10001-5505 Travel Guide
When we first uploaded the above photo into our story, we worried that it was upside down*; then we realized it actually didn't matter because disoriented, confused, and slightly dizzy is exactly how you're supposed to feel at Bar Oppenheimer, a new pop-up bar that debuted this week inside Hôtel Americano.
Bar Oppenheimer is located in the basement of the hotel via a narrow cement staircase behind the hostess stand in the lobby. There's no sign, no big door with a velvet rope, not even a hint of the bar's presence anywhere in the hotel.
(However, that may be a good thing because when you eventually find it—as we did, after five minutes spent aimlessly wandering down hallways and opening emergency exit doors—you feel like you've stumbled into a secret room that no one else in the hotel knows about.)
The truth is that lots of people in New York know about this place. It was designed by Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger, who felt a desire to recreate his neighborhood bar in Germany, also called Bar Oppenheimer, in the basement of a Manhattan boutique hotel. Cool, right?
For more photos of the triply black-and-white striped bar, read on!
Nothing really shocks us anymore about New York Fashion Week, the semi-annual event when models, celebrities, editors and wanabes descend in droves to revel in their fabulousness and take advantage of endless open bars. However, an incident at the Hotel Americano did catch our attention, though mainly because of its ridiculousness.
On Thursday night, according to the NY Post, the internationally renowned fashion designer Kenneth Cole was celebrating at the hotel with his crew after finishing up a runway show at a nearby Chelsea venue. Suddenly, a male employee slipped and fell into the hotel's 4ft-deep plunge pool. Major faux pas! But it was Kenneth Cole to the rescue, as he did some quick thinking and "extended his hand, got [the employee] out, and then they hugged." Aw.
This is one of those rare instances when it's actually a good thing that rooftop "pools" (and we use that term loosely) in Manhattan tend to run on the small side. If Cole's employee had tumbled into the larger pool deck at Gansevoort Park, for example, things might not have gone as smoothly.
In New York, like many places, how much you pay for a hotel room is often just as important as where you stay. And next month, that location factor makes a big difference, as you consider where you're going to end up partying on Independence Day and watching those fireworks. Here are a few happenin' places, all with rooms available on the big day...
Hotel Americano announced on its Facebook page that the famed High Line park would be closing down early on July 4, making the hotel's awesome rooftop a pretty great alternative. The bean bag chairs here are a lot of fun, and maybe the chef will even whip you up a hot dog in that fancy open kitchen in the lobby. Rates here start at $275/night—free WiFi included!
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We all know that hotels aren't as forthcoming as they should be with photos of their rooms and public spaces on their websites but we still have a chuckle over the other kind of photos hotels put on their website--the totally staged shots of people doing totally random things.
The Hotel Americano caught our attention over the summer with its low-lying Japanese ryokan beds, bento boxes and wool slippers. None of which, however, relate to what the hotel really wants us to be doing during our stay there: puffing away on a cigarette in our skivvies while snuggling up to the hotel's custom-made Zanotti black vinyl bean bag chairs.
It turns out all that talk about proximity to art galleries and views of the High Line were just ways to get us in the door.
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The best way to explain the Hotel Americano's name is to point out a piece of artwork found in the lobby—a large photo montage of President Obama, sporting an afro, from his college days. "We want to feel like a New Yorker who isn't quite from New York," a heavily-accented Carlos Couturier (co-founder of Grupo Habita, above left) explained to us during our visit yesterday.
And they've succeeded. The 56-room hotel embodies that cool, effortless—heavily multicultural—essence of America without necessarily becoming Americana. From the minimalist rooms (low beds are as pervasive here as the concrete floors) to the sexy rooftop lounge and pool deck to the Bebel Gilberto-curated music playing overhead, there is a little bit of everything spread around this hotel.
For inside shots of the rooms and public spaces, click below!
The hotel named after the 1950s Italian hit song Tu Vuò Fà l'Americano (which literally means, 'You want to be an American') has finally opened its doors. And in addition to its homegrown Chelsea glamor, its bento boxes, and its impeccably golden location, now The Americano has one more thing to sing about: its own iPad/iPhone app.
We already knew the hotel was fond of
name-dropping its community—quite a number of the better-known Chelsea residents have already appeared on the Americano's candid "neighborhood" blog. Now, taking the neighborhood-y, insider-y angle one step further, they've tapped a few more neighbors to provide personal recommendations on exploring the city. People like architect Enrique Norton (the man responsible for the hotel's austere mesh facade). It's an insider's game, you know?
We hate to say it, but September isn't that far away, and one fall opening we're keeping a close eye on is the Hotel Americano. One reader tipped us off to the fact that the Americano's website now has availability starting—just as promised—September 1!
An Uptown Queen (220 square feet, free WiFi, and a "city view") matches the starting rate of $325 that we originally heard about. So is this for real? And can we expect any other upcoming changes to the website? A representative for the hotel confirmed that indeed, the hotel will be taking guests as of September 1, and that, yes, the website will be updated. Not that a hotel website incontrovertibly has to have photos of its rooms, but, you know. It helps.