Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Clubby, comfortable, and hip, this 126-room boutique hotel around the corner from Wall Street is meant to feel like an exclusive, “old boys' club.”
Yes, its name is in part derived from its location on Gold Street, but it also opened just before the financial bubble burst when Wall Street financiers were still riding high on record bonuses and reckless gambles. Gild Hall is located in a tall brick building formerly occupied by a Holiday Inn, but you'd never know it entering the small, two-story lobby that features an antler chandelier, an animal skin rug, comfy brown leather furniture, and dark wooden walls lined with antique portraits and lots and lots of books.
The hotel also gets occasional leisure travelers (about 35 percent of guests overall), as its less-than-central location allows it to offer larger rooms and luxurious amenities at much lower rates than places in Midtown or Soho.
Deep within New York's Financial District, it's silent at night and easy to get lost (the hotel's entrance is on Platt Street).
The hotel is located within a few blocks of the 2, 3, A, C, J, Z, and M subway lines, although downtown's labyrinth layout can make it extremely difficult to navigate even a few blocks (I got lost walking from the subway to the hotel, and I live in New York!). Cabs also have a tough time finding the hotel (as noted by multiple reviewers on TripAdvisor), and I had to wait about 10 minutes before a cab could pick me up when I left.
The Financial District shuts down almost completely at night, though a number of luxury high-rise apartment buildings (including 2 Gold, right across the street from the hotel) have sprung up in recent years. To that end, there are a number of useful amenities -- including a drugstore, two grocery stores, multiple ATMs, a Dunkin' Donuts, and a Subway sandwich shop -- all within a block of the hotel. It's not exactly fashionable, though, and it's easy to get lost.
30 to 90 minutes from three airports.
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is typically easiest and the least time-consuming. From JFK, it's a (one-hour) $45 flat-rate taxi ride to anywhere in Manhattan. From LaGuardia, it's about a (30-minute) $40 metered cab ride to Midtown Manhattan. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls), and can take more than 90 minutes. Don't forget to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
To save some cash, try the group shuttles that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. You can also take public transit from any of the airports for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairs. For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
Styled with dark wood, leather, and plaid and featuring top-notch amenities like flat-screen TVs and Sferra linens, rooms feel like a metro hunting lodge.
Standard “Superior Rooms” run from 230 to 260 square feet, but feel slightly sparse -- perhaps because of their black carpet and bare white walls (save for the black trim and strip of wainscoting). The hotel's decor aims to evoke the feeling of an old boys' club or a hunting lodge, and with a leather headboard, a plaid throw blanket, and a gold wallpapered accent wall, that does come across. But the overall effect is pretty dark.
Rooms feature dark wood furniture with brass touches; there’s even a brass horse buckle at each end of the leather headboard. At 290 to 300 square feet, Deluxe rooms are large and comfortable enough to host a small gathering.
Bathroom doors and walls are both constructed from handmade glass bricks that are designed to enhance the room's brightness, in contrast to the dark bedroom. Fortunately the glass is frosted enough to ensure privacy between the two spaces.
Although Gild Hall opened in 2008, interior designer Jim Walrod wanted it to feel like an intimate club that could stand out among the Financial District's bland business hotels. Besides a checker and chessboard in the lobby, Gild Hall also features a 2nd-floor library filled with a wide assortment of books. With red leather couches, oriental rugs and dark wood walls the room really does feel like the grandfather's study. There is even a bar in the corner so you can have a little scotch to complete the mood.
Gild Hall was designed for business travelers, as the Financial District pretty much shuts down at night. Management confirmed that the hotel rarely gets young guests.
Though there is a bit of a bar scene at night in the lobby, the guest rooms are on the large side, making them more kid-friendly than a lot of other boutique hotel rooms in New York. However there are also just 11 rooms with two double beds (though cribs are available). Rollaway cots cost a nightly fee, and because of space constraints and fire restrictions, they are not allowed in standard rooms.
Gild Hall is far hipper than your average Wall Street business hotel. Friendly service, a hunting lodge-like lobby, fantastic flat-screen TVs, Kiehl's bath products, Sferra linens, and sex toys available in every room make this the premier choice for stylin’ financiers. But there’s not much after-dark action in the Financial District.