"In the last two years, I have travelled to New York City nearly a dozen times and have stayed in different accommodations each time. Like many travelers, I look for a place that is quiet, clean, and has free Wi-Fi. Furthermore, location is key: it could mean the difference between spending a $30 cab ride to get across the city and being right where the action is (and I’ve done both).
With the vast selection of hospitality companies offering standard and specialty accommodations there is no need to visit anyone place twice. Until now! Say "Hello!" to The Renwick, an intimate 173-room boutique hotel, and full of big city dreams. This brick and mortar classic is packed with stories from the early 20th century.
Built in 1928, the hotel is named after its architect, James Renwick, Jr., who is best known for his design of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Although not a formally-trained architect like his father, Renwick Jr. studied engineering and was influenced by his world explorations.
Originally, the building was comprised of oversized artist’s studios and lofts that were eventually turned into a long-stay hotel. This was home to many creative types and prominent literary figures, such as John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Mann.
It’s charming to pause at the doorway of The Renwick, to soak in the inspiration of the streets of Midtown New York, just like the title character in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Now reimagined into an “artful luxury hotel”, the Renwick offers inviting guest rooms designed as its own ’artist studio’, equipped with ’blank canvas’ white walls. The TV stand is fashioned to look like a painter’s easel. For window shades, local artist Ben Cowan produced unique renderings of the New York skyline for each room, using a dry brush technique on painter’s drop cloth, from Erin Lass’ wall quotes to the ceramic pen cup by Yuka Uchida of OVO Ceramics, each guest room has a unique curation that begs to be noted.
However, the art theme does not end there. The stairwell leading to the fitness center has drawings by Heather Heckel as motivation. Even the housekeeping staff dons outfits that replicate an artist’s smock!
There is much at The Renwick to be acknowledged and admired. The design is in the details, and the details are everywhere. I look forward to my upcoming stay, so that I can continue to revel in the history and draw on creativity for my future endeavors."
“People don’t take trips. Trips take people.” - John Steinbeck
Address: 118 East 40th Street
Guest writer: Elena Murzello
Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Renwick Hotel