Tried & Tested

Hotel check: 1 Hotel Central Park

1 Apr 2016 by Jenny Southan

BACKGROUND

1 Hotels is an innovative “eco luxury” brand launched last year – so far it has one property in Miami and one in New York (a second will open by the end of the year, in Brooklyn). The Central Park hotel was unveiled last August.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The entire lower portion of this 18-storey former office building has a “living green façade”, and stepping inside, the “biophilic” theme continues. I instantly warmed to the interiors, which feature air plants (which don’t require soil to survive), lifts clad in tree bark, window seats in every bedroom, and showers with five-minute sand timers.

The colours are muted and earthy, with a pleasing mix of textures and tones. Chairs are draped in soft sheepskins and the reclaimed wood used in the bathrooms and bedrooms is branded with its type and origin. The staff are very welcoming, without the formality you get at more traditional five-star hotels.

WHERE IS IT?

On the corner of Avenue of the Americas and West 58th Street, a two-minute walk from Central Park. Available on a first-come, first-served basis is an electric Tesla car for free rides within a 15-block radius.

ROOM FACILITIES

The company sets out to create a place to stay that is at once modern and functional but also environmentally sensitive. It’s high-tech and paperless, tap water is triple-filtered, there are recycling boxes for clothes, dispensers of high-quality shower gel and shampoo, organic cotton sheets, supremely comfy hemp-blended Keetsa mattresses, minibars stocked with agave soda and coconut water, and yoga mats.

Newspapers are available in digital format via Press Reader, and the air conditioning, lighting and 47-inch Samsung TV can be controlled by Nexus smartphone. Room service can also be ordered via the device – select your meal and it will be left outside your door in a brown paper bag. Wifi is free.

There are 229 rooms and suites across ten categories – entry-level Alcove Queens start from 20 sqm, going up to 111 sqm for the Greenhouse suite. My City King room looked on to skyscrapers but also offered a glimpse of Central Park. The Breccia Capraia marble bathroom had a walk-in shower.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Jams restaurant and bar is a cavernous, convivial space serving modern Californian cuisine. There being no buffet, I ordered an à la carte breakfast of Mexican-inspired chilaquiles – tortilla chips in a rich tomato salsa roja with fried eggs, guacamole and queso fresco. It was an enormous portion, so good value for US$17.

MEETING FACILITIES

There is a chunky timber communal table on the second floor, as well as two iPad terminals. The Great Lawn room, for up to 75 delegates, features exposed brickwork and city views. There are also two offices seating eight in each.

LEISURE FACILITIES

The smart gym overlooks the street and has Peloton bikes, weights, medicine balls and Freemotion running and cross-trainer machines. Otherwise, just head for Central Park.

VERDICT  Apart from the fact that this is a trendsetting eco-luxury property with gorgeous interior design, it really is an excellent business hotel. Everything is set up for convenience, peace and wellbeing, with environments you feel happy to spend time working in. Highly recommended. PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in May started from US$552 for an Alcove Queen room.

CONTACT 1,414 Avenue of the Americas; tel +1 212 703 2001; 1hotels.com

Jenny Southan

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