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Hotel Americano Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
518 West 27th Street New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

How cool is the Hôtel Americano? We'll tell you how cool: the rooms have a harmonica in the snack tray. That's how cool. Details like this are why this property is not only one of our favourite design hotels in the city, but also why the Americano is already amongst the hottest places to be in Chelsea. Its architecture and design is beautiful in its simplicity, the rooms are spacious and well-appointed and both the restaurant and bar scenes are buzzing everyday of the week. Add to that a location in trendy Chelsea and you've got yourself the perfect place to stay on your next short trip to the city if you're a couple that doesn't fancy being based in the touristy Midtown area.

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    • Hotel Americano

      Hôtel Americano   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Americano

      Hôtel Americano   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 4.61 /10

    Situated on W27th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, the hotel is on the fringes of the Chelsea district, famous for its galleries, independent shops and modish restaurants and bars. One of the city's most popular attractions, the High Line, runs through the district while the well-known Chelsea Market is a 15-minute walk away. At the edge of the Hudson is Chelsea Piers, a huge sports complex with facilities to practice pretty much any sport you can think of. Other areas within walking distance are the Meatpacking District and the West Village to the south and Hell's Kitchen and the Garment District to the north. The closest subway stations are about a 10- to 15-minute walk away however the lines available only go north to south so you'll have to change somewhere if you need to head east. JFK is 19 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 15.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    The room categories at the Americano are as easy as ABC, A being the uptown queen rooms, B being the downtown king rooms and C being the uptown studios. The first two are pretty much identical aside from the view and the size. The queen rooms have a view of the city, while the king rooms look out to the back and can't boast as nicer vistas. The rooms, which have concrete floors and white washed walls, are divided into two parts with a low wooden platform at one end with the bed and what could be described as the living space taking up the other half. The well dressed bed is placed at the foot of the floor-to-ceiling windows and either side are the switches for the electric blinds and wall and hanging lamps which give the room a warm feel. Also on the wall is the flatscreen television which twists round to face you while in bed and an old style telephone within arm's reach of the bed. On the metal shelf-cum-desk (which is so packed with stuff there isn't really room to put down your own items or do any work) are loads of goodies which certainly put a smile on our face. First is the iPad which serves as a directory, remote control and music player. Second is the Joe Columbo-designed Alessi alarm clock. Third is the Revel in New Yorkguide book and fourth is the snack tray. This latter, full of delicious local snacks, also has a personalised Hôtel Americano harmonica available for purchase, with the words Tu vuò fà l'americano! ('Let's do the Americano'). At just $15, we challenge you to find a better hotel souvenir in the city (we couldn't resist!). In another corner of the room is a full length mirror leaning against the wall in front of which is a rubber bean bag type seat, which is a delight to flop into after a hard day pounding the streets. Getting out again is a different kettle of fish! Other amenities in the room include a minibar, coffee maker, umbrella, safe and robes by Loden Dager. The bathroom is fitted out in lightly black-veined white marble and has a cylindrical wash basin attached directly to the wall, a walk-in monsoon shower with Aesop toiletries and a hairdryer. It isn't huge but is a pleasure to use.

    The studio rooms are the largest and have a larger living space with a couch and chaise as well as an intriguing fireplace which is suspended from the ceiling. Another difference is the position of the bed which is in this case on the opposite side of the room to the windows and placed in a kind of backlit open-fronted wooden cube. In the larger bathroom you'll find a deep soaking tub with monsoon shower. Extremely comfortable and perfect for longer stays, the only disadvantage is the lack of natural light compared to the smaller rooms.

    The hotel has three rooms adapted for guests in a wheelchair.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    Wedged between a short red brick building and another, taller black tiled number, the Americano stands tall and proud, a stainless steel mesh screen set flush with its neighbours partially disguising the set back guestrooms. An east-facing red neon sign, reminiscent of those found outside seedy bars and brothels advertising beers and other services, identifies the hotel just above its glass entrance. The lobby, which is cornered off from the bar and restaurant by a three quarter height wall, is a seating area with a black leather couch and armchair and cork occasional tables as well as adjustable black lamp stands and bulbous lighting fixtures hanging from the high ceilings. Against the wall, resting on a long television stand-cum-storage unit with magazines and books on art and photography, is a framed set of negatives showing a young Barack Obama in various poses and '70s outfits, purchased from an LA gallery. In a nice touch, guests can help themselves to the complimentary water at the end of the unit. To the left, in the middle of the wooden-panelled wall with its Italian-made retro clock/calendar, is the simple black reception desk behind which is an old fashioned grid of boxes for room keys and messages. Just beyond are the elevators leading up to the rooms.

