Mary Gostelow arrives, and stays, in new-luxury Manhattan

Girlahead visits The Pendry Manhattan West

Arrive at New York’s Penn Station and expect delightful surprises. First, if this is your first visit this year, you will not recognise the rail station. Penn Station’s arrivals area, the Moynihan Train Hall, opened 1st January 2021. Named in honour of the late Daniel Moynihan, the Senator who first proposed building on the site of the century-old James A. Farley Post Office Building, the gigantic US$1.6 billion glass and steel space is an artwork by architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, SOM.

Next, if you exit on 33rd Street, walk only four minutes west along to one of the US’s most pleasing new hotels, The Pendry Manhattan West. This is a marsupial part of Brookfield Properties’ development that stretches longitudinally from 33rd Street south to 31st Street, and latitudinally from 9th Avenue west to 10th Avenue. Once again SOM provided masterplan and all exteriors.

The interiors of the 164-room hotel are by John and Christine Gachot. Upper corridors and bedrooms are empathetic, environmentally welcoming, with masses of satin-smooth pale-chestnut woodwork, more-than ample USB ports everywhere, good bathroom lighting, MiN toiletries and, suites only, spacious soaking tubs. Signature is the 21st floor Pendry Suite, 160 sqm, two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, a full kitchen plus dining for eight – and a baby grand. Add to this lifestyle hotel’s attractions its team members, headed by GM Ash Bhasin, ex-Trump Soho. Wellness is significant here, thanks to a partnership with the nearby Peloton Studio. But, possibly, the most effective marketing attraction is food, and drink.

All eatertainment is outsourced to Quality Branded, led by Michael Stillman, arguably Stateside’s version of Sydney’s Neil Perry. AvroKO was brought in as designer. The overall aura of Zou Zou’s dining-and-bar space is high ceilings and different seating areas, complemented by green and tan hues and a huge abstract artwork in Bar Pendry by Nancy Lorenz, of Chanel boutiques fame.

Ash Bhasin, General Manager, The Pendry Manhattan West

The kitchen, led by Madeline Sperling and Juliana Latif, produces just the kind of nosh that I believe global comfort-foodies appreciate, namely Israeli, Gulf and Mediterranean. The single-sheet menu starts with breads – we commenced with a raised platter, bites of Turkish basiama, Lebanese talami, Yemeni kubanach, Mediterranean flatbreads, with suitable dips. We went on to another elevated dish. Remove the cone-shaped tajine-type lid to reveal bits of Moroccan chicken, rolled in potato and deep-fried. Choose a side of charred broccoli and, Sommelier’s Choice, glasses of Benton Lane Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, 2017, were downed to the stem. A couple of chicken bites were wrapped and, in a well-marked restaurant bag, went off with my host, for tomorrow’s working lunch.

It was all so good, so suitable, and the people, and thus the memory, spelled RETURN, FOR MORE.

Lead image: The Pendry Manhattan West – Skyline Corner One Bedroom Suite, sitting area.


Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

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