparent at a hotel.
The room’s closets were cleverly amid in the baby alley amid the ablution and the blow of the bedfellow room, acceptance one actuality to get dressed in clandestine while the added is activity about their business outside.
As an added treat, I had a appearance of the acclaimed Oculus alteration center, advised by world-renowned artist Santiago Calatrava.
The adornment in the allowance is at already chaste and glamorous, with aerial grays and ablaze copse throughout. The appliance is admirable but adequate and attainable — it makes you feel like you’re in an flush accommodation rather than a high-end hotel
Video: A Holiday Staycation at This Affluence NYC Auberge Comes With a Clandestine Tour of the Iconic Wind (Travel Leisure)
A Holiday Staycation at This Affluence NYC Auberge Comes With a Clandestine Tour of the Iconic Wind
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As anon as you airing into the lobby, you’re aerated abroad from the honking horns and added noises of Burghal Manhattan (yes, the burghal is still animate and yes, still noisy).
Rich, aphotic copse and dim lighting actualize an atmosphere of calm, article to be accepted afterwards a continued day of affairs or seeing the sights.
The corridors of anniversary guest-room attic were analogously dim and actual hushed. I never heard any babble from the burghal below, alike admitting the auberge is amid abreast some actual active areas.
For a burghal hotel, this Four Seasons offers guests affluence of agency to relax. My allowance had a committed assimilation tub, and alike admitting I’m not abundant of a ablution guy, I couldn’t abide cartoon one for myself.
And, the auberge has an absolute wellness circuitous that includes a beauteous 75-foot calm basin and resort-style loungers to bang aback and relax afterwards a swim.
I spent an afternoon account a book abutting to the basin and anon able from the absoluteness of communicable life. (Based on claimed experience, this is additionally a abundant abode to booty a nap, acknowledgment to the mild temperatures in the basin area.
Predictably, the auberge additionally boasts a full-service spa with locker accommodation able with showers, assorted analysis rooms, beef accommodation and bittersweet saunas. Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the beef accommodation and saunas are closed, but the locker accommodation and analysis accommodation are accessible and operational.
If you feel like afraid off your corrupt room-service breakfast (more on that later), the auberge has a actual well-equipped gym complete with a committed flat for yoga or stretching. Of course, the adjustment of machines and operation of the fettle centermost has been adapted in accordance with the Lead With Care program
Over the aftermost few years, the analogue of high-end account has changed.
These days, abundant account doesn’t necessarily beggarly accepting waited on duke and bottom by auberge staff. Instead of calling the advanced board or babysitter for a request, abounding now adopt added automatic agency of interacting with the hotel, such as in-app messaging features, and agenda requests for aggregate from allowance account to pillows.
During a pandemic, this about-face in account is added accordant than ever. The Four Seasons has this abstraction bottomward to a science, and I could acquaint any questions or apropos with the auberge via a messaging account in the Four Seasons app on my phone.
Additionally, there was an iPad abutting to my bed that put auberge admonition at my fingertips, as able-bodied as the adeptness to adjustment commons or agenda spa treatments.
I acclimated the iPad to adjustment breakfast anniversary morning of my stay, and I admired that I didn’t accept to aces up the buzz and pretend I was absolutely alive to adjustment my food.
And, on the aftermost morning of my stay, I abhorred the alarming “Can I accept backward checkout, appealing please?” alarm and was able to align that artlessly by “texting” the advanced desk. It’s these kinds of technologies that set abounding affluence hotels apart, and it’s article I aboveboard achievement proliferates added throughout the industry in the future.
It had been a actual continued time aback I’d enjoyed one of life’s greatest pleasures: room-service breakfast.
I was actual abundant attractive advanced to accepting breakfast in the abundance of my bathrobe anniversary morning, and the Four Seasons New York Burghal delivered — literally.
Each morning I was able to specify that I’d like my adjustment larboard alfresco my allowance and I artlessly wheeled in the table, unwrapped the dishes, took way too abounding photos (phone eats first, as they say!) and enjoyed my corrupt commons with a appearance of the Oculus through the window.
The aboriginal morning I ordered an omelet with beginning vegetables and abandon of broiled potatoes and beginning fruit. The added morning I went for the avocado acknowledgment with poached eggs, bacon and potatoes and, again, fruit. Both mornings I enjoyed the “Detox” apprenticed abstract as a auspicious accompaniment.
Both commons were delicious, admitting the avocado acknowledgment was the standout, with altogether brittle acknowledgment and aged toppings. I could acquaint the auberge hadn’t absent a beat, alike admitting it had been bankrupt for several months.
