Pendry Hotels Brings a Dose of California to Manhattan – Here’s a First Look
Forgive the clichÃ©, but when I walked into Pendry Manhattan West, I had a kind of mental double take. Moments earlier, I had dragged a suitcase from a cab on 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, the sounds and smells of New York City all around me. I had been dropped off at the edge of Manhattan West’s new development, the latest project from real estate actor Brookfield Properties; tourists and traffic cones abounded. And then, like that, I was elsewhere.
Manhattan’s newest hotel, which officially opened on September 17, occupies a 23-story tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (responsible, among countless other New York City projects, for One World Trade Center and the new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station). In a part of town dominated by brick skyscrapers and sharp-edged skyscrapers, the building stands out for its relative smoothness, with an undulating glass facade that seems to ripple in the early fall sun.
When I walked into the lobby and the door closed behind me, the street noise died down. Guests are greeted by a huge fireplace – a warm sitting area with a velvet sofa and hand-woven rug inviting them to rest for a while. It feels like you’ve wandered into the resplendent Laurel Canyon home of a retired (but probably loves surfing) interior designer.
âWe asked ourselves, ‘How do you create a sense of calm in New York? â, Explained Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of Pendry Hotels, during my visit. “New York moves fast, but you want a sanctuary, a place to feel good. That’s one of the themes we wanted to explore.”
The hotel is the first New York property of Pendry, a sub-brand of Montage International, based in Orange County, which debuted with Pendry San Diego in 2017 and has since opened other properties in Baltimore, Chicago and West Hollywood. âWe reinvent the wheel every time,â Fuerstman said of each new project. With their latest addition, the Pendry team wanted to draw on their Californian sensibility to create an interaction between east and west – in the American context, that is to say.
The interiors were done by Gachot Studios (based in nearby SoHo) whose other hospitality projects include the Shinola Hotel in Detroit and the Eaton Studio in Washington, DC The curvy furnishings are a mix of vintage and custom in neutral and soft tones. Gachot cites the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 1970s – think Robert Irwin and James Turrell – as inspiration. Light and space are certainly what strikes you first; my guest bedroom, a one-bedroom corner suite, leaned heavily on both, with wide entryways, expanses of white oak, subtle backlighting, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Hudson Yards and a slice of the river beyond. There are 164 rooms, including 30 suites, all filled with fine art and books handpicked by Fuerstman and his team.
Manhattan West, located directly between Penn Station and Hudson Yards, is sure to be frequented by business travelers, and the Pendry offers over 6,000 square feet of meeting space and a Platoon-filled gym for warriors of the road in need of a workout. But as the development officially opens to the public and tries to fit into the wider neighborhood, casual visitors will find plenty of places to linger for a drink or meal, including several within the hotel. For cocktails, there’s the knockout Bar Pendry, a lobby lounge with gilded walls and a huge mother-of-pearl and gold leaf piece by New York painter Nancy Lorenz crowning the bar. In the adjacent Garden Room, all-day fare is served amid lush tropical flora and translucent panels by Los Angeles-based light artist John Wigmore.
Next on the agenda will be the launch of the hotel’s tentepole restaurant, Zou Zou’s, from Quality Branded (the group behind New York favorites like Don Angie and the Midtown Quality Bistro). Here, chefs Madeline Sperling and Juliana Latif (who worked together at NoMad) will collaborate on a Middle Eastern-inspired menu in a colorful, tile-covered space. Also coming up is a rooftop Japanese whiskey bar, open in the spring.
Pendry is heading west again for his next project: Pendry Park City, the brand’s first mountain town property, which opens in Utah’s ski paradise this winter. Until then, travelers can find great outdoors on the west side of Manhattan.
To reserve: pendry.com, double from $ 625.