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February 2019

Issue: February 2019

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An NY conversion

1 February 2019

19th-century abode The Beekman transports guests back to old New York – ambience included

It’s a Sunday in rainy downtown New York. “You’d be so nice to come home to,” croons a jazz singer, tucked away in a library lounge, with rain lashing a pyramid skylight. The Beekman may be nine storeys high but at this moment in time, nowhere could feel more intimate.

Originally built in 1881 as a law firm, the Beekman has been converted in a manner that pays respect to its heritage. Revitalised by Randolph Gerner, the standout feature is undoubtedly the nine-storey Victorian atrium around which hotel rooms are wrapped, as well as ground-floor restaurant and lounge.

Martin Brudnizki tackled the interiors to create a lived-in ambience, with the impression that items have been slowly added to the space over time, rather than a full fit-out. With ‘40s vintage cushions and jade green velvet flung throughout, as well as reams of books and paintings, the feeling is one of intimate and historic seclusion.

Rooms are similarly kitted out, the vintage bar a particular highlight. The studios are lovely, but those looking for a better view should opt for one of the two penthouses with private terraces.

Guests can eat in French restaurant Augustine or American classics in the temple bar, both headed up by James McBeard winners, a prestigious restaurant award.

At night both come alive, with power brokers, creatives and marketing execs all animatedly discussing their latest projects before heading down to the cellar, open until 4am. Alternatively, you may find a guest tucked away in a booth by the window, immersed in one of the library books and watching pedestrians stride by. See or be seen – the Beekman can do either.

Neighbourhood

The Brooklyn Bridge, The Woolworth building, One World Trade Centre… Downtown already has several must-sees, and its revitalisation from financial district to tech hub has added a plethora of new options for tourists. It’s a two-minute walk from the hotel to visit the 9/11 memorial museum, and the Seaport district has undergone a refresh, with international transplants such as Milan’s Corso Como and local designers like Cynthia Rowley mixing with a massive variety of restaurants.

Words: Georgina Lavers

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