Gertrude Stein wrote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.”
We could infer that a hotel is a hotel is a hotel when chain hotels seem a little too consistent. If you are browsing through your smartphone photos, you may find yourself asking, “What city was this again?”
Ian Schrager and Marriott International conceived Edition Hotels to be different. Lest you think that the word Marriott screams “predictable,” this brand is designed for lovers of novelty. Even though they share the same umbrella, the Edition Hotels are treated like standalone buildings in a sea of accommodations.
The outside of the New York Edition — Photo courtesy of The New York Edition
With Edition properties sprinkled throughout the world (in Istanbul, London and Miami), it was time for New York to get in on the luxurious action. They couldn’t have chosen better real estate, with a location directly across from the fancy schmancy Madison Square Park.
If the location looks familiar to you, then you know your New York geography well. It was originally built in 1909 as the headquarters for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The 41-story clock tower is recognizable at first glance.
You have to admire the creativity. Carving a hotel out of a clock tower is not something that's done every day, even in New York.
The Lobby bar with its carefully disorganized bottles — Photo courtesy of The New York Edition
When checking in, the amiable front desk will recommend making reservations at the aptly named “Clocktower” which is helmed by Executive Chef Jason Atherton. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can mix high- and lowbrow food, such as long island duck with sauce l’orange (much fancier than orange sauce) followed by a chocolate peanut butter cup.
If you prefer to stay more connected to the ground, the Lobby Bar is on the first floor and still has divine views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Cocktails can also be enjoyed at the Gold Bar, which is surrounded by hundreds of photographs hung in gilt frames.
They really mean it when they say “gold bar” too. It isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s style, but rather a horseshoe-shaped bar made out of solid 24-karat gold leaf. What else would you expect from Madison Avenue?
The blue-hued Clocktower restaurant which leads to the Gold Bar – you'll get really good at your colors. — Photo courtesy of The New York Edition
Even going to your room is a delight, unless you have been in New York long enough to know that acting impressed is congruent with admitting that you are uncool.
We'll risk it because the Edition has taught us that elevator buttons are so 2015. Their elevators require your keycard to be read by a screen. The elevator will then take you directly to your floor, saving you from parents who think that their children’s tendency to press all the elevator buttons is so adorable.
The warm muted tones of the room are inviting — Photo courtesy of The New York Edition
273 rooms and suites each have giant stained doors, previewing the high standard of privacy. Oak floors and dark wood paneled foyers frost the rooms, which come with king beds and a faux fur throw artfully askew atop the bed. The throw does its best to make you feel comfortable in a room so beautiful; you might be tempted to tiptoe around.
Natural stone bathrooms have enclosed rainforest showers and the robes deviate from the stiff hotel robes of yore. The plushly lined hooded robes make it very tempting indeed to ignore the bells and whistles of the city and retreat.
Whether you're introverted in your robe or extroverted on Madison Avenue, the New York Edition is a fine place to park in between bouts of corresponding with the city. It's futuristic yet historical, calming yet well equipped. The clock tower encourages you to enjoy every single sweet minute.