Tried & Tested

Hotel review: AC Hotel New York Downtown

27 May 2019 by Tom Otley
AC Hotel Downtown New York Front_Desk

Background

One of two AC Hotels in New York (the other is in Times Square), this one opened in October 2018. AC Hotels are select service hotels, which  means they don’t have a concierge or 24-hour room service. Many, though, offer additional services, and this hotel has a bar, a lounge for relaxing and working in, a breakfast area, a good fitness centre and even a meeting room.

AC Hotel Downtown New YorkHotel-entrance

What’s it like?

It is a new building, specifically a 336-foot-tall tower with 33-storeys. Designed by Peter Poon Architects, it has an entrance on Maiden Lane. For the first few storeys it is fairly nondescript in terms of exterior, but look up and you’ll see how the window and the facade have been cleverly alternated to allow the maximum number of rooms to have views of the East River. It also gives a pleasant rippled look to the building’s profile.

Next door is an extremely thin and taller (670 feet) sky scraper, the Seaport Residences – a modern light house, as it is being described for those buying off plan on one of its 57 storeys. The same builders are being used for this, hence the clever design to maximise views for hotel guests.

AC Hotels Downtown New York Lobby art

There is some lovely art in the hotel. The Personages sculpture in the lobby is in mixed media using found cardboard, polyurethane, etc, and is by Ann Weber, intended to mimic the tall vertical buildings that (will) surround the hotel. Service was quick at check-in and I was lucky since my room was ready at 1300, which I really appreciated since I’d just flown in from Frankfurt.

AC Hotels Downtown New York AC-Shop

There are three very swift lifts which didn’t cause any irritating waits even when going to the upper floors. In reception there is an AC Store selling some snacks and some local chocolate (Raaka from Brooklyn) and candles – though you can’t burn them in your room here, thank goodness.

Staff are very helpful, and offered advice on everything from restaurants and bars to the quickest and most affordable ways to get to Newark for a morning flight.

View-from-the-sixth-floor AC Hotel Downtown

Where is it?

Next to the Seaport Historic District, but also the Financial District of Downtown. Fulton St station is around a ten-minute walk away and you can walk to the World Trade Centre in about 15 minutes. There are loads of new bars and restaurants. JFK airport is about a 40-minute drive away, though I took the Air Train and then the A train, and got there in about 75 minutes, and for only $7.50.

AC-Hotel-Downtown-New-York-King_Standard_1906

Rooms

There are 274 hotel rooms, roughly around ten per floor, right the way up to the 30th storey (some floors are for back office functions). There are some rooms on the sixth floor with balconies, though these haven’t been opened yet. Otherwise room categories are 76 double double rooms (that’s what they call them and they do have two double beds in them) and 198 King rooms. They are a good size – 22 sqm – and have laminate floors, material coverings to the walls in a sort of arty brown, and a work desk with two power points and two USB points. There are also plenty of plugs / powerpoints including on both sides of the bed in my King room. Wifi is super fast and free.

The shower had a choice of rain shower and power shower, the latter definitely was powerful since when I turned it on it hit me in the face and drove me out of the bathroom. I fought bravely back though lost one towel to terminal dampness in the battle.

There are Korres amenities from Greece in the rooms and large 50-inch flatscreen TVs in the rooms which have the function of allowing you to stream your own content from your device through them – useful if you have Netflix or simply want to watch YouTube on it.  The rooms have a coffee machine (you can make tea with it as well), and an empty fridge (two small bottles of water are provided). There’s a ‘hydration station’ on both floor 2 and in the basement (called The Cellar here) where you can fill up your own bottles.

AC-Hotels-Lounge New York downtown

Food and drink

The second floor AC Lounge serves as both a lounge in the afternoon and a bar in the evening, and it’s where you get the buffet breakfast in the morning – which is cold, but with two hot egg dishes on offer. It also has Spanish tapas, a choice of quiche / tarts and some cheeses, breads and meats. The artwork of colourful threads here is by Rachel Weiss and is called Tilted Plane, recalling the tall buildings and how they change colour during the day. There is a library area to one side and the use of a Apple computer with printer for boarding passes, etc.

Business facilities

There is a small boardroom style meeting room on the basement floor which would seat 10-12.

Leisure facilities

There’s a fitness centre on the basement floor with a good selection of equipment.

Verdict

This is a great hotel in a good location for the Financial District and also Downtown. Select service it may be, but I found the staff helpful and didn’t miss the concierge or 24 hour room service.

Fact Box

  • Best for A modern hotel with good sized rooms close to the Financial and Seaport Districts
  • Don’t miss Using the gym in the morning – it’s a great size, and is the perfect place to warm up before a morning run along the East River
  • Contact AC Hotel New York Downtown, 151 Maiden Lane, New York City, New York 10038; tel: +1 212-742-1900; marriott.com
AC Hotel New York Downtown
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