Just around the block from Bryant Park, in the midst of New York’s garment district, the brand-new Archer Hotel goes all-out in its pursuit of a memorable identity: not only have they developed a strong visual style, they’ve instituted an approach to service that’s equally distinctive. This, apparently, is thanks to the example set by your mysterious host — also named Archer, he’s the embodiment of 21st-century Manhattan hospitality, a sort of modern-day Jeeves in a Dior Homme suit, perhaps, who strives discreetly behind the scenes to anticipate every need and satisfy every whim.
Whether or not you can ever quite put a face to the name, there’s no denying he captures the aspirations of the place. Archer certainly knows that in today’s hospitality world, style and substance need to be equally balanced. In this idealized New York the best bits of downtown style — brick walls, expansive industrial-style spaces — mix freely with uptown influences, from intricate tilework to richly figured hardwood and dark leather headboards.
Rooms and suites are just lavish enough, with plenty of space, plenty of light, efficient, stylish bathrooms and all the essential comforts. What’s perhaps most refreshing, though, is the way Archer throws in the extras that other hotels can’t resist charging for. Wi-fi is free, as it always should be (but so rarely is), as is coffee from the in-room Nespresso machine, and turndown service comes with a fairly impressive selection of desserts and snacks from local makers.
Meanwhile the hotel’s restaurant, Charlie Palmer Steak, highlights artisanal American beef in a stylish, open dining room, and the Foyer Bar's garage door opens onto an outdoor patio. The best of the public spaces, however, has to be Spyglass, the rooftop bar with a panoramic view of the Empire State and the Chrysler building.