At the risk of massively understating the case, we’ll start by saying that some of the big chains are really getting the hang of this whole boutique-hotel thing. The Andaz concept was probably focus-grouped and market-tested for years by the design wonks in the Hyatt black-ops program, but when they finally started opening — whether in London, or Hollywood, or Wall Street, or here, the Andaz 5th Avenue — they felt as fresh as any independent boutique.
It starts with a non-traditional check-in, the sort without a reception desk, where you’re simply walked to your room by a tablet-toting “Andaz host” — a recipe for chaos in some hotels, perhaps, but they manage it quite professionally. And the look, by Tony Chi & Associates, is both contemporary and luxurious, but neither desperately hip nor unfashionably opulent. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but they strike it.
Where you really benefit from the (very discreet) chain affiliation of the place isn’t in the design, but in the service and the amenities. The rooms don’t just look good, they work well, bringing to bear decades of exhaustively learned experience in the needs of guests. And the service, similarly, is results-oriented, giving the lie to the notion that staffers in chic New York hotels are hired on the strength of their head shots rather than their résumés. It’s a strong addition to Midtown, and a worthy adversary for both the old-money traditional hotels and the high-fashion modern boutiques.
- 184 Rooms
- Style: Modern Design
- Atmosphere: Lively
- Address: 485 5th Avenue at 41st Street, New York City, NY, USA
- Neighborhood: Manhattan – Midtown
- FROM $369.75
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