My life as a New York City resident unexpectedly came to a screeching halt during the pandemic. I handed in my “Tex-pat” hat and replanted roots in south Texas. Just like many who came and left before me, I found that living in New York left a profound impact on me as a person; it wasn’t easy to leave behind.
But life happens, as they say. My partner and I agreed we would forever remember NYC as a meaningful part of our lives and assured ourselves we could always return for visits.
This luxury hotel in New York makes it feel like home!
For our first trip back to New York earlier this year, we wanted to revisit our old favourites… the places that made New York City feel like home. We were surprised, however, that the hotel we chose — a newcomer to the city — made us feel at home again most of all.
We stayed at Nine Orchard, named one of the best new hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure editors in our 2023 It List. The location was within prime proximity of our favourite haunts; what some lovingly refer to as “Dimes Square” — a tiny pocket between Chinatown and the Lower East Side — was our go-to area for a Manhattan night out. When we lived in New York, it was where young artists, skaters, and underpaid NYC transplants who recently graduated from college and didn’t inherit a trust fund could afford to have a decent night out. We’d grab a bite at Scarr’s Pizza or Jajaja Mexicana and hang out at Forgtmenot and dearly departed nightclub and art space Beverly’s. We weren’t surprised to see how the area had grown, ringing in a new era with places like Nine Orchard, but still holding onto its past.
Bridging a 110-year history, the hotel at 9 Orchard St. was built within the Jarmulowsky Bank Building, which served as a bank for new immigrants to New York in the 1910s. A talented team of architects and historians meticulously recreated the 60-foot-tall tempietto on the roof and the original exterior clock from old photographs. While transforming the original bank lobby into the hotel’s bar, Swan Room, the team uncovered an intricate ceiling that now serves as the main attraction upon entry. Swan Room offers a chic bar scene where reservations are highly recommended and martinis are served alongside caviar. The perk of being a hotel guest is getting to enjoy this room in another light: with fresh croissants and coffee while reading the newspaper in the morning.
The stay at this luxury hotel in New York is warm and inviting!
Stylish public spaces aside, what drew me to Nine Orchard most was my guest room, which quickly became an environment I didn’t want to leave — mostly because I felt like I was living back in New York again. Listening to jazz as I soaked in the tub, looking out on the Manhattan streets below, I was once again part of the place where more than 1 million lives are lived simultaneously within 22.7 square miles (58.79 square kilometres). I was living the life you dream of when you long to be a New Yorker.
The interiors at Nine Orchard are warm and inviting, and just like the neighbourhood outside, old and new collide, from the furniture to the art. From the painted number on our room’s door to the cosy, understated chairs and simple table, it felt like everything that’s lovely about a New York apartment — without any of the less luxurious parts. It was like a dream, a time warp, where all that was wonderful about the city existed within four walls. In-room Ojas speakers anchor the timeless feel, playing four radio channels that were custom-curated for the hotel by DJ Stretch Armstrong and Devon Turnbull. It’s the perfect soundtrack to take you through some of the great city’s most iconic periods.
A culinary experience rooted in a classic American concept
As enticing as it is to stay in your room, Nine Orchard’s restaurant continues the same intoxicating atmosphere. Chef Ignacio Mattos’ food is rooted in a classic American concept but takes hints from corner bistros around the world, creating dishes that are indulgent yet approachable. The Corner Bar is a chameleon throughout the day, providing French-inspired breakfast and classics like oysters and spaghetti pomodoro at lunch and dinner. The beverage program is impressive and makes for a lovely precursor to a night at Swan Room.
If you’ve ever dreamed of an idyllic New York experience, Nine Orchard is it. In my mind, I’m still living lavishly in that room, writing at its simple wooden desk, and reading in the cosy chair looking out at the city as the sun sets.
(Hero and feature image credit: Mariah Tyler/Travel+Leisure)
This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com