Public Hotel – New York City

Our review of Ian Schrager’s latest hotel concept “Public” in New York City.

London Air Travel » Hotels

Queen Room, Public Hotel, New York
Queen Room, Public Hotel, New York (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Ian Schrager and New York City go back a long way.

With Steve Rubell, he founded one of New York’s most notorious nightclubs, Studio 54, which is still to this day a source of fascination.

After Studio 54’s closure, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell turned their attention to hotels. They founded Morgans Hotel Group which credits itself as the founder of the concept of the “urban resort” with Philippe Starck designed interiors, “see and be seen” bars, and celebrity-filled launch parties.

In New York, this took the form of the Hudson. It’s a hotel we have heard many stories about. This is why we’ve never stayed there. By Ian Schrager’s own admission, the Hudson may have had the cool factor, but it did not get the service ethos right.

Having long sold Morgans Hotels, Ian Schrager continues to maintain an interest in hotels and real estate designing 160 Leroy in New York’s West Village and creating Edition Hotels with Marriott.

Ian Schrager’s latest hotel concept is “Public”. The hotel is located in a newly constructed building in the Bowery district of New York at 215 Chrystie Street. This is not the first Public Hotel. That opened in Chicago in late 2011 in a refurbished property, but has since been sold.

About Public Hotel

The concept of Public is “Luxury For All”.

One of the principles behind this is “only give people what they want”. At Public, there are no porters, bellboys or concierge desks. Given the tipping culture in the US, many would regard this as a welcome relief!

You check-in online the day before your stay. On arrival, you collect your room key from a “Public Advisor”, who give as good a welcome as any luxury hotel, in the lobby.

In the room, there is no minibar. Room service is not offered. When you leave, you use an iPad in the lobby to check your self or are checked out automatically.
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Hôtel William Gray – Montréal

Our review of one of Montréal’s newest independent boutique properties: Hôtel William Gray, located in Old Montréal.

London Air Travel » Hotels

Hotel Room, Hôtel William Gray, Montréal
Hotel Room, Hôtel William Gray, Montréal (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

It’s a relatively quiet period in August, so it’s time to take a diversion from our usual flight path with some hotel reviews.

The city of Montréal has always had an independent spirit. This is non more so than with its hotels. Whilst all the major chains are represented in the city, none, bar the W Montréal, really stir any interest. There are, however, lots of interesting independent hotels. One of the most recent is Hôtel William Gray which opened in 2016.

Hôtel William Gray

The hotel is located at 421 Rue Saint Vincent in Old Montréal, which is convenient for all the major tourist spots.

It is within walking distance, though perhaps not with heavy luggage, from Champ-de-Mars metro station. Valet parking is available at the hotel.

The hotel comprises two historical buildings, Maison Edward-William-Gray and Maison du Cabinet-de-Côme-Séraphin-Cherrier and a new 9 storey building, which houses most of the rooms, built around an exterior courtyard.

The hotel features two external terraces (a very popular feature in a city that does not take its relatively short summer for granted), a spa, a fitness room and expansive event facilities.

As well as the hotel, the building features a public coffee shop Café Olimpico and the “Off The Hook” boutique.

Judging by the crowds at weekends, the hotel bars are clearly popular with locals but, importantly, don’t interfere with the guests’ experience.

The Living Room

One of the stand-out features of this hotel is its ground floor public lounge area, The Living Room.

Hotels have long tried to make their public lobbies into a design statement. This may not be the grandest or most capacious space you have seen in a hotel. But it is great example of just doing something really, really, well. There’s a wide variety of seating and high quality furniture you’d be happy to have in your own home.

The Living Room, Hôtel William Gray, Montréal.
The Living Room, Hôtel William Gray, Montréal. (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

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