New York's Newest Designer Hotel: The Surrey

The SurreyTowering above the museums, upscale boutiques and funky international eateries is New York’s latest kid in town–an ode to beaux-arts design with an über-twist. The Surrey’s rooms seep into one another, sharing a wall of windows and an unparalleled view of Central Park’s sweeping vistas. This high-concept gem captures the spirit of the 20s and 30s. Low on visibility and high on street credibility, The Surrey is a marriage of post millennium urban ambition with the sensibilities of classical New York style.

The impeccable interior design is attributed to Ms. Lauren Rottet, whose approach is ruled by the modernist ethic honed during her years at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Eschewing the cookie cutter boutique hotel design that’s become commonplace, Ms. Rottet offers just the right touch of individual detail and the understated elegance of a Beaux-Arts-designed residential townhouse.

The decor is classic and elegant contrasted with contemporary twists like the lobby’s signature Oriental rug made out of handcrafted mosaic tile and a check-in desk made of polished nickel and smooth-skinned leather. The roaring 20s elements such as Bardiglio gray marble floors, French limestone archways, and a gorgeous skylight which bathes the lobby in natural light are accentuated with contemporary art from photographer Jenny Holzer, interactive artist William Kentridge, and others. London artist Jimmie Martin’s bold, ballsy furniture includes a graffitied armoire filled with goodies for guests.

H0Q40L0PThe large guest rooms (109 salons and suites), laid out with the precision of a ship’s cabin, are rich with utterly seductive luxury touches. Each piece of furniture is individually designed, fabrics are custom-made, and everything in the rooms is sparked with particular refinements, like white marble baths, soaking tubs and luminous wall candles. The ingenious design transforms a simple room into an idyllic slumber space where everything slots into place and no space is unexploited. Big Duxiana beds, flowing curtains, crisp white linen, 32″ LCD TVs, Denon iPod docking stations, huge showerheads, Pratesi robes, Sferra bedding, and Laura Tonnato bath amenities are just a few of the luxurious touches.

The Spa ticks all the requisite therapy boxes, while Café Boulud, under the stewardship of the widely worshipped Daniel Boulud, is a bright, breezy French restaurant serving up classic dishes with the joi de vivre of Parisian café society. Awarded a Michelin star, the restaurant is also the original home of Daniel Boulud’s first NYC dinery. For the bar crowd, Bar Pleiades, designed in the spirit of Coco Chanel, is a sea of shimmering mirrors and French doors, dotted with white shark skin seats and Art Deco walls. There is also a stunning rooftop garden area that puts you in a different stratosphere to the bustling streets below.

The Surrey Hotel is scheduled to open mid-October (20 E. 76th between Madison and Fifth Ave). Tel: 212-288-3700.

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