Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
New American Classical style from Jeffery Billhuber is stylish and luxe without being pretentious.
When New York architect Jefferey Bullhuber designed the City Club Hotel, he wanted to create something that reflected both a classic sophisticated style with the urban contemporary vibe of modern-day NYC. The result is polished tile floors and dark wood in slightly cramped spaces, decorated with both contemporary art and simply framed magazines, playbills, and maps of the past. Heavy glass doors, opened by a doorman, lead into a small and pleasant lounge area. The tiled floors slopes slightly on an incline, a massive black and white piece from artist Richard Giglio covers most of the wall to the left, and a bright red magazine table with fresh flowers pops to the right. There is also a large, antique brass letterbox attached to the walls, perhaps from when the hotel was originally used as a non-partisan gentleman's club in 1904. A very dark mahogany front desk sits in the far corner, while in the back corner a selection of books await perusal.
Hallways are white and bright with various artwork or frames containing old memorabilia hanging from the walls. The db moderne bistro is accessible through a hotel-only entrance found just beyond the lobby, before a long hallway toward a set of public toilets. Guest room floor hallways are dark and feel a bit cavernous, with only a decent source of lighting coming just after exiting the elevators. The only additional public space is in the honor bar/business center area on the second floor. This space is brighter than the hallways, but dimmer than the lobby -- which may be the result of a singular small street-facing window. The walls, like in the rooms, are of hand-drawn plaster, but are stained a brown color. Lounge chairs are cushioned in classic style while the tables have white cloths and glass tops. Overall, the vibe in the hotel is peaceful, reserved, and for as much style as it creates in its small spaces, quite unpretentious.
On a quiet street in ultra-convenient central Midtown Manhattan location
New York City is a walking city, and the City Club Hotel's convenient location promises to make your journey as painless as possible. Located in central Midtown Manhattan, the hotel can be found just around the corner from Times Square, but it is far enough away to avoid the sleepless plague of constant noise so you can get a good night's sleep. Within a 10-minute walk from a plethora of Manhattan's most popular points of interest, guests can easily reach the green spaces and events at Bryant Park, the majestic Rose Main Reading Room inside the New York Public Library, views from the historic Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock or Empire State Building, and the transportation hubs of Grand Central Station and the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal. Even Central Park South can be reached on foot in under 15 minutes. This is also an ideal location for anyone looking to visit the Theater District, a selection of world-renowned museums like the MoMA, or shops along Fifth Avenue. Almost every subway line in NYC is within walking distance of the hotel.
Spacious and luxe rooms with quirky touches and small bathrooms
The 65 rooms at City Club Hotel are decorated in a continuation of the hotel's New Classic American style. They feature dark mahogany wood, gray marble desktops, antique-style white wooden bed tables, brown suede day beds, patterned carpet, and (slightly grubby) hand-drawn plaster walls. Celebrating the city, the hotel provides guests with a few New York City-centric bonuses ranging from current issues of Time Out New York to artwork by local contemporary artist Richard Giglio. Highlighting the "classic" side of the city, the hotel has also placed antique framed playbills and city maps around the rooms, and select framed LPs hang above the beds. As another cool and quirky extra: some room have hidden minibars inside "invisible" closets. Even better is that these minibars feature name brand treats and libations from NYC staple, Dean and Deluca.
Bed size varies between room categories, but unless you upgrade to the suite, they max-out at queen. The beds are comfortable and outfitted with quality white linens, large and fluffy pillows, and thin (but sufficient) bedspreads. While the main differentiating factor between most rooms is either the bed size and/or room size, bathroom size tends to stay the same -- small. Neither the full mirrored wall nor the dark chocolate marble covering the floor and walls help to alleviate the cramped feeling of the space; in fact, they seem to make it worse. But the selection of C.O. Bigelow toiletries and bathrobes are nice touches.
Room position at the City Club Hotel is almost as important as category, as front-facing rooms receive generous doses of sunlight, while the back-facing rooms are fairly dark (but private, so therefore optioned by many VIPs). However, the most popular room category in the house is the Grand Duplex Suite, a bi-level room with spiral staircase, wet bar, large bathroom, and small balcony. These rooms also feature gorgeous historic ornate ceilings. The downstairs is a dedicated living area with its own half-bathroom and wet bar around the curve of the staircase. Up the stairs is a loft with a king bed facing a second flat-screen TV, larger bathroom with hanging rack, and a separate entrance. This allows anyone with mobility concerns easy access to both floors of the suite without having to use the stairs. This room also comes with the best views as one entire wall is windowed, and a narrow stone balcony is accessible from the bottom floor.
Small honor bar, adjacent French bistro, and borrowed fitness center
Connected to the hotel is the contemporary French bistro and bar from award-winning chef Daniel Boulud. The restaurant has an upscale-casual vibe with a touch of classic French ambiance and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to both hotel guests and the general public. City Club guests can also order the restaurant's American-French fare via room service 24 hours a day. And while there is a fully stocked bar at the front of the restaurant, they serve an extensive wine list as well. Even though the hotel has an official restaurant (and a highly-commended one at that) and bar attached, there is also a fun second-floor honor bar for guest use. While the drink selection is minimal, guests self-pour either wine, spirits, or cocktails and simply record each on a sheet of paper. Drinks can either be enjoyed back up in the rooms or while sitting at one of the relaxing parlor-style table and chairs. The lounge space is fairly large, but with just one small window bringing in natural light, it can feel a bit dark. The lounge also has peek-a-boo flooring, allowing imbibing guests to view the lower level lobby through a large rectangular opening.
The second floor is also home to the hotel's guest-use business computer, complete with phone but no printer. For any fitness fanatics, the hotel does not have a gym on-site, but they have arranged for free guest passes to the New York Sports Club fitness gym just a few doors down. While this may throw a wrench in some exercise plans, those willing to take the 2-minute walk will find a large gym with tons of cardio and weight machines, classes, and locker rooms. City Club has also worked out discounts for guests at the parking garage across the street. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
New York City's City Club Hotel is a 65-room upper-middle-range boutique hotel with tons of style. With contemporary design by Jeffery Billhuber and featuring artwork by local visual artist Richard Giglio, the City Club Hotel is ideal for couples or small groups seeking a smaller hotel with quiet and comfortable rooms that doesn't sacrifice style or location. While rooms are on the luxe side with fluffy down bedding, soft carpeting, ultra-suede daybeds, and marbled bathrooms, they keep their NYC hip factor with hidden minibars and antique framed maps and records. As midtown NYC is a dense area, the window views of (very) nearby buildings can be claustrophobic, and back-facing rooms are best for guests looking for rooms with less natural light. While there is a celebrated French bistro from Daniel Bloulud adjacent to the hotel serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and 24-hour room service), if you want free breakfast (as well as a host of other free food and drink offerings) look into the slightly noisier and smaller Casablanca Hotel Times Square nearby.