Gild Hall is far hipper than your average Wall Street business hotel. Friendly service, a hunting lodge-like lobby, and 126 attractively designed rooms with 55-inch flat-screen TVs, Sferra linens, and D.S. & Durga bath products make this a top choice for stylish financiers. But there’s not much after-dark action in the Financial District. Another hip business hotel worth considering is the Andaz Wall Street, which features a striking Rockwell Group design and freebies like lobby snacks, barista coffee, and minibar items.
This aesthetic at this 126-room boutique hotel near Wall Street is a playful nod to classic old boys' clubs
Yes, it's located in a tall, nondescript brick building (once occupied by a Holiday Inn), but the lackluster exterior will fade from memory upon entering this downtown Manhattan boutique hotel. Jim Walrod, the mid-century design expert and Gild Hall's interior designer, wanted the hotel to feel like an intimate club that could stand out among the Financial District's many bland and impersonal business hotels. The quirky, handsome hotel, part of the Thompson Hotel group, immediately achieves this goal with its two-story, hunting-lodge-with-a-twist-like lobby -- there are antler chandeliers painted a pale matte silver, wood shelves lined with books and bell jars, and leather seating the color of dried tobacco mixed with mid-century modern furnishings. Tomato-red hallways with crisp white wainscoting lead to dimly lit, well-appointed rooms. Everything in this hotel -- from the animal skin rug to the antique portraits -- is thoughtfully placed and understated. The name is in part derived from its location on Gold Street (but note: the entrance is on Platt Street), and is also a cheeky reference to Wall Street financiers' pre-bubble record bonuses and reckless gambles.
The Financial District's narrow streets and alleys hearken back to another era, but their labyrinthine layout can be difficult to navigate. The hotel itself is on the corner of Gold and Platt streets -- even cab drivers can get confused trying to find the hotel (the address is Gold Street, but the entrance is on Platt Street). Gild Hall is located within a few blocks of the A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, and Z subway lines, as well as the New York Stock Exchange and St. Paul's Chapel (Manhattan's oldest surviving church, dating back to 1766). World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, and the new "Oculus" World Trade Center transportation hub, designed by Santiago Calatrava, are a short walk from the hotel. The Financial District shuts down almost completely at night, though a number of luxury high-rise apartment buildings (including 2 Gold Street, right across the street from the hotel) have sprung up in recent years.
Two-minute walk to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange
Two-minute walk to Fulton Street Station, a transit hub for the A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, and Z subway lines
Masculine rooms impeccably styled with dark wood, leather, and brass
There are seven room and suite categories at Gild Hall, beginning with the 230-square-foot King Superior and the 300-square-foot Double Deluxe. Next up are the King Deluxe and King Premium, both around 300 square feet, but the latter with 12-foot-high ceilings. King Suites are 560 square feet, followed by the 820-square-foot Thompson Suite, and finally, the 865-square-foot Penthouse.
Similar to the lobby, the room decor aims to evoke the vibe of an old boys' club or a hunting lodge, and with horse buckles on the leather paneled headboards, black-and-white pinstriped carpeting, brass chandeliers and reading lamps, and whiskey-toned wood accents, that certainly come across. The overall effect is quite masculine and a bit dark, but very attractive -- though the dark decor, combined with the rooms' limited natural light, strikes some guests as rather somber. Bathroom doors and walls are constructed from handmade glass bricks that are designed to enhance the room's brightness, in contrast to the dim bedroom (the glass is frosted enough to ensure privacy between the two spaces). Bathrooms feature marble floors, pedestal sinks, shower/tub combos (separate soaking tubs in the suites), and D.S. & Durga toiletries. Dollar Shave Club kits are available for a fee.
All rooms feature 55-inch flat-screen LED HDTVs, steamer-trunk-style three-drawer work desks, and leather lounge chairs. Beds -- either two doubles or one king -- feature Simmons mattresses dressed in luxurious Sferra linens. Other perks are the iHome iPod docks, Frette bathrobes, slippers, and stocked minibars.
A library creates a cozy atmosphere, and there are three small exercise rooms, and a small business center
Besides a checker and chessboard in the lobby, Gild Hall also features a second-floor library filled with a wide assortment of books. With red leather couches, oriental rugs, and dark wood walls, the room feels like a grandfather's study. Attached to the lobby/library lounge area is Felice Ristorante & Wine Bar (not managed by the hotel), which offers breakfast and brunch items like organic eggs, sunflower toast, and strawberry-compote pancakes, as well as Tuscan cuisine and wine for lunch and dinner. Upstairs, La Soffitta is a candlelit wine bar with comfy, burgundy leather banquettes and small marble tables.
Free copies of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are available at the front desk. The computers in the small business center are free to use for five minutes, though you can print your boarding passes for free. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, for one or two devices. There are three small exercise rooms in lieu of one central gym. Each room is identical to the others, with a treadmill, an elliptical, a weight bench, free weights, a filtered water machine, and towels.
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