HÔTEL AMERICANO (518 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001, USA)

New York City is in an ever-evolving, constant state of gentrification with dilapidated buildings crumbling and new ones springing up in their place. Hôtel Americano’s parking-garage-turned-boutique-hotel follows suit. The beautiful, new, 10-story boutique hotel in Chelsea is the creation of Grupo Habita, a talented team of hoteliers who recently completed their first American establishment. M18, Grupo’s impressive public relations team, took us on a private tour of the hotel months back prior to completion, and we have to say, we were impressed. Mexican architect Enrique Norten transformed the façade of the former parking garage into an impressive glass structure incased in metal mesh, capturing the industrial zeitgeist of the neighborhood. An exterior-facing, glass-encased elevator shuttles guests between the street-level restaurant and rooftop terrace. After walking through the massive doors we were welcomed not by a hotel lobby, but instead by a tastefully, minimalistic concrete cafe. The massive marble bar, unique modern furniture and imaginative light fixtures set the stage for the rest of the hotel experience Peeking through the glass near the back of the hotel is an extension to the café – an elevated terrace – the perfect place to sip a latte under an enormously lush, plant-packed, living wall. The fantastic M18 publicist, Michael Tavani – our personal tour guide for the day, led us up to the rooftop where we were wowed with the architectural elements, pool and the expansive view of the Hudson River. The rooftop restaurant and bar La Piscine is the perfect locale for after work libations, featuring Mediterranean fare in the summer and transitioning to an Argentinian menu in the winter. Beyond the rooftop restaurant is a cozy pool that doubles as a Jacuzzi during colder seasons. To furnish the 56 guest rooms and suites Grupo enlisted Paris-based interior designer Arnaud Montigny, famous for his work on the Paris shop, Colette. Montigny took a warm and simplistic approach to the suites, using woods, white swashes and fireplaces to create a comfortable, yet minimalistic atmosphere. The low, platform beds are placed inside large wooden cubbies creating an experience exclusive to the Hotel Americano. Tucked under it all, hidden in Americano’s basement is the bar El Privado. The design team continued the brick theme on the walls but glammed it up with a gold ceiling. The venue has slight futuristic characteristics with its curved walls and uber modern white furniture. After visiting the hotel it is clear that Grupo understands hospitality, and that they plan on creating a sanctuary for both out-of-towners and locals alike.