Now, we understand Andre's need for a private social club (financially, those membership fees can probably cover a nice chunk of operations costs) and the Boom Boom Room has been acting like a private social club pretty much since it opened but going full on private is not a sound idea.
Is AB not aware that people book rooms at his hotel for the chance to hang out in the Boom Boom Room? At least over at Gramercy Park Hotel, guests can get into the Rose Bar. And while Trump Soho doesn't have a hot nightclub, at least those guests are getting more room for their money. So if guests no longer have a chance to get into Boom Boom Room, why pay the $400+ nightly rate?
Not to mention, these sort of exclusive nightclubs in hotels never fare very well. Remember the early days of Tropicana at Hollywood Roosevelt? Sure, celebrities loved it but it brought the hotel a tsunami of PR problems after guests started to complain about being denied entry. The Jane Ballroom at the Jane Hotel was eventually shut down after neighbors complained about the noise, smoking violations and congested street. It reopened with VIP-entrance only and no one seems to care.
Recently, the W Hollywood suffered a PR crisis when its nightclub Drai's actually denied hotel guests access to the adjacent pool area. They've since righted the pool policy, but the damage was done. And the message was clear--paying hotel guests don't like to put up with these sort of elitist club policies. They will simply stay elsewhere.
We've had a sort of crush on the Standard for the past year indulging in their pretzels, trying out their swimwear, tying on their scarves and even dining on their humble pie. But this now just feels like a one-sided relationship. Sorry, Standard and sorry Andre but we're moving on.
What do you think of Andre's decision to turn the Boom Boom Room into a private social club--heinous or hottness? Let us know how you feel in comments below.
PS. For a good read on how Manhattan nightlife has become "synonymous" with the city's hotels, check out this New York Magazine article. Andre Balazs is interviewed and aside from sounding hypocritical, has some v unkind words about the Cooper Square hotel.