The brand new Aman Latest York hotel has a huge spa covering 2,300 square metres across three storeys – and incorporates a sensational 20-metre swimming pool. With firepits.
The final word spot in Manhattan for alleviating stress? It seems your entire hotel is the last word Big Apple stress-buster. A temple of tranquillity for generation zen.
Even the reception area is a haven of serenity. Though pulses may quicken there – even for hedge-fund managers – upon presentation of the bill. For Aman Latest York – situated by Central Park on fifth Avenue in the enduring 30-storey Crown Constructing, designed by Grand Central Station architects Warren & Wetmore – is town’s costliest hotel. The starting price for rooms? A cool $3,900 (£3,460) per night. But what rooms.
The brand new Aman Latest York hotel has a huge spa that incorporates a sensational 20-metre swimming pool with firepits (above). Ted Thornhill checks in
The show-stopping double-height pillared atrium, featuring Oriental-lantern-inspired paper and bamboo sculptures by Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar
Mine, a ‘Premiere Suite’, is a masterpiece – 75 square metres (815 square feet) of soothing luxury with a beguiling pared-back look that, as with the remaining of the hotel, is inspired by Aman’s Asian origins (‘Amanpuri’, the unique of the 34-property-strong Aman portfolio, opened on the Thai island of Phuket in 1988).
Deluxe woods are bountiful, there is a standalone oval tub sufficiently big to do laps in and oversized twin beds (I’m here with a pal) with $15,000 (£13,500) mattresses smothered in heavenly duvets and pillows.
On the wall opposite the bed is a large-scale art mural inspired by the Fifteenth-century masterpiece Pine Trees (Shorin-zu byobu) by Hasegawa Tohaku, designated in Japan as a National Treasure in 1952.
Behind the bed is a horny folded dressing screen fabricated from woven rope that cleverly houses among the rooms many light switches.
Aman Latest York features 83 gargantuan suites – plus 22 residences. Pictured above is a Junior Suite in a twin-bed configuration
Ted takes this picture of his ‘Premiere Suite’ upon entering it for the primary time. He describes it as ‘a masterpiece – 75 square metres (815 square feet) of soothing luxury’. Aman Latest York is the one hotel in Manhattan to have a working fireplace in every bedroom
The Aman Latest York bedrooms have pivoting louvre doors that might be angled to open up or seal off the space. Pictured above is a Junior Suite
LEFT: The rooms feature art murals inspired by the Fifteenth-century masterpiece Pine Trees (Shorin-zu byobu) by Hasegawa Tohaku. RIGHT: The beds on the Aman Latest York feature $15,000 mattresses. Pictured is Ted’s twin
Ted learns that the rooms are engineered to be as hushed as a recording studio
It’s an attention-grabbing touch, as is the gas-powered fireplace. That is the one hotel in Latest York with a working fireplace in every room.
I also love the best way the major bedroom is separated from the lavatory by a series of pivoting louvre doors that might be angled to open up or seal off the space. Backlit rice-paper panels set inside each door, meanwhile, enhance the relaxing ambience – as does the soundproofing.
The room is whisper-quiet – engineered we’re told to be as hushed as a recording studio.
I enjoy disturbing the peace through the use of the room’s tablet controller to extinguish and reignite the hearth – and to direct the TV to vanish into the desk beneath it.
(And in the course of the night the flamboyant hi-tech Japanese Toto toilet – which we nickname R2 D-Loo – emits the occasional beep and whir.)
Interior-design sorcery appears to be at work – I feel soporifically cocooned, yet there’s enough space for a small orchestral concert. Or easily my entire two-bedroom London flat, which covers a mere 675 sq ft (63 sq metres).
And this Eighth-floor room, I discover, is definitely one among the smallest within the hotel. Herein, incidentally, lies a part of the reason for the credit-card-sapping tariffs – there are not any small rooms. Only 83 gargantuan suites – plus 22 residences.
At each breakfasts during our two-night stay, we’re joined by only a handful of guests. Perhaps there are more, but they’re mesmerised by their fires and the TVs going up and down.
They’re missing out.
Aman Latest York is town’s costliest hotel. The starting price for rooms? A cool $3,900 (£3,460) per night
Aman Latest York is situated by Central Park on fifth Avenue in the enduring 30-storey Crown Constructing designed by Grand Central Station architects Warren & Wetmore. Pictured above is the pool and firepit on the roof terrace
This terrace bar area can be one among Manhattan’s most sought-after drinking spots in the hotter months, predicts Ted
The venue for breakfast is the 14th-floor Italian restaurant – Arva – reached via the reception area and the show-stopping double-height pillared atrium, populated by fireplaces, a grand piano, sophisticated grey-hued chairs, sofas and banquettes, a sleek bar frequented by beautiful women in designer clothes – and a large, dreamlike series of Oriental-lantern-inspired paper and bamboo sculptures by Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar suspended between the room’s 4 stone columns.
Tranquil – but with a sprinkling of wow.
Arva, within the constructing’s southeast corner, is quietly chic, with banquettes and stylish chairs in grey, modish dark-wood tables, a ceiling accentuated by slabs of petrified wood and a floor-to-ceiling wine cabinet to remind guests that Aman is not just a temple of tranquillity, it is a temple of superb wines, too.
