Ian Schrager’s New York Creations

The New York City Hotel Down Low presented by Kate

As a compliment to Gil’s article on the Gramercy Park Hotel, I provide my personal review of Ian Schrager’s other hotels in New York City.

The Morgans Hotel was opened in 1984 by Ian Schrager and his late business partner, Steve Rubell. It was the first introduction of the “boutique hotel�? that would later catch on worldwide.

Today, the Morgans Hotel lacks that grandeur it had over two decades ago. The lobby is rather small and unimpressive, and the garish black-and-white checkered floor blinds the eyes as you enter the building. Even the hallway décor is dinky and needs serious renovations.

The guestrooms are not much better. While the size of the rooms are comfortable (by Manhattan hotel standards), the furnishings are quite bland. Unfortunately, the bathrooms are unbelievably tiny and carry the same blinding black-and-white checkered color scheme.

It gets worse. The hotel has the poorest sound insulation I’ve ever experienced. For someone who seeks privacy, this is not the place to be.

The only possibly redeeming quality is that the hotel is adjoined by the restaurant Asia de Cuba, though the venue has lost much of its appeal among New Yorkers since it first opened.

I was excited to stay at the Hudson Hotel as I had enjoyed having drinks in the trendy lobby bar very much and was curious to check out the guestrooms. Unfortunately, my excitement ends there.

The Hudson Hotel has, literally, the smallest guestrooms I have ever seen. Ever. There is only room for a bed and nothing else. I could walk from one end of the room to the other within three steps, if only the bed were not blocking my path! The temperature in the room was unbearably freezing, and there were two disturbing lamps covered with an eyeball design. Overall, the room reminded me of a creepy dormitory. It was extremely depressing.

The lobby bar is still great and garners a fun crowd. My advice: just go hang out there. Don’t ever stay overnight.

The Royalton Hotel is the only one of the three I would personally endorse.

Dark, seductive color overtones greet you as you enter the lobby. There is also a nice lounge and restaurant adjacent to the lobby.

The rooms are calming and minimalist in decoration. Simple is perhaps the best way to describe each room. The furnishings are modern and comfortable, though not necessarily very luxurious. But the bathroom is quite impressive — each bathroom has a striking granite floor, modern accouterments, and a large soaking tub to relax in.

My favorite perk about this hotel is that some guestrooms have working fireplaces. That’s quite a rarity in Manhattan. It makes for very cozy nights in the wintertime.

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  1. Great post Kate. Love the Hudson Bar…especially the patio.

    Wasn’t a SATC filmed there?

  2. Kate:
    I’ve stayed in many hotel rooms in NY that were no bigger than my walk-in closet at home or the size of a king-sized bed. The Barclay comes to mind.

    There’s an old joke by Henny Youngman: “My hotel room was small. How small? Well, I put the key in the lock and broke a window.”


  3. I’ve been in a room the size of a closet at the Waldorf-Astoria — with a burning mini-bar to boot (had to pull the plug and call for help at 2am!). But I’ve also been given places in the W-A that are bigger than my apartment by three…

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