If multiculturalism is New York’s raison d’être then Hôtel Americano is a fine example. Designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten and with interiors by Frenchman Arnaud Montigny, the 56-room property effortlessly fuses Japanese minimalism with New York cool to create a destination in its own right.
WORDS Aranya Phookan | PHOTOGRAPHY Undine Prohl
Hôtel Americano knows how to make a first impression. The building’s metallic mesh exterior looks more like an installation – a natural fit within the artsy territory of Chelsea. Inside, the rooms are stripped down and sleek like Japanese ryokan, but injected with modernist touches courtesy of the Kengo Kuma platform beds, Zanotta bean bags and iPads loaded with insider tips to Manhattan. Some of the rooms also feature marbled soaking tubs to complete the full ryokan experience – no prize for guessing which rooms are our top choice!
Once a stretch with an international reputation for its nightlife, this part of Chelsea is today pretty tame. But it would be an insult to the memory of 27th Street if Hôtel Americano didn’t at least try to bring back some of the past glory of the Bungalow 8 and B.E.D. days. Cue the hotel’s basement bars: El Privado, an intimate lounge with a circular fireplace and a metallic wall of discs; and Bar Americano, a futuristic yet moody bar that looks like it could be James Bond’s own private den.
Hôtel Americano’s globally-inspired approach continues through its dining options, fusing French and Latino cuisine at its eponymous brasserie. Don’t leave without trying the stars of the menu: the achiote-spiced pork chop and mushroom empanadas with boursin cheese. Serving Mediterranean cuisine, La Piscine on the rooftop is another standout offering that also doubles as a people-watching spot: word is that many a celebrity can be seen found lounging by its pool.
Americano is perched a few feet away from the High Line, an elevated leafy promenade that has become a Manhattan icon. Stroll down to the Meatpacking District and shop at international fashion houses or high-end local boutiques; pop into Milk Studios and Gallery, the best-known art gallery in the area; or borrow a bicycle from the hotel and ride down the Hudson river. As any visitor to New York knows, there’s no shortage of places, people and happenings to explore and this is one of our favourite spots in the city to do so.
New York has hotels that are a dime a dozen but what sets Hôtel Americano apart is its celebration of cultures from around the world. Sleep on a Japanese low-bed, sip on a Mexican mezcal and dig into a coq au vin with a Latin flair – where else can you experience three cultures all from the comfort of your hotel?