When most people I know visit New York City, they stay on the Upper East Side or they opt for total tourist town near Times Square. I have to admit I am usually up near the Park. I am a creature of habit. But, I broke that habit with my last trip to NYC and explored an area that is finding a new lease on life after a tragedy that the whole world knows all too well. Of course I’m speaking of September 11th and this is Downtown New York, Lower Manhattan, the financial heartbeat and an area that is perhaps one of the most interesting to explore at the moment. And if you’re planning on exploring, there’s only one hotel to stay in and it’s knock-your-socks-off special. As you know, over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of Four Seasons hotels. This one, however, became a top of the list favourite after being in residence for only fifteen minutes. The Four Seasons Downtown New York is simply stunning, from the moment you step out of your taxi and onto the pavement. Looking up to take in the height of the building is like looking into infinity and beyond. In fact, it’s 82 storeys. Let’s take that in for a second. 82 floors, people. That pretty much guarantees you a room with a view and what a view you’ll have.
The cityscape before me, as I opened the door to my room high atop the tower, left me awe struck. It came alive with the pinks and pale blues of sunset and standing so far above the city, in the quiet of my suite, made the chaos below appear as complete calm. Three-quarter wall length windows make this room. There’s no doubt about that. But the Four Seasons doesn’t let the view do all the heavy lifting in making this a hotel experience like none other. We always and forever need to start with the staff whenever we are talking about the Four Seasons. I make the following statement with every ounce of weight it is intended to have: The staff at Four Seasons are the nicest in the entire service industry. I’m not sure how they interview but I can only imagine they have a rating on the top of every potential employee sheet with a mark for “polite and welcoming.” I have never been greeted by anything other than my name and with a smile at a Four Seasons. You feel as if you are coming home, in every single property, regardless of scale. And the scale of the Four Seasons Downtown definitely is larger than life. The amount of people that walk in and out of that building everyday is intense, yet it seems no face is ever forgotten. That is always worth mentioning.
While staff can make or break an experience, the luxury factor in room is what we’re all really looking for whenever we choose a space to stay. Is the bed comfortable? It is spacious? Do I turn out the lights and not want to sleep because the view is so magical all I want to do is dream about moving to the big city? Ok, I got ahead of myself there. In this Four Seasons, the room is a complete conundrum for me. The bed is one I could happily try and take away with me in my carryon. The sheets, the pillows, the way in which the bed is like falling into a cloud, all lend themselves to the perfect night’s sleep. But, the city twinkled below me and I couldn’t turn away. I lay, facing the windows, watching the city go to sleep around me. These are the types of experiences where sleep is needed, most definitely, but it’s so hard to achieve. There’s so much out there to see and not enough time in our lives to see it all. There are, however, enough Four Seasons around the world to help you see all that you need to. Just dropping that one in, there.
There are plenty more things to mention about this particular location of Four Seasons, before we go here. First, there’s an indoor pool. Not just any indoor pool, a stunning indoor pool. We spent a few hours here just lounging, laughing and swimming the occasional lap and we had it all to ourselves. Not sure what luck brought us that little luxury, but we were happy to have it. Perhaps everyone was out and about living their lives and we were soaking up as much luxury as we could before returning to normality. Either way, the pool is not to be missed when in residence.
If you’re peckish, there’s CUT by Wolfgang Puck downstairs on the ground floor. There’s also 24 hour room service with a smile (and no judgement for ordering extra fries, as I found out first hand). But remember, you’re in New York City and your location could not be more ideal. There’s great pizza to be found an any number of street corners. There are restaurants in Tribeca calling your name and there’s always the nearby Seaport District.
Breaking it down here to bare bones…. The Four Seasons Downtown New York needs to be on your radar, as does Lower Manhattan. Next time I’m in the city, I need to earmark this as a destination worthy of further exploration! To all the staff at Four Seasons, thank you for once again for making me feel part of the family, as I know you do with every guest, but please know you make each and every one of us feel as if we’re the special ones with such service earmarked for us and us alone. That is the magic of the Four Seasons.
Four Seasons Downtown New York
27 Barclay Street
New York, New York 10007
Note: FFG was a guest of the Four Seasons Downtown New York with a press rate for one night and one night complimentary.
Checking out the neighbourhood…