Checking In: Archer New York

Launched in May 2014, Archer Hotel New York is among a new pack of boutique hotels to open in Manhattan’s Garment District (within walking distance of Bryant Park) in the past two years. Rising 22 stories, this new-build property is all steel, glass, and brick, with a subtle industrial-inspired look that nods to the neighborhood’s past as a garment manufacturing center. Inside the hotel are 180 guestrooms that are nicely furnished and stocked with upscale amenities, a restaurant helmed by celebrity chef David Burke, and two bars, one of which offers dazzling views of the Empire State Building. Glen Coben, of Manhattan-based architectural and interior design firm Glen and Company, oversaw the property’s architecture and decor. With a variety of design flourishes and layouts, no two rooms here are exactly the same.

Featuring a quirky look and unique service touches, Archer Hotel comes with a pseudo backstory: Guests are led to believe that the hotel and their experience there have been curated by a worldly gentleman named Archer. Turndown service includes a note from Archer, rooms feature his favorite books, and the hotel’s promotional playing cards cite his etiquette tips. Archer the man may not be real, but his perceived sensibility imbues the property from top to bottom, whether in the property’s art collection, souvenirs sold in the lobby, or the cute bath slippers stocked in rooms. Aside from its lower prices, this aspect helps the hotel stand out from its buzzworthy neighbor, the Refinery Hotel.

Rates: There are seven types of room (no suites), with pricing from $209/night.

Rooms: The Archer Hotel houses 180 guestrooms, many of which are quite compact. Standard rooms average around 180 square feet, meaning the beds dominate the space. (The largest room, Archer’s Den, measures a comfortable 368 square feet.) Underbed storage takes care of this problem to a certain extent, but in general, Archer’s rooms are places best spent sleeping rather than lounging for extended periods of time. Still, the beds are cushy, Wi-Fi is free, and there’s a work desk; plus, there's a 42-inch flat-panel TV and docking station for playing music on personal devices. Some rooms feature views of the Empire State Building, though you’ll have to request (and pay more for) them.

Surprisingly, the bathrooms are a highlight of the property, seeing as they’re stocked with Malin+Goetz products and Frette robes and towels. Featuring black-and-white subway tiling and large walk-in showers, the bathrooms feel open and spacious, even if the bedrooms do not.

Drinks & Dining: Situated in the lobby, the Bugatti Bar is a stylish little place to grab a quick drink before heading out on the town. Also on the ground floor, David Burke fabrick features the chef’s fun, idiosyncratic dishes, like cauliflower “steak,” octopus tacos, and candied bacon served on hanging clothespins. (The restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch/lunch, and dinner daily.)

But the standout is Spyglass, a 22-story-high rooftop bar that is arguably the hotel’s biggest draw. With doors that open onto an outdoor terrace that looks up at the Empire State Building, Spyglass is among New York City’s newest crop of popular rooftop drinking spots. Open year-round and featuring a small food menu in addition to a full bar, it’s the hotel’s most enjoyable space to unwind outside of the rooms.

Health & Fitness: There’s no on-site spa, gym, or pool, but the hotel offers guests free passes to the New York Sports Club fitness center. 

Etc.: At check-in, all guests receive a “Destination Joker” playing card that’s redeemable for a $10 credit throughout the hotel. Alternatively, the card can be saved for future use; guests who present multiple Destination Joker cards will be rewarded with upgrades and other perks. Anyone who collects an “Archer flush” (a Destination Joker from the New York property and from the soon-to-open Austin and Napa locations) will earn a free night’s stay. The hotel staff also awards “Class Act” cards (also worth $10 inside the hotel) to guests who exhibit specific acts of kindness, courtesy, or etiquette (as detailed on the playing cards). 

Pros: Offers high attention to service and design details; nice furnishings and amenities in guestrooms; exciting options for drinks and meals; and a good value and unique experience for its price point.

Cons: Rooms feel small; hotel lacks amenities like a gym or spa; the location is convenient, but not exactly glamorous.

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