    At the summit of the hotel is the hotel's rooftop pool complete with loungers and cabanas and of course a view of Midtown Manhattan. The experience is made all the more pleasurable by the availability of cocktails and nibbles as well as a grill restaurant (see 'Food and Drink'). Open day and night, it's the perfect place to relax and cool off under the New York sun and enjoy a pre-or post-dinner drink.

    OK, it's only been open for six months, but the hotel is still in pristine condition and is clean and orderly throughout. Finding your room is a simple exercise as there are only eight rooms on each floor and the room number indicators are displayed on posters outside the lift on each floor. The staff we came across (who is dressed in Loden Dager) was polite, attentive and certainly had the gift of the gab. There is complimentary wifi throughout the property and there are bicycles available to use to get around town (ask at reception).

    Food and drink 9.70 /10

    The Americano is the hotel's outstanding French-themed bar and restaurant located adjacent to the lobby. Entering from the street you come straight into the bar area which has seats along the bar itself and then low, relaxing seating to the other side, perfect for pre-lunch/dinner drinks or a coffee. The bright, light and airy main room is to the back and features black leather banquettes and marble-topped tables as has a real buzz all day long. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as brunch at the weekend (sometimes with live jazz, which is an excellent time to go if you can get a table). The choice at breakfast is between patisseries, smoothies and tea and coffee to begin with followed by cereal or oatmeal, pancakes and various styles of egg including the classic eggs benedict (delicious) or the more exotic huevos a la Mexicana. The lunch menu features appetisers such classic salads, chicken paillard and charcuterie while mains include a mushroom risotto, moules frites, the burger and the quesadilla. Dinner brings other mouth-watering fare like tartine de crabe, burrata or foie gras torchon to start and Chilean seabass, fava bean agnolotti or lamb saddle for main. During the summer months, guests can head outside onto the patio for some al fresco dining amongst the greenery of the terrace. Service here is as good as the food is enjoyable, although if you can't make it for a full meal then at least try to pop in for a snack from the all day menu or grab something before you head out in the morning from the on the go menu. Another alternative, if you don't fancy leaving your room, is the bento box. There are five varieties for breakfast and five for during the day and are a good option if you want to kill a little hunger.

    Bar Americano, located downstairs from the restaurant, is a slightly space-age hang out with a magnificent white bar and concrete floors and walls, where both guests and locals come to dance the night away and enjoy one (or more) of the house cocktails.

    The other eatery, The Grill at La Piscine, is located next to the pool on the hotel's rooftop. Opened for the first time on 1st May 2012, the open kitchen will be open all year round serving both food and drinks right by the water. The Mediterranean menu features a selection of dips and small bites to nibble at while appetisers include Greek salad and grilled octopus. Mains comprise fish and meat from the grill such as jumbo prawn brochette or onglet steak. On the drinks side, guests can enjoy a cocktail, a selection of mezcals, a couple of Greek beers or a glass of French wine or champagne. Once the place gets going, it is sure to be a huge Chelsea hit.

    To know

    The hotel, which opened its doors in September of 2011, is the first US property from the Mexican chain Grupo Habita which has 10 hotels in Mexico with others on the way. The building was conceived by Ten Arqitectos' Enrique Norton while the interior design is the work of Arnaud Montigny who famously decorated Paris' most famous concept store, Colette. The hotel offers half prices day passes for Chelsea Piers.

    Equipment

    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Swimming pool
    • Animals allowed

    advantage

    • Architecture/design
    • Spacious rooms
    • Trendy restaurant/bar
    • Good Chelsea location
    • Rooftop pool

    disadvantages

    • No fitness/wellness facilities
    • Low beds impractical for some

    Traveller Reviews

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    • Overall Score -/10
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