I additionally absitively to accept banquet at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, the hotel’s signature restaurant. At the time of my stay, calm dining in New York Burghal was still allowed, with bargain capacity. I went aboriginal — anon afterwards the restaurant opened — in hopes that my acquaintance and I would be two of abandoned a scattering of bodies in the restaurant, and we bet correctly.
We enjoyed a augment risotto, ambrosial “Dan Dan” dumplings and an adjustment of some of the best corrupt truffle chips I’ve anytime tasted. To ablution it all bottomward I ordered a gin martini, which went bottomward all too easily.
Perhaps alike added than the food, we enjoyed the atmosphere. The bar breadth — alike afterwards barstools — was agreeable and acquainted like a “scene” with bolts of red neon framing the bar and a super-cool bend belted by deep-red banquettes.
Even admitting there were aloof a few patrons, the restaurant played clue afterwards clue of archetypal bedrock music, which fabricated it feel like “the old times.” The agents associates were absurd too, interacting in active chat with us and giving complete admonition on our order.
While the majority of the auberge didn’t accept any changes to its attending during the COVID-19 closure, the hotel’s top accommodation absolutely did. Now accepted as the Empire Suite, this 2,400-square-foot accommodation is fit for presidents, celebrities and alike aristocratic families attractive for a chichi accommodation acquaintance in Burghal Manhattan with all the casework and amenities of a full-service, best hotel.
I got an central attending at the anew adapted accommodation during my stay, and I anon begin myself Googling “how to become allotment of the aristocratic family” afterwards I larboard so I could accept a adventitious to absorb a few nights in this sky palace.
The redesign was completed by autogenous artist Tara Bernard through her close Tara Bernard & Partners and, in my apprehensive opinion, they aced the design. It feels at already abundant and cozy, with the centerpiece of the accommodation actuality the all-embracing active and dining breadth which appearance active jewel-tone chairs and sofas forth with a 10-place dining table, absolute for a aristocratic barbecue served from the en accommodation accouterment kitchen.
This accommodation additionally has a media room, study, two bathrooms, an all-embracing applicant closet and can be accumulated with two added accommodation on the aforementioned attic to board a beyond group.
While I abject my jaw through every allowance of this suite, my admired breadth is the study, which appearance a comfortable day bed that I anon pictured myself demography naps in amid Zoom meetings.
With the relaunch of the Empire Suite, the auberge is additionally alms the Empire Accommodation Acquaintance as of Jan. 1, 2021, which includes round-trip helicopter transfers for two from any New York-area airport (LaGuardia-LGA, Kennedy-JFK or Newark-EWR), auto transfers for two from the Wall Artery aerodrome (or the airport if desired), circadian breakfast for two, a “spa retreat” for two including a couple’s massage, absorb account and best of Resident Healer acquaintance (all of these are either accessible in-room or at the spa) and abandoned cottony pajamas by Olivia Von Halle Pajamas and/or abandoned Duke Dexter loafers for two.
This amalgamation starts at $25,000 per night, so if you’re splurging, accomplish abiding you use a acclaim agenda that will accolade you amply with benefit credibility on auberge stays.
If you’d like to book a “normal” room, bethink that while the Four Seasons doesn’t participate in a above adherence program, the backdrop about participate in the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can adore a host of amenities with every booking, including adulatory breakfast for two, affirmed 4 p.m. backward checkout, upgrades aback accessible and a different acreage amenity.
The reopening of the Four Seasons Auberge New York Burghal is a big deal, not aloof for the auberge itself, but for the burghal of New York.
While the acquaintance of blockage at a auberge has absolutely changed, the Four Seasons makes it as seamless as possible, with apprehensive but able assurance measures and a focus on technology that’s not abandoned acceptable for guests but additionally safe.
I actual abundant enjoyed my affluence staycation in Burghal Manhattan. Alike admitting it had been bankrupt for months, it seemed like the auberge hadn’t shut bottomward for alike a day.
While this auberge (and others) acceptable won’t see accustomed control ante for several months, the affiance of COVID-19 vaccines on the border should accord anybody achievement that ancient in the not-too-distant approaching this acreage will aback in abounding force, affable hundreds of guests from all over the apple — and aloof about the bend — through its doors.
All photos by the author.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, adequate a meal from a restaurant no best aloof agency curbside pickup.
And aback you do absorb on dining, you should use a acclaim agenda that will aerate your rewards and potentially alike account appropriate discounts. Acknowledgment to acting agenda bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may alike be able to account a meal at your admired restaurant for free.
These are the best acclaim cards for dining out, demography out, and acclimation in to aerate every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions bidding actuality are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, acclaim agenda issuer, airlines or auberge chain, and accept not been reviewed, accustomed or contrarily accustomed by any of these entities.
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