The Z Hotel Is Almost Ready—It Just Needs Some Booze
Another boutique hotel pops up this summer in one of New York City's outer boroughs, and—surprise!—it's got a rooftop bar. Long Island City's Z Hotel, a sleek 100-room tower adjacent to the Queensborough Bridge, is almost ready to open its doors, but will the area's total lack of foot traffic spell doom for the much-hyped project? Owner Henry Zilberman, whose background as the owner of a local car service makes him something of an expert on location, is optimistic about the destination's appeal to tourists and business travelers. In a 2007 interview, Zilberman made the convincing case:
"I drive around here all the time, and you can take the Queensboro Bridge and be at Bloomingdale's in three minutes. Even with traffic, it's faster than the subway. It's a mystery to me why it took so long for Long Island City to be discovered."
Renderings of the Z (Z for 'Zilberman,' or for 'zany?') have been circulating on the web for a few years, and now that the whole thing is up, we have to admit, we like it a lot better than the nearby Ravel Hotel's bland exterior. At the Z, balconied walkways are set off by playful multicolored panels, and the grey-brick-and-glass facade is much more at peace with the neighborhood's industrial backdrop. But the question remains: how will a hotel premised on the appeal of its "Gansevoort vibe" make out in such bleak surroundings?
Luckily, Zilberman knows the appeal of a good rooftop bar. A concierge by the name of Aaron confirmed last night that while the hotel's opening (the site says June 15) has now been pushed back to July 1, one of the big hurdles is the rooftop bar—for starters, there's no alcohol. "The rooftop is definitely my favorite part of the hotel, the view is stunning. The bar itself isn't quite finished, but everything else is in place, and we should be done within the next two weeks. We're really excited for this."
Just last night, a "test group" of French tourists had arrived with plans to check out the hotel, and though they, sadly, had to be redirected to a nearby Sheraton for the night, Aaron divulged that upon entering the lobby, "they were all quite mesmerized by the place."
Plans for the Z, which include a pizza oven on the roof, custom murals inside all the rooms (choose between Billie Holiday, the Rockettes, or a taxi), and a forthcoming "Balinese beer garden" on the second-story terrace, certainly have caught our attention, and opening rates of $189 for a Superior Twin and $219 for a Deluxe King (all rooms face the Manhattan skyline) certainly beat the prices in Manhattan! Check back in the next few weeks, when we hope to give you an insider's look into the Z!