The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City
What We Love
- Rate includes shoeshine, newspaper, WiFi and use of the fitness center
- Historic yet hip Lambs Club, good-size gym, spa treatment rooms and tiny lap pool in the basement
- Knowledgeable concierge who can arrange theater tickets, tour guides, restaurant reservations and car rentals
- READ MORE: Where to eat, play and shop in NY
What To Know
- Popularity with Midtown’s noisy after-work crowd means the lobby, restaurant and bar stay busy until midnight (2 a.m. on weekends)
- Windows are well soundproofed, but walls are thin enough to hear noise from the hallways and neighboring rooms
- Best for business travelers, though there’s a full range of amenities for kids, including cribs, diapers, toys and jogging strollers
- Check-in is late: 4 p.m.
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This landmark Stanford White building went up in 1905 as a clubhouse for the Lambs, America’s first professional theater club, which counted legends from Charlie Chaplin to Fred Astaire as members. A top-to-bottom 2010 revamp by architect Thierry Despont retains the stagedoor bravado, with lipstick-red chairs, dramatic lighting and a shiny chrome check-in desk. The design also references the golden age of train travel: a station-style clock in the lobby, closets that resemble travel trunks, and vintage posters on the walls.
Bed and Bath
The 76 Art Deco–inspired guestrooms have an unapologetically masculine look, with suede-covered walls, dark leather closets and designer furniture, plus such thoughtful extras as a backgammon board, coffee table art books and a stack of new magazines. Technophobes might shudder at the multiple lighting configurations, the huge wall-mounted TV and the touchscreen telephone, though they’re nothing compared with the beam-me-up-Scottie bathrooms. Here, floor-to-ceiling mirror walls meet glittering tiles on the floor, Japanese-style toilets have several bewildering settings, and the apartment-size showers come with horizontal jets and a rainfall showerhead the size of a dinner plate.
The Lambs Club supplies 24-hour room service, but it’s worth the trip downstairs to dine in the stunning Empire Deco dining room on chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s modern American dishes, such as tenderloin beef tartare, oysters and sea urchin rigatoni. Once the crowds in the upstairs bar area disperse, stop in for a Gold Rush, a Blue Moon or a Guillermo Wallace — classic cocktails in sync with the bygone-era glamour of this rare neighborhood gem. The subterranean Red Door spa is a Midtown revelation, with 2,400 square feet of treatment rooms, steam showers, a mani-pedi studio, a hot tub and a lap pool.
How to Get There
Conde Naste 2018 Travel Reader's Choice Awards puts the Chatwal at #1 as far as New York hotels so my wive and I had to give it a try during a weekend in which we came to see Jeff Daniels in To Kill a Mocking Bird on Broadway (...which was amazing!!!). It's located steps away from the theaters and Time Square so everything is within walking distance, but it can get a bit hectic too. Nevertheless, the hotel was always a quiet luxurious refuge from the madness of midtown. We were always greeted by name and with kind smiles. Waters were offered upon returning form our run in Central Park, which was a nice touch. The spa and gym are small but stylish and our massage was fantastic. The bar in the lobby and on the second floor were equally posh and of course, the hotel is home to Iron Chef Zakarian's Lamb's Club. Room service comes from the Lamb's Club too, so when we ordered a burger at midnight, it was indeed epic. We stayed in the Heritage suite, which is actually two rooms combined together (901/902). It seems a little odd at first, but it was nice to have two full bathrooms so that we didn't feel cramped and we also had a separate seating area that was so comfortable that I took a nap in the middle of the day. The room also has this funny little closet with a microwave, sink and stovetop! Interesting use of space but pure New York in my opinion. It's a pricey stay but what can I say? I liked it a lot and there isn't anything else I could have asked for.
The hotel is designed well, clean, excellent service and comfortable beds. The pool was the only disappointing thing. It was small, not fit for playing with kids. It's meant for exercise as its a current pool.
In NYC for business, a family member informed me and colleagues that she was staying in this hotel and to contact her there. When I called, they would not put me through, informed me there is no no voicemail and they take no phone messages on the premise that taking a message acknowledges that the person requested is staying at the hotel. REALLY ? This pretension of hyper-exclusivity puts this hotel at the bottom of my choices / recommendations to other business travelers.