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Inside And All Around Madison Avenue's Newest Darling, The Roger

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  Site Where: 131 Madison Ave [map], New York, NY, United States, 10016
June 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM | by | ()

Well, what do you all think? After a mysterious closing down of the lobby in late March, and some smart alec signs in the windows that had us all wondering what the hotel was up to, The Roger (formerly The Roger Williams) has now officially joined the ranks of other mononymous hotels (The James, The Gansevoort) and has a whole new identity to boot.

We poked around the new white-brick-walled lobby, sat in the blue suede sofas, and even got to check out a few of the guest rooms. The new look is the brainchild of Steven Kamali, who wanted to find a way to "balance the historical nature of the property" while keeping things "relaxed," "chic," and "new." And that, of course, involved a lot of bow-ties.

Go on, take a look through our photo galleries and decide for yourself if Roger is a hottie or a nottie!

Steven Kamali headed the entire project, though a designer by the name of Anna Busta was the one responsible for the lobby itself.

re-imagining the ground floor space, Busta wanted to channel a mix of Hollywood glamor and New York functionality—hence the reclaimed wood from a railroad in Connecticut, now enjoying a new life in the lobby as a staircase.

The wooden floors are also recycled from an Upper West Side apartment, though, thankfully, the furniture is all new. Blue suede sofas are arranged quaintly among silk-wrapped columns, while in front of the main entrance, a wide, airy corridor leads guests right to the Front Desk.

Busta's other big contribution was the addition of a hotel bar in the lobby. Previously populated by just chairs and tables, guests can now pull up a brass-studded leather stool, and order from Johnny Swet's full cocktail list (Swet previously worked on Jimmy at The James).

And speaking of brass studs, the guest rooms have been completely transformed with the help of a classy navy-and-white color scheme, with dark wood desks and matching chairs, and the best part—bed frames are upholstered in navy suede with brass studs around the edges. Kind of a sexy look!

Roger is supposed to be the younger, preppier "son" of Roger Williams, so it makes sense that this new look is understated yet a little playful. One low point for us were the curtains, but that's not saying much. The plug panels on desks, the dimmer recessed lights above the bed, and the artwork all make the hotel truly feel like a younger, fresher version of itself, and that's all any hotel renovation can ever hope to accomplish.

For now, prices are hovering around the $250-$300/night range, though the GM told us the expected rate increase would happen gradually, and in increments, as the hotel continues to establish its new identity.

[Photos: HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:


I actually think Roger looks really good. Love the nailstuds on the bed and chairs. It's actually one of the few masculine room decors I've seen lately too. Most hotels are totally femme or just so muted and ambiguous and boring. I think dudes will totally like staying here but it looks plush enough for a woman.