The Quin is so named because it positions itself as the quintessential New York hotel. So, how does it do? Well, it’s a hotel that ticks a lot of the relevant boxes here. Its position is great. On the corner of 57th Street and 6th Avenue, you’re across the road from Carnegie Hall and the Russian Tea Room, you’re a couple of blocks from Central Park, you’re walking distance to the Lincoln Centre, the Museum of Modern Art and Fifth Avenue shopping.
Inside, it’s smart and contemporary, and it has a great restaurant, the Wayfarer, described as an artisanal American grill, where I had a delicious breakfast based around avocadoes and equally good scallops for lunch. There’s a gym and a business centre but, you might think, so far, so standard. What’s so special?
Well, its USP is this: it’s an arts hotel. Let me explain. The building itself is, appropriately enough, Beaux Arts in design and it became a home from home for artists. Over the decades, Marc Chagall and Georgia O’Keeffe stayed here. It wasn’t just visual artists who were attracted either – the great composer and pianist Paderewski came too (presumably, he just crossed the road to play at the Carnegie Hall). After its cultural heyday, though, the hotel fell into neglect until it was entirely re-imagined with more than a nod to its heritage. It’s been re-opened now for just over a year with the top – 17th – floor opening this month.
While the hotel’s past guests were no doubt an inspiration, the Quin Arts programme looks forward. The idea is to connect guests to NYC’s thriving culture. So there is an artist-in-residence program when an artist literally moves in and creates works inspired by the city that become part of the Quin’s permanent collection. Other guests get to meet the artists at “salons” held in the Triplex Penthouse (more of this later) as well as just seeing the stuff on the walls – though this does include some pretty stunning original work from artists around the world. There’s more art in the lobby – a 15-foot video wall that acts as an electronic canvas for photography, video and fine art.
The program extends beyond the visual arts, too, and there’s special access to guests for theatre, music and dance productions and rehearsals. While I was there, they were linked up with the Youth American Grand Prix for ballet – so managed to find me tickets at the Lincoln Center for a gala performance featuring dancers from the Mariinsky, Bolshoi, Australian and Tokyo Ballets. Not easy to get in to, as you might imagine. This is another Quin speciality and rather than a mere concierge, they have an attaché who not only finds you tickets and reservations but can organise a private shopping experience or find you a personal trainer. Indeed, if you stay in one of the “preferred” suites or the penthouse, you can get a session with one for free. Alternatively, you could have an in-room spa treatment for two, or a $300 gift card for shopping or dining. Little extras are always nice…
So back to that 17th floor experience. This floor has only just opened and it has that rare NYC commodity – private outdoor space. All of the five rooms open on to a wrap-around terrace that has views of the exuberant detailed decoration of the city’s late nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings. There are caryatids with baskets of fruit, gargoyles and roaring lions, turrets and wreaths, copper roofs and gold leaf. From the ground, you would never guess that this world existed with its views of Central Park bursting into green leaf and the traffic a mere subdued hum below. You can reserve the whole floor for a party – the hotel will be happy to arrange your al fresco evening on the terrace.
Above even this is the penthouse. It features a massive open plan sitting room with a kitchen and study, bathrooms and bedrooms and so many terraces I lost count. In all, it’s 1900 sq ft and it must be one of the most coveted spaces in NYC, a serene haven with the world’s most exciting city on its doorstep. Could this be the quintessence of happiness?
The Quin Hotel. 101 West 57th St at Sixth Avenue. +1 212 245 7846. For more information, visit www.theQuinhotel.com.