Apparently a life long dream of Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Hotels New York opened in 2023. A 39-storey new-build, it has 460 rooms but still feels ’boutique’. It’s in the heart of Manhattan’s NOMAD district, close to Madison Square Garden, Herald Square and the Empire State Building, (which seems to be in almost every view from the hotel).
While the exterior shouts ‘Virgin’ (windows emblazoned with images of a Virgin plane and cruise ship behind a bright red ‘OMG’ and ‘NYC’) once you’re through the automatic glass sliding doors there’s surprisingly little red. The intimate Art Deco-style lobby was buzzing and the smartly-dressed staff gave us a warm New York-style welcome.
The rooms, known as ‘Chambers’, are compact but have some great design touches. Sliding doors separate the dressing/bathroom area with the sleeping/working area and double as a mirror, while one corner of the bed has an armchair back, so you can work in bed. The views from my window were incredible. There are also larger suites with kitchenettes (and red Smeg fridges), which can be inter-connected to become a ‘party palace’.
The hotel is one of only a handful in New York with a pool, which is on the fourth floor and has a large deck with sunbeds and cabanas. The pool isn’t long enough for lengths but worth a dip, if only to take in the sight of the surrounding elegant high rises, including the iconic Empire State. Next door is the Pool Bar and down one level (via a sumptuous red carpeted staircase) is Everdene, the restaurant, where we had memorable burgers and fries. It has a leafy outside terrace too. A second restaurant was set to open later in the year, while an Exhale spa, in the basement, is due to open in early 2024.
The events space wasn’t fully open at the time of our stay but we had a preview tour and the top-floor space is going to be very sought-after, with even more jaw-dropping views and a vast outside space.
As you would expect from the Virgin brand, this hotel is sexy, playful and glamorous. It’s already hosting New York Fashion Week parties and other VIP events, and that’s even before its events space is fully open.
virginhotels.com, 1227 Broadway, New York, 10001