Mary Gostelow discovers the new must-see Manhattan West

Girlahead experiences first class service at The Pendry

Manhattan West is an area of Manhattan that even many New Yorkers have yet to discover, and it shows the very best that the US can offer. A total 650,000 square-metre development that incorporates Penn Station and runs west to the Hudson. Centrepiece is Magnolia Court, a delightful lush-grass garden, surrounded by one’s favourite stores, Apple, Peloton (two stores, actually) and Whole Foods. As an outer circle, five high-rises house offices and residences. A sixth building, rising only 22 floors, is Pendry Manhattan West.

Manhattan West | Credit: Jakob Dahlin
Manhattan West | Credit: Jakob Dahlin

This year-old hotel is the finishing piece in the Manhattan West jigsaw. It just fits into place. Three minutes to Magnolia Court and those necessary stores, double that to Penn Station and its magnificently re-imagined Moynihan Train Hall concourse. Hudson Yards and Thomas Heatherwick’s 150-foot Vessel adult-climbing frame is similarly close. Even closer to home are Arts Brookfield’s array of cultural entertainment throughout Manhattan West, three minutes away. There are regular Wednesday lunchtime concerts and all-the-time gallery shows, say the current technicolour fantasy art by Claire Rosen and other contemporary mixed-media creatives. It’s all on the house, for those who live and work in Manhattan West, and visitors, including Pendry hotel guests.

Pendry Manhattan West

The 164-roomer is such a delight that some will not want to venture out. When New York’s famously unfriendly weather gets angry, stay put. Those clever enough to book the two-bedroom Pendry Suite, #2204, will certainly stay ‘home’, and even tinkle on its Essex by Steinway Baby Grand. There’s a central-set two-way flame-look fire, and masses of natural wood speaks Scandinavia. A chess set and fully-equipped kitchen and dining for six invite entertaining. Well-chosen hardbacks, deliberately cluttered rather than designer-array, suggest brushing up on, say, Hockney and Kapoor.

Suite Living Room, Pendry Manhattan West

The ground-floor restaurant, Zou Zou’s, is so freestanding that many don’t realise it’s hotel. AvroKO design, and an open kitchen say hey, this is up-to-date. Manager Brad squats to discusses dishes. Try Yemeni flatbread, Moroccan chicken, in a ceramic tajine dish. Benton Lane Pinot Willamette Valley 2017. And do keep space for breakfast, in the fourth floor indoors-out Vista lounge. This is retro + Americana, steelcut oatmeal and whipped ricotta and strawberry French toast, Brooklyn bagel with Catsmo Gold smoked salmon, and Bluebottle coffee.

The finishing touch, throughout, is Pendry service, led by Ash Bhasin. Ask a young Brooklyn-born staffer, John Chi, why he loves the hotel and his impromptu answer lets you know, quick as a flash. He has a passion for welcoming people, especially from afar, to the best this city has to offer. There’s deliciously-unsweet lemonade by the front desk, by the way, and if someone notices you really like it, you find a carafe sent to your room. Little things add up.

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com, a weekly newswire Mary Gostelow’s Inner Circle, and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, all part of Almont Global.

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