Walking into the Andaz Wall Street NYC, you’ll think you’ve stepped into a friend’s home: the inviting ambiance and friendly features make you feel more like a native New Yorker than a tourist. Step into the lounge (lobby), to be greeted by your hosts (staff), at the activity center (front desk), who will offer you a welcome beverage — wine included! — and get you setup with your room.
First, however, you may want to spend some time enjoying the first floor amenities. Grab a coffee and muffin from the all-day complimentary refreshment table before plopping down on one of the comfy chairs with a book, or make use of the communal computer – If you’re traveling alone, download one of these travel ‘friendship’ apps on your smartphone to meet someone new. You may notice a buzz of chefs zipping about on one side of the room, again giving the space a more residential than hotel feel. If your curiosity is piqued, head through a short hall to Dina Rata, a street-level bar and restaurant featuring a mix of private and communal tables, as well as plush red and black leather couches.
What you’ll order depends on the time of day. In the morning, a spread is setup more like a potluck than a buffet, unconnected tables displaying delicious local dishes — not to mention adorable bread boxes, an old school toaster and chef-curated culinary books — in a way that lets you weave around and enjoy the colors and aromas (very different from the typical wait-in-line-with-your-plate buffet). During lunch, the sustainable American menu continues with eats like a grass-fed BLT burger and gourmet grilled cheese stuffed with local Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and New York-sourced apple butter. After dark the energy turns up a bit, with the local happy hour crowd joining guests for wines, beers and handcraft cocktails. Don’t miss the signature “Perfect Pearl Manhattan” — named after the street the bar sits on – a boozy concoction of Bulleit bourbon, sweet and dry vermouth, and Lagavulin scotch.
Not only is the bar’s location great for people-watching and networking — drawing a Wall Street crowd — but history lovers, as well. While today New York City is composed of five boroughs and hundreds of neighborhoods, in the 1600s when the Dutch arrived only Lower Manhattan existed, with today’s Wall Street actually a wall to protect the city of New Amsterdam.
From the hotel, it’s easy to explore Lower Manhattan on foot, following a path littered with attraction signs and explanations for a complimentary self-guided tour. Some sites: Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as president; City Hall, the oldest city hall in the country to still serve the same purpose; the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, paying tribute to those who lost their lives that tragic day; and the famed Brooklyn Bridge, which you can walk across for amazing skyline views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, once separate cities when the bridge was erected in 1883. Even the Andaz Wall Street building itself has history: in its early years, it was a bank.
What really sets the Andaz Wall Street apart from the rest, however, is the numerous freebies. I mean, where else can you dive into a free mini bar (alcohol is a charge) of Deer Valley chips, Cliff crunch bars, Chocolove chocolate bars, Saratoga waters, Harney & Son teas and Coca Cola beverages — not to mention Brewery Ommegang beers, Chateau Ste. Michelle wines and spirits starting at $8)? And don’t worry about forgetting your toiletries, as along with the usual shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, cotton swaps and lotion — the local Beekman 1802 brand — you can call down for complimentary sundries like hair spray, a lint mint, makeup remover wipes, deodorant, razors, shoe horns, nail polish remover, sewing kits and everything in between to be brought to your door. Wireless internet and a social wine hour are just a few other complimentary perks.
Another reason to love the Andaz Wall Street? The rooms. Let me re-phrase that. The ENORMOUS rooms. It’s not typical in NYC to find hotels with spacious quarters, but fitting with the luxury brand is an opulent yet relaxed habitation. If you’re really looking to go all out, the Andaz Wall Street offers one 1,465-square foot, two-bedroom Buttonwood Suite, also featuring a separate sitting and dining area, marble walk-in bath and extra half bath, and aerial Manhattan views from a 7-foot window — perfect for a selfie, or two.
Don’t worry if you’re on a budget, however, as all room categories are outfitted with high rise ceilings, large picture windows, robes and slippers, deep tubs, comfy Simmons mattresses and crisp white linens with plush duvets, Geneva clock radios with iPod docks, and a calming color palette of browns and purples and blonde woods. A design element is functional furniture that stands in the center of the room — as opposed to against the walls — to create the sense of different rooms within one space. While a flat screen TV sits closer to the bed for easy viewing, the back of it is a mirror with dresser space for makeup and toiletries. Windowsills overlook the Financial District with art-centric books in a wooden box.
Along with their thought-provoking books throughout the property, you’ll find other touches of inspiration, whether it be a Thomas Hardy quote written in script on the wall, rotating art on a conference room flat screen, an art gallery in the lower concourse or thought-provoking paintings and sculptures in common spaces. You can also get into a healthy mindset with a workout in the 24/7 gym, or at the on-site spa with a treatment like a “Body Unwind – Relax Calm Relief” package, incorporating aromatherapy with lavender and chamomile and a heavenly mud mask.
*Photos courtesy of the Andaz Wall Street