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The Refinery Hotel 4.5

Midtown West, New York City, New York

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Review Summary

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  • Chic, modern rooms with black-and-white decor and oak floors
  • Sleek bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers or shower/tub combos
  • A rooftop bar with both indoor and outdoor space
  • Parker & Quinn, an American bistro inspired by English pubs and Parisian wine bars
  • Winnie's Jazz Club, named for the owner of a historic, Prohibition-era tea salon
  • Historic building that was a former hat factory
  • Cool industrial-chic design throughout
  • Convenient location near Bryant Park and the Empire State Building
  • Private event space for up to 50 people
  • 24-hour room service
  • Jazz happy hour


  • Some noise complaints (common in NYC)
  • Wait time for elevators can be a bit long

Bottom Line

This stylish urban boutique hotel in New York's Garment District is located in a historic building that was once a tea salon and hat factory. The property's past inspired its present industrial-chic design, and small details such as decorative milliner's tools pay homage to the building's former function. In the lobby, cool white stone and Gothic arches are contrasted against colorful contemporary art, while in the rooms, a minimalist black-and-white motif is warmed up by the oak hardwood floors. Features include a fitness center, a lobby bar (named for the historic tea salon's owner), Parker & Quinn bistro, and a cool rooftop bar. The location is within walking distance of popular sights such as the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, and Herald Square. Those who would prefer to be in a trendier neighborhood (and don’t mind being farther from popular Midtown sights) might also want to consider The James New York in Soho.

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A beacon of chic in an otherwise drab area

Most New Yorkers are quick to hate on the Garment District, a rather characterless Midtown West neighborhood that's home to wholesale jewelry and fabric stores, delis by the dozen, and Madison Square Garden. But even snobby, seen-it-all locals will happily head to the Refinery Hotel's old-school-cool bistro (which is big for brunch), Prohibition-style jazz bar, or spectacular rooftop bar, which gives viewers a straight shot of the Empire State Building. The interior design in these food and drink spots and throughout the hotel -- blue-and-white tile mosaic floors and black-and-white photography in the restaurant, vintage sewing-table-style work desks and polished-brass details in the guest rooms -- pays homage to the property's industrial past.


In New York's Garment District, near many popular sights

The Garment District (also more flatteringly dubbed the Fashion District) is home to wholesale dress and jewelry shops and the occasional adult DVD store. It's not the prettiest part of the city, but it's extremely convenient for tourists as many popular sights are within walking distance.

  • Within walking distance of 15 subway lines: the 1, 2, 3, N, R, Q and 7 at Times Square, the 4, 5, 6, 7 and S at Grand Central Station, and B, D, F, M and 7 at Bryant Park.
  • 6-minute walk to the Empire State Building
  • 6-minute walk to Bryant Park and the main branch of the New York Public Library
  • 11-minute walk to Grand Central Station
  • 12-minute walk to Times Square
  • 15-minute walk to Rockefeller Center
  • 25-minute drive to LaGuardia Airport
  • 40-minute drive to John F. Kennedy Airport
  • 40-minute drive to Newark Airport


Airy, minimalist rooms with vintage charm and modern accessories

The loftlike rooms at the Refinery have an airy, arty aesthetic. The oak floors, concrete ceilings (12-footers, by the way), exposed pipes, and fashion-sketchbook-inspired wall art lend the 197 rooms and suites a working-studio vibe, but a number of intimate touches give them some warmth: wine, wool rugs, brass lamps and bathroom fixtures, natural Beekman 1802 beauty products from Upstate New York. And modern amenities -- 42-inch LCD HDTVs with cable, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi -- keep the past-and-present balance in check. A few guests have pointed out that there is limited storage space and that the bathroom towels a bit on the thin side (or at least seem that way when compared to the luxe bedsheets). Rooms on the higher floors offer better views and a bigger barrier from street noise.


A trio of hip hangouts and endearing boutique touches

The Refinery's indoor/outdoor rooftop bar -- popular with out-of-towners and an after-work scene alike -- is its most prized asset, though the lobby-level Parker & Quinn (which has a style influenced by British pubs and Parisian wine bars) and the speakeasy-style Winnie's also attract both New York City residents and hotel guests. The hotel offers a jazz-music happy hour with free drinks at Winnie's. Though there's no spa, the Refinery does have a (remarkably stylish) fitness room, as well as a 24-hour room service, free newspapers in the lobby, and laundry and dry cleaning services, upon request.

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63 West 38th Street, New York City, New York 10018-3818, United States


(646) 664-0310

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