New York City
Tailored, $ (from $109)
Manhattan is a town that loves to reinvent itself. At the turn of the 20th century, the Fifth Avenue stretch near the Empire State Building was filled with fancy homes, grand department stores (RIP, B. Altman and Lord & Taylor), and hotels that served the well-to-do. Today, the neighborhood is once again becoming an area for stylish and accessible (read: not grossly overpriced) hotels — hotels that are more mature than the millennial-minded options that dominate NoMad, the neighborhood just to the south. Case in point: The Gregory, which is resurrected from the hotel that opened as The Gregorian in 1903. "Tailored" is a word they like to use to describe the hotel, and it's fitting, as seen in the handsome lobby with the herringbone wood floors, leather Chesterfield sofas and armchairs, and tailoring accessories (like sewing machines and old men's shirt collars) displayed as decor. This part NYC of may not be the most interesting or glamorous (indeed, it doesn't even have a cute neighborhood nickname), but the low rates and elegant but unobtrusive design make The Gregory a solid choice, especially if proximity to both Penn and Grand Central Stations is a priority or if business calls you to Midtown, as it so often does.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Elegant and stylish, welcoming and warm, and aesthetically on the masculine side — a welcome break from the onslaught of millennial pink too often seen in contemporary hotels.
Standout Detail: The impossibly high bookshelf behind the reception desk sets quite the tone in the inviting lobby.
This Place Is Perfect For: Travelers who want a convenient option in Midtown that is not a big chain hotel and that won't break the bank.
Rooms: There are 132 rooms in the following categories: Tailored King with Sofa, Tailored King, Tailored Queen, Tailored Double Queen, and Tailored Double Double (which is designed for groups and families). The furnishings are, well, tailored, primarily in shades of white, black and grey: crisp white sheets, grey herringbone carpets, subway tiled bathrooms, a framed image of a top hat. While the in-room amenities are standard, the hotel offers an extensive list of extras for $35/day, including unlimited local and domestic calls, 24-hour fitness center and computer and printing services, free morning coffee and tea, two bottles of water per day, same-day laundry services, and deals at local bars and restaurants.
On Site: An impressive array of fashion-themed amenities, as it turns out. Haircraft by Ray is the in-house salon for hair cuts, color, and treatments, as well as makeup services. (Hotel guests get a discount.) Caravan Styling Studio, located on the mezzanine, is a by-appointment space for primping. Once you're camera-ready, head to he rooftop, which is available for film and photo shoots and has primo views of the Empire State Building. Click "Production" at the top of the hotel website for more info.
Food + Drink: The hotel's restaurant, Brendan's Bar and Grill, serves American and Irish cuisine (Irish!) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a clubby, pub-like setting.
What to Do Nearby
The Fifth Avenue/35th Street location puts you at the doorstep of mega Manhattan landmarks like the Empire State Building and Macy's (a department store zoo, but worth visiting to see what they're doing with Story, the independent concept store they recently acquired, and for a scoop of storied Vivoli gelato, which you otherwise have to fly to Florence to try). Penn Station is a few blocks west, and Grand Central is a few more blocks north. The new Hudson Yards retail behemoth is past Penn Station, but only tourists seem to be going there. For more local options, head to Koreatown, on 32nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, for dinner (try Hangawi, Dons Bogam, or Jongro BBQ), karaoke (many spots have private rooms, so you won't have to humiliate yourself in front of strangers, only your friends), or a luxurious 24-hour spa (Juvenex, still going strong). The heavenly Morgan Library & Museum is one of the city's most charming, not only for the exhibitions and the musical performances but for the exquisitely preserved and mind-blowingly impressive J. Pierpont Morgan Library, which opened n 1902, a year before the original Gregorian Hotel. See? Everything old is new again.