Reliable minimalist luxury: the W strikes again.
The W chain brings its nouveau-Hollywood style to New York with this downtown property that straddles the East Village and Gramercy Park. Occupying the former 1911 Beaux-Arts Guardian Life building, it offers recreation and nightlife, beginning with a cozy and hip underground bar and eclectic music scene. W's signature Living Room (aka the lobby) features sixteen-foot arched windows overlooking Union Square and topiary walls filled with lush plants. The front desk is on a grass lawn with granite stepping stones. Chef David Nichols uses house restaurant Irvington (Mediterranean-influenced New American cuisine) to showcase seasonal ingredients from the neighboring Union Square Greenmarket. In the rooms you'll find all the usual W luxuries: dreamy beds with goose-down duvets, Aveda bath products, CD players with CD libraries and work stations with high-speed connectivity. Wondering what the W stands for? Try warm, witty and wonderful. If you're post-50, you may not agree, but the Gen-X-Y-and-Z crowd certainly does.