Remember when hotels were more than just accommodations (or nightlife)? The Quin, which used to be known as the Buckingham last century, was a hub of the arts. From the 1920s until 2013, the single-family owned property, where they lived on the 7th floor, also became home to artists, tastemakers and other colorful characters including Georgia O’keefe and Marc Chagall. Now, in this iteration as The Quin, the hotel evokes the same sensibility of an intersection of culture, travel and hospitality. With a robust arts+culture, culinary and shopping programs, from having an in-house art curator to special opportunities at museums, the Quin isn’t just a place to sleep and shower in New York but rather experience the city as an insider.
A Gilded Age building on the corner of 57th and Sixth Avenue is going to have a slew of unique configurations. Hotels weren’t designed with conformity in mind back in the day. The Quin’s rooms aren’t the largest of the lot, but certainly feel like an elegant Midtown apartment with state-of-the-art technology features (like motorized shades and bedside control panels), supremely comfortable Sferra linens on Duxiana mattresses (yes, the ones that cost upwards of $10k) and Nespresso coffee makers. The Wifi is free, the concierge is easy to reach and the windows thick to block out the sounds of outside. That said, the furniture and the slate-natural-beige color schemes and box-store-feeling furniture doesn’t connote the super luxe mystique the hotel has otherwise cultivated.
This is a bathroom to never leave. From the porcelain soaking tub to the glass-enclosed rain shower (with a marble bench!), all ensconced in marble paneling, to warm-lit mirrors and awaiting plush robes and natural fiber slippers, the Quin’s bathroom is a personal spa onto oneself. Did we mention the deluxe-size Fresh toiletries? Good luck finding the maid’s cart to steal more.
The heart of the hotel, the well-designed lobby by Perkins Eastman with its luxe expensive touches (marble galore, embossed and gilded walls, Ikebana florals) is home to the hotel’s ever-rotating art installations as well as sitting areas where travelers awaiting accommodations are interspersed with the laptop-and-latte crowd. There’s also complimentary tea and coffee in the drawing room, right behind the concierge desk.
Art in the gym? You betcha. The handsomely spaced workout facility has original canvases and wall-sculptures tucked behind the ellipticals and yoga mats. It also touts on one of the city’s few Technogyms.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel organizes Central Park Runs and special yoga classes. Inquire at the concierge
The Wayfarer, designed by legend Meyer Davis, is the hotel’s on-site restaurant that also functions as its own destination on 57th Street. It’s an American Grille (if the name didn’t give that away) sectioned out into different spaces, there’s a boisterous bar, then a proper bistro-feeling dining room and a more secluded second floor that serves as lounge, usually reserve for hotel guests or private affairs. The Wayfarer also offers 24-hour in-room dining with an extensive menu of American classics.
57th Street sees all subways stop at different avenues; the closest trains are the N/Q/R/W and the F.
A new and welcomed edition to this stretch of Sixth Avenue (1-minutes) is Jams, the downtown restaurateur Jonathan Waxman’s take on seasonal California fresh fare. Of course, quinoa is on the menu! There's also Petrossian (3-minutes), the fancy Russofile caviar and smoked fish lair of elegance in the gorgeous Aldwich Building.
Though intimidating, it is possible to have a reasonable martini and a few oysters at the history-making Russian Tea Room (2-minutes). The rooftop bar at the Viceroy (1-minute) remains a favorite on this rather dry stretch.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Quin is a contemporary take on the old-world view of how a hotel should be run. Sure, the furnishings and food options are best in class, but it’s the programming and the cultural beat of the hotel that makes it stand out in contrast to the more accommodations-focused properties on this 57th street stretch. It not only offers culture, but generates it as well.