It may not be the most romantic sounding neighborhood in New York City, but the Meatpacking District on Manhattan’s West Side is a trendy treasure trove of dreamy pockets for couples visiting the Big Apple. A twenty square block area flanked by the Chelsea Market and the historic Dutch-named Gansevoort Street, the area was originally residential when people moved there in the 1820s to escape the epidemics in what was then the main part of New York.
In 1884, New York named two acres of land after General Peter Gansevoort, a Revolutionary War hero and grandfather of Herman Melville. Today, alongside the old meatpacking plants, architects, artists and photographers create in lofts, city slickers shop till they drop in funky boutiques like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Apple, dine in top-notch eateries like Spice Market, Tanuki Tavern and the Diner and lovebirds from around the globe toast the New York state of mind from the rooftop of the Hotel Gansevoort.
Rooms with a View
There are hundreds of hotels in New York but a very few have a lively rooftop with a bar that serves the best California rolls this side of Los Angeles, landscaped garden, heated swimming pool with a unique music and light system and picture-perfect views of the city’s blockbuster vistas. “Rooftops are the most underutilized real estate in the city;” said Stephen Jacobs, Hotel Gansevoort architect, “to that end, the Gansevoort rooftop is its signature feature.”
With an architectural nod to the neighborhoods history, Hotel Gansevoort is striking with zinc-colored metal panels, balconies and bay windows. The entrance on Ninth Avenue is easy to spot with tall glass columns changing in an array of colors. Rooms including twenty corner suites and a deluxe penthouse boast the necessary amenities like gratis high-speed Wi-fi, fully-stocked mini-bar and Ipod docking stations so couples can groove to their own brand of music. Swish and swank with light colors, leather and sheets of translucent glass instead of conventional doors, the bathrooms are works of art with marble, ceramic and a deep stainless steel sink.
“Our hotel inspires romance,” smiles Concierge Lorenzo Williams from his post in the lobby, “we’ve had guests propose marriage on the rooftop and then seal the deal with our twenty-four hour room service.” Honeymoon packages include the clever “Mr. and Mrs. G” with an uber-comfy room, bottle of bubbly, fresh roses, poolside cocktails, treatments in the Spa and a few added gifts for the newlyweds. “We encourage our honeymooners to keep the mood alive while strolling on the cobblestone streets right in front of our hotel,” Concierge Lorenzo says, “There is something about history that inspires the future.” Leaving no detail unturned, the Concierge adds “I’ve taken calls from future grooms prior to arrival asking us to get the room ready with rose petals and champagne.”
For the ultimate New York City chill-out, a massage in the Exhale spa, with locations also in Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Boston and Turks and Caicos, is divinely decadent with a “Four-Handed Fusion” treatment where two therapists work wonders on tired bodies. Music yoga classes and a variety of retreat packages are offered to guests wanting the ultimate relaxation experience.
A Nibble and a Nosh
The architecturally-pleasing lobby extends outside to a Parisian style sidewalk café where people-watching is primo. Carte Blanche pours La Colombe coffee, serves breakfast Paninis and a delectable brunch until 4 pm. The Tanuki Tavern with bamboo floors and mandarin orange paper lanterns tempts with a stellar menu of sakes and cocktails. Chef Kazu Hashimoto is saluted for his chicken meatballs in rice crust and scallops wrapped in Kurobuta pork bacon. And when the sun sets over the city, the aptly-named Provocateur is a cafe and nightclub with admittance by guest list only. Ask nicely and Concierge Lorenzo will make the arrangements.
More Rooms with Views
New in the Gansevoort Hotel Group’s portfolio and in addition to the pampered property in Turks & Caicos, Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, at Park Avenue South and 29th Street, is now open at with 249 rooms and suites, a Lacoste boutique, tri-level rooftop complex, Ristorante Asellina Italian trattoria and an impressive arrangement with Porsche that means hotel guests can enjoy complimentary in-town car service in a 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S. “We are thrilled to unveil Gansevoort Park Avenue as the city’s most comprehensive urban resort,” said Michael Achenbaum, president, Gansevoort Hotel Group. “Through groundbreaking partnerships with leading brands in the restaurant, beauty, and fashion industries, the hotel provides a one-of-a-kind experience for guests and an exciting new addition to Manhattan’s culinary and nightlife scene.”
Get in Touch
For hotel reservations, click or call 877-426-7386 or www.hotelgansevoort.com .
For information about a weekend in New York, click www.nycgo.com.
For information on the Meatpacking district, click www.meatpacking-district.com.
Make a Date
April 20 – May 1: Tribeca Film Festival
The festival screens more than a hundred films from around the world and offers free outdoor “drive-in” screenings—no car necessary. Visit www.tribecafilm.com.
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival
Each year on Easter the best of the bonnets are showcased along Fifth Avenue as New Yorkers celebrate the holiday by roaming the streets in their most festive spring gear. The parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, starting at 49th Street, but the best place to watch the procession is from the area around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Visit www.nycgo.com.