By John O’Ceallaigh
I’ve been interested in the launch of Aman New York for some time but I’m writing this piece because of Instagram. I recently posted renderings of the forthcoming resort on LUTE’s nascent Instagram account and the ‘View Insights’ tab revealed more people had saved and direct-messaged that post than anything I have shared before or since. So I thought it worth elaborating on what’s in store; there’s no question that this is going to be one of the most exciting city hotels to open anywhere in 2021.
So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know. The hotel will open in spring in Manhattan’s Crown Building, which coincidentally celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. That landmark is found at the crossroads of 57th and 5th Street, which the Aman New York press release describes as “one of the finest corners in the world”. I found this statement hilarious for two reasons:
- It’s subjective enough determining ‘the finest streets in the world’ so ranking specific corners seems to take things just a bit too far.
- The building is directly across the road from the residential complex Trump Tower. When I walked past the building on my way to the Peninsula hotel two blocks south in summer 2019, I passed crowds of tourists jeering at and middle-finger saluting the property. As street corners go, this one could actually be considered somewhat controversial.
But while the corner claim is contentious, the location more generally and the property itself appear to be pretty stellar. The hotel is minutes from Central Park, Carnegie Hall and MoMA, alongside lots of high-end boutiques, and is ringed by upmarket restaurants and other notable hotels including The Plaza, St. Regis and The Baccarat. For fans of modern interiors, the hotel itself could well be one of Manhattan’s most beautiful addresses.
Those interiors were conceived by Jean-Michel Gathy of Kuala Lumpur-based Denniston, a designer who has reliably good form when it comes to creating impressive, imposing big-budget spaces for ultra-luxury brands. (His designs for the Chedi Andermatt and Cheval Blanc Randheli were instrumental in placing each on my list of favourite hotels in Switzerland and the Maldives respectively.)
The hotel incorporates 83 bedrooms and suites alongside the first ever urban Aman Residences, 22 private apartments that might feature outdoor terraces and private outdoor pools, and which include a five-storey penthouse. Regular rooms will start at 70 square metres – mammoth for New York of course – and will each have a working fireplace.
More generally, there will be a cluster of dining venues: Nama will serve Japanese cuisine; The Wine Library will be available for private wine tastings and events; Italian restaurant Arva will include a wraparound garden terrace looking towards Central Park. Simply named, The Bar will place a heavy emphasis on its cocktail menus (an essential calling card for any aspiring New York hotel) and will be staffed by award-winning mixologists, yet to be named. There’ll be a jazz club too.
Perhaps more attractive again will be the hotel’s wellness facilities, which could well be among the best to be found at any property in the city. (For now, however, the best wellness facilities I’ve encountered at any hotel in New York remain those offered at Equinox Hudson Yards). Stretched over three storeys and 2,300 square metres, the Aman New York spa will be the brand’s new flagship wellness centre in the western hemisphere. Among the amenities on offer will be private Spa Houses incorporating banyas and hammams and featuring outdoor relaxation terraces with hot and cold plunge pools; a 20-metre indoor pool, a sprawling gym, a yoga studio, a hydrotherapy centre and a beauty salon. As New Yorkers slowly rediscover their city after enduring the ravages of the pandemic, the facility is certain to be high demand.
Aman New York room rates have yet to be confirmed.