Sleeping Around NYC: The Gregory
By Shari Hartford
New hotels, like other new ventures, occasionally need to work out the kinks. Call it opening night (or week) jitters. But once the dust settles and its business as usual, guests and staff alike can relax and reap the benefits of a job well done.
Such is the case with The Gregory, a 132-room property conveniently located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The building itself, built in 1903, was originally the Gregorian, a hotel that saw the overflow from the successful Waldorf Astoria as well as the site of prestigious society events and the stomping ground of the movers and shakers of their time.
The Gregory has a townhouse feel with graceful writing desks and chairs as reception as you find in fine European establishments. The cozy lobby (more living room than public space) has several nooks for conversation and solitude as well as a bar that doubles as a coffee-and-snack salon during the day. The interesting art, knickknacks and books emphasize the fashion theme that carries through the hotel. This is, after all, smack in the center of the garment district.
My room for the night (number 712) was a study in understated elegance. The original architectural features – high ceilings and small entry foyer – had a lovely feel. The luxurious linens, free Wi-Fi and all the tech bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from a first-class hotel are here, and then some. The furnishings were a study in soft wood and leather with ample seating and storage. The bathroom had excellent light (not always a given) and I loved the pump bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner and bath gel mounted on the wall. With the spotless white tiles, these built-ins gave the room an almost spa atmosphere.
For a touch of whimsy, the standard Do Not Disturb sign was replaced by a gray silk tie to be hung outside the door when you are otherwise engaged.
Were there opening jitters? Yes. The reception folks forgot to tell me the water bottles in the room were complementary, there was an electrical problem concerning the fire alarm system which in turn shutdown the elevators for a short time and the expected literature that appears in all hotel rooms instructing inhabitants as to the whys and wherefores of their home away from home was missing. However, now, a month later, all is well and running like a well-oiled machine.
The Gregory has character with a capital C. It is simultaneously an ode to a bygone era and a trendy boutique property that you will want to return to again and again.
For more information, see thegregoryhotelnewyork.com