Shane Fonner

Royalton

with Shane Fonner www.palmiersdumal.com
  • Where:New York, New York

  • Why:Heading above 14th Street -or- Getting (the fuck) out of downtown.

  • When:February 2018.

  • Who:My other half and I.

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Highs & Lows

  • Hotel Bar – It’s got this intangible feeling of that “ideal” hotel bar - despite being ignorant to the history of the place at the time, I immediately picked up on the feeling of being a stranger, surrounded by other strangers in a new place. Amy makes a mean negroni, too, which may or may not have contributed to my feeling a little light on my feet.

  • The Staff – Siobhan, the GM, couldn’t be more attuned to the needs of the guests. She’s done an amazing job with the staff, including Eddie from Forty Four and the bar. In addition to being accommodating, the staff was really attentive and took great care of us. BK, evening manager, even offered to light the fire in our suite.

  • History – It’s not a typical history per se, but for someone who loves boutique hotels, this place has everything. Having been owned by the team from Studio54 and originally designed by Philippe Starck, it still retains a piece of that original vibe.

  • The Bathroom – The large circular tub was a revelation. I lit a candle, dimmed the lights, and had a ball.

  • Design – The Roman and Williams interpretation of the theme is extremely well executed throughout the lobby space. It creates a stellar atmosphere for catching up over the spectacular cocktails.

  • The Bed – I slept like a rock. And I wasn’t particularly tired.

    The Barometer

    • Design

    • Website

    • Life Changing

    • Environmental Consciousness

    • Overall Value

    • Night's Sleep

    • Service

    • Amenities

    • Stealable Stuff

    • Refer a Friend

    Total: 49/50

    Important Bits

    • Type

      Sexy boutique hotel legend.

    • Vibe

      Dark woods, fire, war, drinks, and sex (per Roman + Williams’ ultimately well-executed inspiration brief) – an update on the Philippe Starck archetype that launched a thousand boutique hotel imitators.

    • Location

      For a downtowner like myself, the location felt easily accessible from other neighborhoods in the city. Parked on 44th between 5th and 6th Avenues, it is located in prime midtown, just a block and a half from Grand Central and Bryant Park.

    • Rooms

      168

    • Music

      A wide variety of “good times” tunes of various genres throb throughout the seductive lobby.

    • Year Opened

      Originally opened in 1988 by Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, later re-opened and renovated in 2007.

    • Designed By

      Roman + Williams

    • Pool/Gym

      Small fitness center on the 4th Floor. Used it twice.

    • Restaurant

      Yes, Forty Four near the 43rd St side of the building (formerly colloquially referred to as “Café Conde” due to the preponderance of Conde Nast editors who wined and dined here).

    • Bar

      The lobby bar gives off serious “hotel bar” vibes – in a good way. It feels completely right for that moment, and it felt very New York in a sense. The layout facilitates interaction and the bar staff is very good at what they do (Pro-tip: Try Amy’s negroni).

    • Minibar

      Well-stocked with the necessary accoutrements for a cozy stay.

    • Wifi

      Free and fantastic throughout the premises.

    • Children

      I’m sure you could, but seems like most guests there were certainly without. I’d leave them behind. The Royalton is best enjoyed with friends, some of whom you might make right there.

    • Price

      Accessible luxury – good value for the price.

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