The Chatwal Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Times Square, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Central location less than one block from Times Square
  • Comfortable rooms with thoughtful details
  • Landmark building with fascinating history
  • Popular restaurant on-site
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Small fitness center
  • No coffeemakers in rooms
  • Can be difficult to get a restaurant reservation
  • Only some rooms have bathtubs

Bottom Line

This 76-room luxury hotel in a landmark building near Times Square evokes the glamorous 1920s. Rooms combine high quality linens and beds with playful 1920s touches like backgammon sets, custom playing cards, and desks that look like steamer trunks. A restaurant by Geoffrey Zakarian and a small, lovely spa are the hotel's stand-out features.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A small luxury hotel right off of Times Square, with colorful history and a 1920s Art Deco theme

The Chatwal
The Chatwal

In 1905, celebrated American architect Stanford White (the Washington Square Arch; Madison Square Garden) completed construction of 130 West 44th Street for The Lambs, a very prestigious theatrical society that formed in 1874. (Members included John Barrymore, Charlie Chaplin, and Fred Astaire.) The six-story neo-Georgian building was home to a banquet hall, a small theater, a billiard room, and a grill room. Ten years later (by which time White had been famously murdered by his mistress' husband) the building was doubled in size, the addition an exact mirror image of the original structure.

Today, more than 100 years since The Lambs settled into their quarters, the historic building has been transformed into Times Square's most luxurious hotel. On a relatively calm block, just steps from the heart of Times Square, black wrought-iron fencing and a classic stone facade give way to timeless Art Deco interiors by renowned designer Thierry Despont, whose design makes you feel like you've stepped back in time to Prohibition-era New York (think: chrome detailing, oak wall paneling, a sepia-toned mural). And hotel planners worked closely with New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that the building achieved landmark status: The original facade is still intact, as is an 18th-century French fireplace that was a gift from White to the Lambs, and two other fireplaces from the original building. The busy, high-end restaurant (with an adjacent lobby bar) on the first floor helps give the impression that this is the type of place to see and be seen.

The 76-room Chatwal hotel is the first hotel in what is expected to be a new line of luxury hotels from hotelier Sant Chatwal, whose son Vikram Chatwal owns Dream, Stay, and Night. The hotel joined the Luxury Collection by Starwood Hotels and Resorts in April 2011.

 Location

Half a block from Times Square, but not so close as to be woken up by the lights or traffic.

The Chatwal is just steps from Times Square on the relatively quiet West 44th Street. The street feels like a passageway between tourist-focused Times Square and the businessman's Midtown West. The block is full of hotels, a few restaurants, and some historic buildings (like the Belasco Theater).

  • The hotel is right by 12 subway lines: The B, D, F, and M lines are at 42nd Street-Bryant Park, while the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, and R lines are at Times Square-42nd Street.
  • 12 minutes on foot to the Empire State Building
  • 10 minutes by subway to Central Park, or 20 minutes on foot
  • 18 minutes by subway to Wall Street and the Financial District
  • 25 minutes by subway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Rooms

The attractive rooms blend modern comforts with 1920s-era "cards and cocktails" touches

A Chatwal Junior Suite
A Chatwal Junior Suite

The rooms here meet all of the modern luxury standards -- Frette sheets and towels, down duvets and pillows by Down Etc -- but they also include fun, playful touches that bring guests back to the 1920s. The closets and desk are covered in pebbled leather, both designed to look like trunks you would have seen on a steamship in the early 20th century, and the desk top lifts up to reveal a lighted vanity. The coffee table holds a backgammon set. The mini-bar includes a box of candy cigarettes (which bare a striking resemblance to Lucky Strikes), Pastiglie Leone mints, a pack of cool old-fashioned playing cards (for a hefty fee), and books like The Great Gatsby (as well as magazines -- a modern touch I appreciated). And the desk has postcards decorated with Vargas pin-up girls.

