The lobby bar is first spotted even before reaching the check-in desk. It was once a tea lounge owned by Winifred T. MacDonald, and is now called "Winnie's", a low key mixology emporium where jazz trios often play in the evenings.
A passageway snakes through the busy kitchen leading to the English tavern-like Parker & Quinn. On the menu? Plenty of small plates and tapas, but with American cuisine. The dark wood table elevated booths were designed to make the guests feel like "super VIPs". What's funny is, many diners who come through the restaurant's street entrance to dine don't realize there's a hotel in the background, which makes The Refinery blissfully, well, refined, and not overrun like many trendy hotels can get.
The 197 retro rooms are a deliberate backlash to the hypermodern spaces often seen in NYC property today. Desks have been fashioned from old Singer sewing machines ( a nod to the Fashion District location) and furniture is custom made.
Hand-painted mural walls are in each room. More often than not, the subject is a woman donning a hat. Also, Indiewalls' cool art can be found throughout the hotel and can be purchased. Want to know what's going on at the hotel and the neighborhood? Take a look at the room's compendium which is written via old newspaper style.
There's also fun touches like this shaker below. If you can read it, you are too sober!
Despite the decor's throwback theme, there is a flat-screen TV where you can download a movie from your iPad to the big screen. However, you may be more inclined to spend time taking in views of the Hudson River or heading up to the rooftop bar.
The year-round rooftop bar and lounge has already gained tons of popularity since its July opening. There's a separate entrance for non-guests from the outside, and we've already seen it may be a scene, especially with the after-work crowd (it opens at 4:30) with the line, the checklist and the doorman leading you to the roped off elevator. Oh boy. Here's hoping it slows down in the upcoming months. After Fashion Week, of course.
Oh and it's advised non-guests come around 8pm to snag a table (and possibly avoid the whole bottle service ordeal) and stay until closing around 2 a.m. Their talented bartenders even mix up cocktails like the "Luster", a gin-based martini which contains anti-aging and anti-inflammatory ingredients and also wards off hangovers. How considerate!
Rooms at The Refinery in September begin at $423 per night and includes WiFi.
[Photos: Chanize for HotelChatter]