Anyone who knows me understands my affinity to Ian Schrager and his vision over his career. I’ve enjoyed being his hotels around the world over the years and was anticipating experiencing his newest project, Public Hotel. Overlooking Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, the hotel pairs the gritty characteristics you’d expect from the Lower East Side of Manhattan with a luxe gloss only Mr. Schrager can deliver.
What makes Public different from the other hotels of Ian Schrager?
He’s set the scene, but the experience is up to the guests to create. There’s a communal, interactive vibe throughout the property you first notice in the lush gardens leading up to the main entrance giving a signature privacy for guests who may want to sit outside.
Once I let go of the chrome handle on the turn-style door entrance, I was drawn to the floral display that welcomes you to Trade, Public’s retail concept from Tania Schrager, Yelin Song, and Steven Giles. Full of products primarily created through collaboration, all the accessories, books, and gifts are things you really do want to take home with you whether you are visiting NYC or live around the block. Trade has everything you want, even if you don't know you want it before walking in.
The aromas of Louis, the communal space that’s a mix of a bakery, coffee shop, and market fills the first floor. Guests were enjoying their macchiato, muffins, and mozzarella salads together at the communal tables while they are working on their lap tops. Louis is one of the differences Public has from Schrager’s other hotels. There’s no room service. If a guest wants something, they have to come down and interact and decide for themselves what they want. Except for a few elements, everything in the hotel is entirely accessible.
Escalating to the main lobby I noticed there wasn’t a check-in desk, but a gorgeous bar and open lounge space. The juxtaposition of flamboyance and simplicity are so perfectly balanced; you had to absorb each detail to tell which is which. The concrete, limestone, linen, wood, steel, and fox throws (yes they’re real) create the perfect space to hold a meeting or play a game of pool. The mixologist at the main bar made sure I had the perfect Ginger Margarita to help take it all in.
Public has one of the few unobstructed views of Manhattan, IN MANHATTAN. I chatted with a pair of photographers on assignment from Los Angeles over my second Ginger Margarita (What can I say, they are delicious). They shared some of the details of their shoot as we shared one of the canvas covered sofas that continue the monochrome palate while locals arrived to wind down from their day.
It wouldn’t be possible to call it a day before enjoying Jean Georges Vongerichten newest venture, Public Kitchen. I won’t give everything away just yet about how fantastic the menu is, however, this was by far one of the highlights of the visit and the hotel made sure there was a table for me in the hottest addition to the neighborhood. If words aren’t enough, see for yourself below: explore LES (Lower East Side) it's not all about grit anymore, you can find a huge creative community.
if you missed my previous entry on our journal about Ian Schrager, here it is a click away!