More hotels are becoming second homes, some offering CondoHotel deals as well as residences. Two weeks ago, I was in New York City, where I have had my share of negative hotel experiences. Hint: you smell Febreeze, there’s a reason. But I finally found the most perfect hotel in New York City if you want to be in the middle of Times Square and simply walk across the street to a theater. I’m talking 46th Street just a bit east of Broadway. Location with a capital L but also, once inside, a complete peaceful oasis from the NYC jungle.
The Paramount Hotel is a true grande dame, eight solid decades old. Famed theater architect Thomas W. Lamb built the hotel in 1928, using French Renaissance design elements and creating a 150-foot exterior that would reflect the energy of Broadway. Talk about fame: musicians and artists associated with the Paramount Hotel include the Memphis Stompers in 1931, Yoko Ono and Liza Minelli, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Don Johnson. The memorial luncheon for artist Andy Warhol was held at the Paramount Hotel in 1987.In 1988, the hotel closed for a face-lift and re-emerged under the ownership of famed (“toss your towel on the floor”) hotelier Ian Shrager with interiors by Philippe Starck. In 2007, the Paramount was aquired by Highgate Hotels and extensively renovated in 2009. The feel is still very Starck, but with perhaps a little more glitz and grandeur. The Starck bathrooms are alive and well in the guest rooms.
Last July and this January, the Paramount debuted two new suites designed by Highgate’s Susan Jaques as the first of 12 new loft- inspired suites planned for the property. At this point, the lofts are not for sale, but make a perfect second home getaway in the Big Apple. There’s a 750 square-foot Entertainment Suite, but my heart rests with the 950 square-foot Couture Suite. First of all, that much square footage in New York City is unheard of, but if you are going up for a theater weekend getaway, you will cherish the space. (The regular hotel rooms are smaller, but very comfortable.) Sparkling crystal chandeliers are suspended above sleek white leather sofas, ebony-stained hardwood floors offset white walls adorned with vintage fashion prints and photographs encased in plexi-glass frames. There are even bookshelves and wonderful volumes of art books that will keep you away from your ipad. A mini-kitchen and bar with dining table to seat four makes it easy to bring in food for an impromptu cocktail party with the most amazing views of Broadway and Times Square theaters. The Couture Suite is really like an apartment — in fact, it is bigger than most NYC apartments, with a separate bedroom with king-sized bed, office den with a white leather futon to sleep one, and two pristine bathrooms (master bath and powder) originally designed by Philippe Starck.
This has been my best living thus far in New York City, and theater buffs will never stay anywhere else. As one woman told me, she always stays at the Paramount Hotel because it is merely two minutes from the TKTS booth at Times Square, so she can buy a discounted theater seat and walk right in. Afterwards, the theater crowd hits Paramount Bar, also newly re-vamped with scarlet-hues and more crystal. The all-female DJ line up plays into the wee hours, but you’ll never hear a peep of it upstairs.
The Paramount may just become my second-home away from home in NYC.