All rooms have:

  • A bed with a Shifman mattress (the oldest mattress company in America) and Frette linens
  • A desk that doubles as a vanity
  • A 42-inch flat-screen TV inside a picture frame
  • A mini-bar stocked with alcohol, candies, books, and magazines
  • A bathroom with a huge walk-in shower, oversized rainfall showerhead, Asprey toiletries, and 19-inch TV embedded in the mirror (which you won't even notice when it's off)
  • A toilet with a seat warmer that also doubles as a bidet (complete with an extensive remote control)
  • Two robes
  • Phone with touch screen that allows you to easily call housekeeping, front desk, room service. Has a built-in alarm clock.
  • A safe

Room types:

  • Chatwal Classic Guestroom: 300 square feet; king or queen bed
  • The Stanford Guestroom: 350 square feet; king bed
  • Chatwal Theater Guestroom: 400 square feet; king or two double beds
  • Chatwal Premier Junior Suite: 520 square feet, king bed; sitting area and bed in one open room
  • Chatwal Classic One Bedroom Suite: 650 square feet, queen bed. Living room is separate from bedroom, each with a TV and a full bathroom (one with a shower and one with a shower/tub combo). Living room can be converted into a second bedroom using a descending Murphy bed stored in the wall.
  • The Director's Suite (1,500 square feet) is a two-bedroom suite on the penthouse floor. One bedroom has a king bed and one room has two double beds. The Producer's Suite (2,500 square feet) is a two-bedroom duplex suite on the same floor (its staircase leads to a huge private terrace). The two suites can combine to form the four-bedroom Barrymore Suite.
  • The Chatwal also has several "specialty," one-of-a-kind suites that guests can inquire about, including the Stanford Studio, the Landmark Three Bedroom Suite, Stanford One Bedroom Suite, the Theater One Bedroom Suite, and the Two Bedroom Suite Queen.
  • Only a handful of rooms have terraces (namely those on the 7th Floor)

 Features

A small, lovely spa with a "lap pool" and a tiny fitness center. No business center, though.

The spa
The spa
  • The Red Door Spa at Chatwal includes a water lounge that has a small "lap pool" (you swim against a jet) and hot and cold plunge pools.
  • Small fitness center, open 24 hours a day
  • One level up from the restaurant is The Lambs Club Bar, which has many booths and tables and mini (somewhat tacky) Empire State Buildings hanging over the bar
  • There's no business center, but the hotel lends out iPads, iPods, and computers. Plus, they'll do your printing for you. Meeting space is available in the Club Room or Stanford White Studio
  • 24-hour concierge

 Food

A popular, see-and-be-seen restaurant by Geoffrey Zakarian

Chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian opened The Lambs Club Restaurant and Bar in the hotel, named after the building's original patrons. The small space has a clubby, old boys' club feel to it, with red leather chairs and banquettes, Art Deco decor that matches the lobby (lamps shaped like tall martini classes), and an 18th-century French fireplace that was a gift from the building's designer in 1905.

  • 24-hour room service is provided by the restaurant
  • Many dining options are within easy walking distance

 Bottom Line

This 76-room luxury hotel in a landmark building near Times Square evokes the glamorous 1920s. Rooms combine high quality linens and beds with playful 1920s touches like backgammon sets, custom playing cards, and desks that look like steamer trunks. A restaurant by Geoffrey Zakarian and a small, lovely spa are the hotel's stand-out features.

Things You Should Know About The Chatwal

Address

  • 130 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Room Types

  • Classic One Bedroom Suite
  • Deluxe Four Bedroom Suite
  • Deluxe Guestroom
  • Deluxe Studio
  • Deluxe Three Bedroom Suite
  • Deluxe Two Bedroom Suite
  • Deluxe Two Bedroom Suite with Private Roof Deck
  • Grand Deluxe Guestroom
  • Junior Suite
  • Superior Deluxe One Bedroom Suite
  • Superior Guestroom
  • Superior One Bedroom Suite
  • Superior Two Bedroom Suite Queen

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 83
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Times Square, Manhattan
Address: 130 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
(See Map)
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