It’s difficult to remember what the Meatpacking District was like before the Hotel Gansevoort, so integral are its rooftop Plunge lounge and its ground floor Provocateur club to the area’s nightlife. And, of course, its lobby faces Pastis, so it’s tres handy for those hung-over Sunday brunches.
While there are newer kids on the block, the Gansevoort attracts very-happy-indeed repeat business for serious, on-target service. Cute as a button in their seasonal Lacoste uniforms, the staff are far more than just pin-ups – they’re 24/7 friendly and super-efficient.
The bedrooms aren’t designed just for sleeping, they’re spacious and well equipped with iPod docks and Wii consoles and games that make for great 4am jetlag diversions. The personalised, monogrammed bathrobes are so comfortable that a purchase is near irresistible. The Duplex Penthouse (which comes price on arrival) is a 1,400 square-foot duplex with 30 foot floor-to-ceiling windows and a pool table. If that blows your budget out of the water, go for a Grand Deluxe with a step-out balcony or, preferably, an entry level Gansevoort suite, which has a lounge as well as a balcony.
The much vaunted rooftop pool is actually better during the daytime – a sunny afternoon on a lounger beats the overcrowded after dark scene. On overcast (or indeed any) days, guests can use the hydrotherapy pools and the steam room in the Exhale Spa, gratis. There’s also a 24-hour gym and a range of daily yoga and pilates-oriented classes.
- Guns n’ Roses on the underwater playlist in the heated rooftop pool
- The views – particularly at sunset – from the roof are excellent
- Free rides to the Gansevoort’s uptown Park Avenue property in the house car: a silver Porsche Panamera 4S
- Complimentary Puma bike loans
- Fairly heavy security on the lobby door will have you fishing for your door key to prove you’re a resident and not just trying to go for cocktails at Plunge dressed in your Birkenstocks
Need to Know: Hotel Gansevoort
Number of rooms: 210
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: Yes. The Exhale Spa has three infinity-edge hydro pools, a steam room and private therapy rooms.
Dogs welcome: Yes. While there’s a $100 charge, your dog does get its own amenities including an ‘I am staying at Hotel Gansevoort’ collar tag.
Eating and drinking: The Provocateur bar and lounge (including the Carte Blanche café) has given the likes of the Standard a run for its money for reservations-required cocktails, while the martinis at Plunge, adjacent to the rooftop pool, still generate long queues. The serious dining space is Jeffrey Chodorow’s Blade Runner-esque Tanuki Tavern, a very Manhattan version of a low-key, trad, Japanese izakaya (essentially a gastro-pub, with sushi, noodles and assorted small plates).
Near to? The Meatpacking District (or MePa as some infuriatingly insist on calling it), is a double-edged sword. While it has the best shopping (Jeffrey is still amazing) and some great restaurants (Pastis is always reliable), the all-night partying can get wearing. The tranny hookers are long gone, but the elegant, atmospheric cobbles remain.
Getting there: It’s 19 miles to JFK – so from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes in a cab, depending on traffic. It’s five minutes’ walk from the West Village and a block from the 14th Street subway stop for the L train. Taxis are always plentiful.