Conrad New York

NY luxury

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Reviewed by Markie Robson-Scott

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Image: Conrad New York

The Conrad hotel, fresh from a $75 million makeover, is at the centre of Battery Park’s much-needed new buzz. Quiet can mean boring and cut off, but that’s changing.

The hotel entrance is the essence of futuristic glamour, with a double staircase of green Indian marble leading up to a wildly impressive atrium: enormous, dwarfing (in a good way), with Sol LeWitt’s monumental Loopy Doopy painting rising 13 storeys above ground level and cables and tubes forming a huge sculptural veil. Dramatic lights change colour throughout the day and night. Sit on one of the grey half-moon sofas in the lobby and gaze upwards – it’s thrilling.

MOST POPULAR

The Conrad is owned by Goldman Sachs, whose steel and glass mothership (its mighty back-up generators helped keep the neighbourhood power on during hurricane Sandy) are a few feet away in the canopied granite arcade that houses one side of the entrance – the other faces the Hudson river. All suites (huge by New York standards) are furnished in light wood and pale colours, with two flat-screen TVs,  and Japanese-style frosted-glass sliding doors separating the bedroom from the bar and lounge areas. The hotel is surrounded by new restaurants (the Shake Shack is always rammed), upscale shops (wine, designer specs, gourmet groceries, florist) as well as a trusty Duane Reade and a multiplex cinema. This is the Battery Park of the future – and with One World Trade Center opening soon, followed by retail haven Brookfield Place, the future is almost now.

Image: Conrad New York

What’s hot? The pocket concierge app, available in 13 languages, is a 24-hour personal assistant at your fingertips and the first of its kind in the industry. You can request dinner reservations, valet parking, pre-order your newspaper, your choice – yes, there’s a choice - of bathroom goodies as well as extra pillows and breakfast. The hotel is a major showcase for modern art – as well as LeWitt, there are Jeff Koonses and Julian Schnabels dotted around. The Loopy Doopy rooftop bar. Open May to October. Suck on a Boozy Icepop as you take in glorious views of the river and Statue of Liberty. And of New Jersey, with the iconic Colgate clock. The shower. In its own enormous room. Rain shower-head and hand-held. Bedrooms with views of the river, the ferries and the Irish Hunger Memorial. Nespresso machines in all rooms. Smart lighting controls. Nifty reading lamp. Quieter than most parts of Manhattan.

Image: Conrad New York

What’s not? No free wifi. Loo doors don’t lock and are a bit privacy-challenging. Bath-tubs in premier and luxury suites only. Crossing the West Side Highway to Tribeca

Need to know: the Conrad

Number of rooms: 463

Check-in: 3pm. Check-out: noon.

Swimming-pool: No

Conrad New York, 102 North End Avenue, New York, NY 10282. conradnewyork.com, Doubles from around $509 /£315 , room only 

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