Travelling from Birmingham to New York is now ultra convenient, flying direct with American Airlines. For getting the most out of your visit to New York however, you should consider spending a few days at The Chatwal on 130 West 44th Street.
This former home of The Lambs, has gone through an outstanding $100million conversation by owner Sant Singh Chatwal from New York’s most famous entertainment club, to its most glamorous theatre district hotel.
Interior Master, Thierry Despont has transformed the establishment with an uber smart cocktail-era art deco theme, with its patterned terrazzo floor and its mirror and chrome bar in the lobby.
There’s an unspoken rule in the world of luxury dwellings, which seems to work as a good ‘style barometer’. The rule seems to be that when something is engraved, you know the owners have a certain touch of class. The Chatwal logo is etched in many surfaces, embossed or engraved, carved out of the many features of the hotel, none more so than their elegant mascot, an archer with his bow and arrow pointed towards the sky.
From the moment you arrive, you notice the hotel’s stunning clock in the reception area with its stylish typography set off against the white oversized clock face beaming down at you.
Axel Fischer, the hotel manager keeps an incredibly tight ship on his staff at the Chatwal, he must do – they are just so polite and friendly. Nothing is too much trouble and they really understand how to make each element of your stay special.
Walking passed the lobby when I checked in; I noticed a range of smartly attired locals getting ready for their evening over cocktails. Bow ties, tuxedos and ball gowns. As soon as I had showered in the waterfall wet room, I made the effort and put on my best blue mohair suit for dinner in the Lambs Club.
Inside the suite, every part of the room had been dressed with the exquisite attention to detail. From the bedding, to the selection of newspapers, magazines. The mini bar was more like a mini mall, with beautifully presented healthy snacks, an actual miniature bottle of belvedere vodka, a cabinet of the finest crystal whisky glasses and champagne flutes, each set back in magnificent mahogany cabinets.
The tinted mirror bathrooms are a firm favourite for this suite, with their marble floors, Asprey toiletries and toto loo-bidets with remote-controlled jets. The curtains, lighting and temperature are all controlled from a telephone.
There were two television screens which makes sense as the room was long and rectangular shaped so there was one for the lounge area, and one for in front of the bed.
The bathroom was also quite divine. Tiled in stardust with rich shades of pearl rouge and blush purple every piece of furniture was of the highest spec. Even the toilet seat was heated.
For dinner I ate at the adjoining Lambs club, which had the most comfortable Italian red leather chairs and bench seating.
The bread was a still warm focaccia which went down beautifully as I enjoyed their enormous fireplace, set low and just right for the early spring weather outside and the watching the walls, adorned with old photographs of Broadway and Hollywood legends, original member of the Lambs, a group that gathered until 1973 in the building.
The Lambs Club dinner menu provides the kind of dishes which make one feel replenished after a long weekend walking through New York City. For a refreshing start, Yvette my waitress recommends the carrot salad. It sounds a bit simple doesn’t it, but it wasn’t. It was a slaw, of sorts that gave the palette a gentle refresh before the main course. I had the Long Island duck for my main, as it was locally sourced and cooked through to perfection. Many guests are on their way to the theatre so due to the timing, The Lambs Clubs hosts a fantastic pre-theatre menu to tickle your taste buds, and both Broadway and Times Square are just a stone’s throw from the hotel.
After a long day it was time to retreat. Still not having quite recovered from jet lag, it was a welcome change to have a bed all to myself for once. My sleep was peaceful, despite the ultra central location of The Chatwal, you can hear a pin drop in your room and there’s no noise from the outside to prevent you having an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
For those of you who are powering your way through Manhattan like I was for a few days, you will no doubt cover a lot of miles (on your feet). Getting around couldn’t be easier on the subway, and if you miss the traffic, even the taxi rides aren’t that bad for short distances in a hurry. But, those avenues, and cross road networks may look easy and convenient to navigate on a city map, but in practice, it can be very exhausting when you have a strict itinerary.
Getting around in just three days I managed to walk 60,000 steps and damage my left knee. Some therapy was in order, and thank goodness for Mary, The Chatwal’s Red Door Spa therapist who came to the rescue with her healing ginger and orange essential oils. I went for a deep tissue massage. About an hour of guided relaxation, where Mary adopted slow, deep pressure and unique skills to target the stressed muscles, unlock tension and relieve pain. This would also be an ideal post workout massage. The salt water pool, gym and jacuzzi was also part of the facility. When I asked for a locker, to my appreciative surprise the manager said, this is your room for the treatment, just showing that the spa goes the extra mile for each its clients.