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April 18, 2024

The Fifth Avenue Hotel: Inside Martin Brudnizki’s NYC Project

The renowned interior designer brings his signature Gilded Age style to a storied New York building.

By Elite Traveler

As I approach the entrance of The Fifth Avenue Hotel, the grandeur that awaits is immediately apparent. Stepping into the lobby, the hustling commotion of the city evaporates as I am enveloped in an ambiance of elegance, with soaring ceilings, glittering chandeliers, and a warm glow that felt inviting. The decor, enriched with gold accents and wood, ensures the space radiates not just luxury, but a comforting sense of home. Every nook seems to hold a story, whether through the delicate placement of orchids or coffee table books ready for leisurely exploration.

The new Fifth Avenue Hotel stands as a captivating intersection of history and modernity. Originally the estate of the illustrious Gilded Age hostess Mrs. Charlotte Goodridge, the location was a beacon of culture in 19th-century New York City. Over time, it evolved from an art gallery to the Second National Bank, crafted by the legendary architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. Today, the Renaissance-style palazzo, with its original brick and limestone facade, stands beside a gleaming 24-story modern glass tower, a striking blend of historical and contemporary architecture.

The hotel’s interior, reimagined by the visionary designer Martin Brudnizki known for iconic projects such as The Beekman Hotel in New York and Annabel’s in London and owner Alex Ohebshalom, blends Gilded Age elegance with exotic inspirations, resulting in a space that is both majestic and welcoming. The attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, from the ornate cabinets displaying curios to the bold statement pieces of art, providing a contemporary twist to the classical atmosphere.

[See also: The Best Hotels in New York and the Best Suite to Book]

fifth avenue hotel lobby cabinet
Cabinet of Gems designed by Martin Brudnizki / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

The corridors of the hotel are not just passageways; they are galleries, alive with stories told through curated artwork. The coy cocoon of pastel pinks, traditional wall panelling, and elegant wall sconces enhance the intimate atmosphere, making it a perfect escape from the bustling city outside.

Despite its grandeur, the hotel captures a surprisingly intimate essence that ensures guests feel both cherished and exclusive. The staff’s attentive, personalized service plays a crucial role in this, ensuring that each guest’s experience is uniquely their own. This sense of intimacy, often lost in large luxury establishments, is the heart of the Fifth Avenue Hotel’s charm.

A decade-long restoration by Flâneur Hospitality has brilliantly preserved the Renaissance-style mansion’s historical character while seamlessly incorporating modern amenities. The hotel’s rich history is palpable in every corner, blending effortlessly with contemporary comforts to offer a sanctuary that reflects both New York’s illustrious past and its dynamic present. The Fifth Avenue Hotel stands as a testament to the art of luxury, providing an experience that is both captivating and unforgettable.

Stay

Fifth Avenue hotel mansion suite bedroom
The Mansion Suite / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

Stepping into the Mansion Suite, I entered a sanctuary that was more than just a place to rest; it was an embodiment of artful living. Every detail, from the hand-molded stucco gracing the mint-green walls to the artwork, narrates a story of luxury and craftsmanship. The centerpiece of the room, a resplendent chandelier, captured my fascination with its spectacle of colors. Each crystal, illuminated from within, seemed to pulse with life, scattering vibrant hues throughout the room. Whilst at night, the star-shaped light fixtures added a soft, celestial glow, offering the unique charm of sleeping under a canopy of stars right in the heart of New York City. The thoughtful curation of the room struck a perfect balance, embodying bold sophistication without sacrificing the serene atmosphere.

Fifth avenue hotel suite bathroom
Spacious marble bathrooms of the Madison Suite / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

Beyond their lavish aesthetics, the suites boast modern conveniences seamlessly integrated into the design. A personal tablet acts as the command center for the room, managing everything from lighting and temperature to in-room dining and entertainment. The suite was furnished with a duxiana king bed fit with fine Italian linens, spacious marble bathrooms with heated floor, and state-of-the-art technology, including Bluetooth speakers and Nespresso coffee makers. As well as a personal butler and car service available to assist at a moment’s whim. The thoughtful curation of the room strikes a perfect balance, embodying bold sophistication without sacrificing the serene atmosphere that beckons one to relax and unwind.

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Dine

Cafe Carmicellini restaurant fifth avenue hotel
Old-school elegance at Café Carmellini / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

Café Carmellini, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is a celebration of French and Italian cuisine spearheaded by the celebrated chef Andrew Carmellini. This restaurant encapsulates the old-school elegance of its architectural surroundings, with an interior that marries blue velvet and mustard leather against a backdrop of Art Deco mirrors and concentric-circle chandeliers, all under the watchful gaze of two towering trees stretching to the double-story ceiling. The menu masterfully blends French and Italian flavors, showcasing Carmellini’s 30-year career with innovative dishes that balance traditional with contemporary. With an impressive wine list of 1,800 bottles and a curated selection of classic cocktails, dining here is an experience to be savored.

[See also: The Best Hotels in New York and the Best Suite to Book]

portrait bar fifth avenue hotel
Escape the city with a drink at the Portrait Bar / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

The Portrait Bar offers a cozy escape, reminiscent of a private library, with wood panelling and art-adorned walls. Artifacts and sculptures on display add an element of the eclectic, filling the space with character and a sense of discovery. It’s an ideal spot for a nightcap, offering cocktails named after the global destinations they’re inspired by. This intimate space serves as a sophisticated venue for evening drinks and a serene setting for morning coffee.

portrait bar fifth avenue hotel
Art-adorned walls in the Portrait Bar / ©The Fifth Avenue Hotel

The Conservatory, with its romantic Victorian flair, offers a unique dining ambiance under a monumental skylight. Surrounded by vines, marble café tables, and soft Ottoman-inspired lanterns, this space extends the dining experience into a charming and enchanting setting. Breakfast is a delightful affair, showcasing a blend of classic comforts and contemporary twists. Signature dishes like the Fifth Avenue Breakfast and the unique Avocado Tartlet cater to a variety of tastes. My personal highlight was the omelet, which was not only delicious but also rich and satisfying.

Explore

Situated at the bustling intersection of 28th Street and Fifth Avenue, the hotel’s prime NoMad location immerses guests in the pulsating heart of New York City. Surrounded by iconic landmarks, luxury boutiques, world-class museums, and a vibrant array of entertainment options, the hotel stands as an ideal gateway for those eager to explore the city’s rich tapestry.

The hotel’s concierge service, affiliated with Les Clefs D’Or, ensures that guests enjoy top-tier, personalized service, from restaurant reservations to advice on exploring New York City.

[See also: The Best Spas in New York]

The Mansion Suite from $2,295 per night; Contact +1 212 231 9400, www.thefifthavenuehotel.com

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