Four Seasons joins lower NYC revival

NEW YORK—Four Seasons recently opened up a new property downtown, providing its guests with opportunities to immerse themselves in what many are calling a revival of an area of the city that is currently undergoing transformation and development growth.

“This is a very exciting time to be part of the rebirth of Downtown New York City,” said Michael Law, director of marketing at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. “Lower Manhattan has seen tremendous growth and development, an influx of dining, culture and luxury shopping. New business sectors are emerging, as well as many residences. All of this activity has created a sought-after destination and a new Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect fit.”

Four Seasons rises above the skyline of lower Manhattan.

With 189 guestrooms and suites, the hotel occupies the bottom third of 30 Park Pl., an 82-story, mixed-use tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, a Manhattan-based firm of architects and interior designers. Developed by Silverstein Properties, the 926-ft.-tall building also includes 157 condominium apartments, ranging from one to six bedrooms. The Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has a separate entrance on Barclay St.

“It’s an integral part of a neighborhood reborn,” said Silverstein Properties chairman Larry Silverstein at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the property in October. “All around us, Downtown has become a model of what is best and most exciting about New York.”

Just a block from the World Trade Center, the hotel has four floors of lobbies and lounges, as well as ballrooms, meeting facilities, a spa, fitness center and pool, and Wolfgang Puck’s Cut restaurant and bar, which has a direct entrance at 99 Church St.

“Four Seasons’ decision years ago to join us in the transformation of Downtown was a huge sign of change—and an important vote of confidence in Downtown’s historic role as a world-class business district,” Silverstein said.

That history can be seen in neighboring landmarks like the Woolworth Building, designed by architect Cass Gilbert between 1910 and 1912. The property, which holds the record of being the tallest building in the world from 1913-1930, remains one of the tallest buildings in the city—and the United States.

“We offer proximity to lower Manhattan’s business district, which is only a short walk away, but also the ability to hop from neighborhood to neighborhood, where SoHo, West Village, Meatpacking and, of course, Tribeca are at your doorstep. You will also find some of the best shopping, dining and culture right along the water if you turn right or left when leaving the hotel. Within minutes, you’ll be by the Seaport District or The North Cove Marina. The tip of the island overlooking the Statue of Liberty is another nice place to see the river and take in the sights,” said Law.

Local relevance is always important to all aspects of a hotel—but especially the design. With offices in Lower Manhattan, Yabu Pushelberg, which designed the interiors of the hotel, rooms included, is keenly aware of local sensibilities. The international design firm took a “modern and richly layered” approach to the property, according to the firm’s design statement for the hotel. The standard guestroom in the hotel contains layers of architectural elements and bespoke finishes, in an attempt to “provide a warm, residential quality.”

Included in the guestrooms are a custom leather-like headboard; bedside tables topped with a custom-designed, brushed-bronze lamp on one side of the bed and a wall sconce on the other side; and opposite the bed, a millwork panel standing directly behind an asymmetric cantilevered desk in dark wood with bronze accents. Large tiles on the bathroom floor complement mosaic wall tiles in squares and rectangles. A continuous slab sits atop the custom vanity.

Guestrooms, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, feature neutral tones accented by soft colors.

Rooms have a freestanding pantry and minibar. Layered over cream-colored roman shades, soft powder-blue or lavender linen drapery adds a bit of color to each room. Also in the room, an  L-shaped sofa is paired with a leather chair and small, round table.

The hotel’s main-level lobby, created through the layering of architectural elements, spotlights rectilinear, hand-brushed bronze light fixtures, “mimicking lines repeated in custom carpets and millwork details.” Around the perimeter are floor-to-ceiling screens of French woven metal-mesh. Furnishings, custom rugs and accessories highlight “muted jewel tones [that]soften the overall space.”

The hotel’s main level lobby includes a coffee bar and several lounge areas for leisure. Yabu Pushelberg designed the reception desk in the social space by horizontally layering stone planes in an asymmetrical way, according to the design firm.

“The lobby of the Four Seasons New York Downtown is a relatively long, shallow space—its unique proportions posed a design challenge but, ultimately, led to a compelling plan that serves the hotel and guests well,” Glenn Pushelberg told Hotel Business. “By diverting from the typical symmetrical plan and classical geometry characteristic of many Four Season properties, the lobby overall has a distinct energy intimacy and warmth unique to this property.”

Diverging from the grand staircase, the ballroom, with wood-paneled walls and meeting rooms featuring rectilinear millwork and gold wall coverings, awaits guests on the second floor of the hotel.

Several amenities are situated on the third floor of the property, including the spa, pool and gym. Surrounded by white wood walls and a combination of charcoal-colored European oak and travertine floors, the Spa at Four Seasons—which includes seven total treatment rooms, one couple’s spa suite and one outdoor terrace and sun deck—offers massages, luxury skin care, skin care, body rituals and nail care.

Featuring the layering of stone-clad columns, wood screens and a custom-scratched plaster wall-finish, the 75-ft.-long, 4-ft.-deep indoor lap pool, which is heated and divided into three lanes, is open year-round.

The 6,059-sq.-ft. gym offers guests New York-style workouts, from TRX to cardio and weights. The hotel also provides personal coaches for guests looking to get the most out of training. A steam room is also available, as well as a studio for yoga or stretching.

To meet the needs of business travelers, the hotel offers a variety of business amenities and services 24 hours a day: airline reservation service, computers on request, international newspapers, secretarial service, translation and interpretation service, and wired or wireless internet access in meeting rooms.

For guests traveling with children, the property provides children’s amenities and babysitting services. Parents can request items to childproof guestrooms; cribs at no extra charge; complimentary use of games, books, playing cards, coloring books and more; and complimentary bottles, diapers, wipes, lotion, etc.

The hotel is currently staffed with more than 150 employees, and the property is seeking to add several positions. “Opening late in the year followed by a quiet first quarter, we are ensuring we add those positions as business levels dictate as we expect some significant fluctuation in the months ahead,” Law said. “We are still seeking housekeepers, engineers and some front-of-the-house staff.”

He added, “We have built a brand around curating every guest experience to what that guest desires. Everyone travels for different reasons and everyone has a different expectation of their travel experience. Our goal is to provide anticipatory guest experiences so that our guests leave us with an enhanced appreciation of the brand and a desire to return to Four Seasons.” HB

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