At breakfast we persist with cups of smooth coffee, together with pastries and a la carte fare similar to eggs of the Florentine and Benedict variety.
Pictured above is the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Arva, where Ted enjoys breakfast, lunch and dinner
The breakfast menu blurb boasts of ‘seasonal produce transformed by the alchemy of the kitchen into easy, nourishing dishes, alive with flavor’.
That is possibly hyperbole – however the breakfasts are tasty and nicely presented, with the jams and butter arranged in a row on slightly tray, for instance.
We revisit Arva twice more – for dinner and lunch.
For the previous, the restaurant really comes alive. It’s busy and bubbly – and the wine flows.
We enjoy some refreshing local rose courtesy of North Fork of Long Island ($19), Castiglion del Bosco Montalcino red, which at $49 is the most costly red by the glass (happily, it tastes expensive) – and tuck into some great food.
The Arva terrace area where Ted and his chum enjoy a lunch comprising grilled chicken, veal loin, beef tartare and salmon with smoked paprika
LEFT: A snap of one among Ted’s breakfasts, featuring pastries, coffee and eggs Florentine. RIGHT: The lunch major – grilled chicken
For his Arva dinner Ted is served ‘a geometrically perfect panna cotta (left) and a beautifully presented lemon tart (right)’
Chefs at work at Arva, which is situated on the 14th floor
For starters (antipasti), there’s an outstanding burrata with pistachio pesto and a pile of calmly battered calamari, langoustines and zucchini that appears like a mini coral reef, for mains it’s tagliatelle with chanterelle and goat’s cheese, and for desserts a fresh and lightweight, geometrically perfect panna cotta and a beautifully presented lemon tart.
For the Arva lunch we sit outside on surely probably the most splendid hotel terraces in all of Latest York, which wraps across the constructing and incorporates a dramatic circular pool with a hearth in the center – and a retractable roof.
As we sit underneath it during a rain shower – making our way through the likes of delectable grilled chicken, veal loin, beef tartare and salmon with smoked paprika – we agree that the bar within the corner, which is not covered by the roof, will grow to be probably the most sought-after quaffing spots in Manhattan in the summertime, given the views it offers down fifth Avenue and along the eastern fringe of Central Park.
After lunch we head in the wrong way, stopping for on-point cocktails at stealthy Temple Bar on Lafayette Street and subterranean, plant-filled Undercote within the Flatiron District , before taking in a Broadway show – the incredible Beetlejuice the Musical (the musical, the musical). Which is even higher than the beloved movie.
The spa (above) at Aman Latest York covers 2,300 square metres across three storeys
The hammam on the Aman Latest York spa
Afterwards we battle through bustling Times Square to the hotel and judge to keep up the tempo with a nightcap in Aman’s remarkable underground speakeasy-style Jazz Club, which has a stage with a Steinway piano for performers and, audiophiles note, a state-of-the-art sound system.
Though as we drink vodkas on the horseshoe-shaped bar there is a DJ spinning dance versions of Oasis tracks. The atmosphere is barely odd, with expensively suited men and girls in chic evening wear not seemingly within the mood to bop, but unable to have conversations over the loud music.
The venue might be more alluring during live performances.
The following morning we get up enveloped in a cocktail-induced daze – standard for a visit to Manhattan, in fact – and in such moments the Aman Latest York comes into its own.
Aman Latest York occupies floors seven to 30 of the Crown Constructing, the underside floors being high-end shops similar to Zegna and Bulgari
Aman Latest York’s Jazz Club, which becomes a nightclub afterward within the evening
For guests who find themselves in an analogous state I highly recommend a dip within the aforementioned pool, which they’ll find has an almost medicinal effect.
Counter-intuitively we must ascend to it from our luxury lair because it’s on the tenth floor (the hotel occupies floors seven to 30, the underside floors being high-end shops similar to Zegna and Bulgari).
On our first attempt to succeed in it we mistakenly get out on the 14th floor and ask a person behind the reception desk for directions – and receive a powerful demonstration of top-level hotel service.
The staff member guides us via the elevator all of the method to the spa and the pool, explaining the services on offer as he goes.
After which organises a pot of coffee for us. Above and beyond springs to mind.
The second time we attempt to succeed in the pool we wander away on floor ten, and this time receive directions from a stocky private security guard standing sentinel outside one among the rooms (after being challenged, in our robes and slippers, as as to whether we’re hotel guests).
Harmony for among the guests costs a bit more.
Ted is hosted by Aman Latest York, Crown Constructing, 730 Fifth Avenue, 10019, NY. Rooms start at $3,900 (£3,460). The hotel also incorporates a Japanese restaurant called Nama. For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org. For Arva reservations email email@example.com.
PROS: Breathtaking design. Sensational indoor pool. The bedrooms are masterpieces. Wonderful roof terrace. Staff that go above and beyond. Truly an urban sanctuary.
CONS: Even the one per cent may balk momentarily on the room rates. The jazz club late at night loses a layer of suaveness when it transforms right into a quasi nightclub.
Virgin Atlantic operates regular flights between London and Latest York. Visit www.virginatlantic.com.