As a New Yorker, I’m always surprised when people tell me how excited they are to stay in New York City. Waking up near Central Park or any of the other beautiful areas of this city, sure – of course, but hotels in New York are generally disappointing.

Given the nature of the city, rates are extortionate, room sizes rival college dorm closets, and I only caveat that with the caveat that dorm room closets may actually be bigger and better. And certainly, less expensive.

So when I stayed at the newly opened Pendry Hotel in the city’s excitingly evolved Manhattan West development near Hudson Yards, the Vessel and the ever wonderful High Line, I had to keep reminding myself that I was indeed in New York – not Tokyo, Singapore or Pasadena where I often mentally drifted.

This hotel is exquisite in every way imaginable, and though rates may raise an eyebrow to some, the juice can certainly be worth the squeeze. Particularly so, if you like the convenience of world class food without leaving the door.

The Pendry NYC: Location

I’m in my 30’s but that’s enough lifetime to remember West 33rd street as a somewhat undesirable location. It was basically where trains ended, highways appeared and you generally didn’t walk around unless you needed to.

With the High Line, Hudson Yards, The Vessel and a smattering of new top notch food and beverage options, the area is now practically as lively as the West Village, just with a more corporate crowd, thanks to offices from JPMorgan, Amazon and BlackRock.

The Pendry sits right on the edge of Hudson Yards, with easy walking access to the High Line, Madison Square Garden and nearby A-C-E subway trains. As a follower of NBA fashion blogs, I instantly recognized the hotel lobby in recent photos, suggesting NBA teams are liking the action too.

If you happen to be choppering into the city with Blade, this hotel is also about as close as it gets.This is the perfect hotel to walk just a block or two, step up onto the High Line and enjoy marvelous view of New York City, for circa 20 blocks along the westside.

The Pendry Manhattan West: Style, Lobby And Check In

The entrance to the hotel is impressive and modern, with clean lines, a friendly door team and welcoming foliage. It was one of the few times in New York I felt like the door team actually made eye contact with a professional and friendly tone to it all.

Once inside, it’s impossible for perceptive travelers not to feel as if they’re in an Ilse Crawford designed space, immediately reminiscent of The Pier, the first class lounge from Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong.

For clarity, the interior spaces are designed by Gachot Studios. I just think I may have known where various shades of inspiration came from. The halls of each floor distinctly remind me of the Andaz Tokyo too, for what it’s worth. Those are compliments, by the way.

Beautiful light, thanks to installations from L’Observatoire is impossible not to notice, as it hits the wonderful textures, patterns and materials used. Think: natural wood and plants, soft fabrics and neutral, minimalist design, that somehow also feels inviting.

It’s not cold and austere, but cozy and clean. After a quick check in process I made my way to the 16th floor ( i think?) to a large and inviting room. All rooms in this hotel are larger than your average NYC room, which is an instant win.

Pendry Manhattan West: The Room

When it feels like home or better, right away, you know you’re onto a winner. These rooms are generous, minimal and elegant. The layout of my room offered a separate bathroom and sink, directly across the hall from the shower. It’s nice to separate, right?

Just beyond, the room. A true California King with world class linens looked heavenly after an emotional “first post-travel-ban” flight from London and was even better in practice.

Again, soft inviting textures, beautiful wood tones and an impressively large and up to date television mark the decor of the room. I loved how minimalist but quirky and fun the few items scattered around the room were, from book choices to minibar.

I should probably confess that I stole a candle from the minibar, which I believe is the first time I’ve ever stolen anything from a hotel. The signature hotel scent has made my home a dream for the last month, so thanks?! I’d say the price is worth it!

Sorry!

Pendry Manhattan West: Wow Factor

When you’re paying top dollar for a five star hotel, large, well appointed rooms and an accommodating staff are expected. There’s no bonus points for that, even in New York.

This Pendry Manhattan West hotel is so much more, though.

The bars are like something out of James Bond movies. Dark, brooding, sexy and well varied, even including a guests and guests of guests only bar. One I’d compare to the bars at the Ritz Paris, with just a bit more modern feel.

Another, I’d say, makes me think I’m in a an eccentric Mexican subterranean cocktail den, that just had a makeover from a French aristocrat.

And then there’s the food. Holy $#!t! I had planned to go out to dinner nearby with my family in town, but a series of booking errors eliminated that notion. I begrudgingly then accepted that the most practical thing to do would be to eat at the hotel.

In a city with as much world class food as New York, this felt like a real failure… until we started eating. Zou Zou’s is the feature restaurant of the hotel, and I’d get back on the plane to eat there again. It cheekily goes by “Eastern Mediterranean”, but it’s accurate.

Dishes vary from Greece to Turkey, Israel and Lebanon with incredible fluency, flavor, purity and potency. There’s fantastic hamachi, bread of dreams, dips of delight and plenty for carnivores too. I quickly realized our mistakes that lead us here were a gift, rather than a curse!

After dinner, the eccentric 4th floor cocktail bar, which I described as the subterranean Mexican bar meets eccentric French aristocrat owner, was the perfect spot to catch up with a few friends. This place is a destination within a destination.

Views from the Pendry Hotel Manhattan West aren’t bad, either.

Pendry Manhattan West: Five Stars Of Five Star

I usually hate at least one thing about any hotel. I travel too much not to notice little things, so it is what it is. But here – I just had nothing to complain about. The Black Fox coffee shop located via the lobby and next door even alleviated my hotel coffee woes.

When I finally thought I’d reached a pain point, when I was told the hotel wouldn’t be able to extend a reasonably late checkout, I even received a call back a few minutes later to say that they moved a few rooms around and would be happy to.

I said thanks, don’t worry about it and checked out on time anyway, but that “let’s try to help” attitude meant a lot, even as I walked out the door. I’ll be back. For sure.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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5 Comments

    1. Um yes, yes I did. That’s what I said in the review, right? I didn’t just magically create memories of delicious dips, hamachi crudo or my various other dishes. The restaurant was utilizing another space in the hotel and its formal space had not yet opened. I did not participate in many of the events the media such as HfP were attending and ate alone with my family. I’ll be happy to send some pictures!

  1. Since I DIDN’T happen to see ANY room rates, I assume it’s one of those “if you have to ask, you CAN’T afford it” places

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