Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A swanky boutique hotel with a Buddist, retreat-like vibe, rich decor, and many spaces for dining, mingling, and partying
With a façade backlit in red and yellow and steps covered in red carpet, the Sanctuary Hotel grabs attention at the sidewalk. Doormen dressed in black and white greet guests at the entrance while at the adjacent door to the hotel's restaurant, a staff member hails passersby with hopes of encouraging them inside for a drink or dinner.
The Buddhist-themed hotel was designed to be a relaxing retreat and the intention is evident the moment you pass through the thick wood-carved door embellished with gold accents. A line of crystal chandeliers guides guests through the dimly lit lobby. There's a beverage station with a selection of cucumber and strawberry water, a tufted leather desk is stocked with tourist information and a concierge at the ready, and a cozy nook with fireplace is an inviting spot for lounging and regrouping. A dark hallway with rows of stone Buddha statues leads to a stylish bar and lounge, a private library-style dining room, and the hotel's main restaurant, a posh steak and sushi spot (glowing in red light).
While by day guests come and go in between exploring the nearby sights and shops, come evening the lobby amplifies with guests and visitors ready to party. Many head to the ninth floor where a Moroccan-style restaurant and lounge serves up French-inspired cuisine, a colorful and romantic atmosphere, and city skyline views.
On a busy block, around the corner from the action of Times Square and the Theater District
Despite the name of the hotel, those seeking peace and quiet won't find what they are looking for staying just around the corner from the chaotic, light-infused Times Square. The Sanctuary sits on a busy stretch of 47th Street, across the street from a giant FedEx office and a 24-hour parking garage and close to an Irish pub, historic St. Mary's Church, and the Night Hotel.
The location is ideal for tourists looking to explore some of Manhattan's must-see destinations such as Rockefeller Center, the shops of Fifth and Madison Avenues, Broadway shows, the Museum of Modern Art, and Central Park. The hotel is also close to major subway lines as well as Grand Central Terminal.
Tufted leather headboards, twinkling chandeliers, and a rich color palette set the stage while amenities such as plush robes, flat-screen TVs, and peek-a-boo glass-enclosed showers add comfort.
The hotel's 111 rooms continue the same rich jewel-tone color palette of the hotel's public spaces. Beds, a collection of kings, queens, and two doubles, are backed by oversized tufted leather headboards and footed with matching tufted benches. Sparkling crystal chandeliers center the rooms, while the walls are finished in pale white and cream striped wallpaper. Snappy white shades with red and chocolate brown vertical stripes, chocolate brown tile work, dark wood furniture (including working desks), and Buddha-inspired photographs complete the space. Storage space is limited to narrow closets fronted by curtains or similar sized armoires with two small drawers and hanging space for a weekend full of outfits.
Bathrooms are not for the modest as sinks and glass-enclosed showers are configured along one wall of the rooms, meaning that guests have no privacy when showering. Vanities are nice to look at with white vessel sinks set on marble countertops and showers configured with spa-like rain showerheads. Toilets are shut away in tiny water closets separated by pocket doors or swaths of thick curtain.
Deluxe King rooms face the front onto 47th Street while Deluxe Queens face the back, looking out onto fire escapes and lacking natural light. The hotel's only "Sweet" is a stylish two-room space with interesting artwork and a massive wall-mounted flat-screen TV. While the standard rooms are not spacious, they come equipped with amenities such as plush robes, flat-screen TVs, and the treats and spirits necessary for a proper minibar.
Two restaurant and lounge areas and daily passes to the Equinox gym and spa
With the Times Square location being one of the Sanctuary's greatest assets, the hotel continues to deliver an entertainment-style vibe with a rooftop restaurant and lounge, a street-level lounge with DJ booth, and a romantic steak and sushi restaurant. While it lacks an on-site gym, it helps make up for the missing amenity by offering day passes to the spacious Equinox fitness center and spa.
The Sanctuary is a 111-room upscale boutique hotel close to the bustle and lights of Times Square and the Theater District. As its name indicates, the hotel strives to set a soothing vibe, and with low lighting, luxury decor, and a Buddhist theme, it succeeds. While the vibe is calm by day, in the evenings the restaurants and lounges on street level and on the roof cater to a beautiful crowd that likes to socialize and party. Rooms come equipped with cushy robes, spa-like showers, and minibars stocked with late-night snacks and spirits. Just note that some rooms may be noisy at night, some lack natural light, and there's no fitness center on-site (but guests get free day passes to Equinox).