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The Chatwal, one of New York’s most luxurious boutique hotels

Housed within the heritage Stanford-White designed building at 130 West 44th Street, originally opened in 1905 as home to the prestigious Lambs, America’s first professional theatrical club, The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, has established itself since opening in 2010 as one of New York’s finest luxury boutique hotels, redefing luxury hospitality standards.

Passionate hotelier Joel Freyberg has conceived the revival of the hotel inspired by the essence of travel, ”l’art du voyage” being re-interpreted in every single detail – from bespoke furnishings resembling travel trunks using the finest materials to 21st century facilities such as remote panel controlled lighting, curtains, DND and temperature.

You will love the original private bar space, which is recreated in a tall trunk-like wardrobe, with a selection of magazines and books placed on the door and amenities on the inside shelves such as custom Chatwal playing cards and backgammon set, as well as a Chatwal bespoke French-made candle, which complement the bespoke cocktail set and a wide selection of drinks.

The glamour and refinement of the 1930s and 1940s is reflected in the exquisite Art Deco elements of the public spaces, especially the lobby and the Lamb’s Club (both restaurant and bar), which lend an air of warmth and cozyness. Whether at breakfast or lunch, I loved the restaurant setting and its imposing (working) fireplace, not to mention the fresh flower settings which carefully matched the colour palette of furnishings and decor.

The interior design of rooms and suites is dominated by warm shades of brown, beige and grey, French architect and designer Thierry Despont being in charge of every detail. The plush feel of the rooms is in perfect contrast with the dramatic style of the bathrooms dominated by black marble, stainless steel elements such as a double sink, an oversized raindrop shower and a mirror wall with an enclosed 19-inch Tv.

One of the highlights of the rooms is the bed, which is made up of a custom hand-made Shifman mattress with a set of 400-thread count Frette linen, down comforters and a comprehensive menu of pillows.  Fine suede-covered walls, leather-wrapped double closets and heavy curtains instill a unique residential feel. My room, a Junior Suite of over 600 sqf featured a sitting area with a second 42 inch flat Tv, a large sofa, a coffee table and a working desk which turns into a small boudoir upon lifting its upper side – yet another subtle theatrical reference.

Among the ‘standard’ services offered by the hotel are:  butler service provided to all guests, 24-hour room service by celebrated Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, complimentary high-speed wi-fi internet throughout the entire hotel, as well as laptops, iPads and preprogrammed iPods for complimentary use.

Despite its location which would suggest a predominantly leisure clientele, I was pleased to discover at The Chatwal a great mix of patrons, from hotel guests (leisure and corporate) to locals who would frequent for all day dining as well as drinks in the Bar. Expect to run into politicians and corporate executives from the most diverse fields from banking to publishing.

Another gem of the hotel is the Spa, a generous space of over 2,500 sqf with three fully equipped treatment rooms, operated by Red Door Spas. Beauty legend, Cornelia Zicu and SVP of Red Door Spas has chosen The Chatwal to provide, exclusively, once a week, her much coveted facial treatment.

The epitomy of luxury and a symbol of the art of travel is the limited edition of classic pieces of luggage created for The Chatwal by T. Anthony, the historic luxury luggage maker on Park Avenue, with the active participation of Joel Freyberg.  The limited edition collection includes five classic pieces of luggage made in deep red canvas with hard covered cases trimmed in rich brown leather and polished nickel hardware. The collection also includes two suitcases for clothing and shoes, a hatbox, jewelry case and make-up case.

Oliver Petcu in New York

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