Legendary hotelier Ian Schrager just opened a five-star hotel in an unlikely New York City locale: the heart of Times Square.
While Times Square is a bustling tourism and shopping hub, locals tend to avoid the area at all costs.
Schrager, who also cofounded iconic nightclub Studio 54, defended his choice to put the hotel there. He told Business Insider he's opened almost all of his hotels in "terrible neighborhoods" - and it worked out just fine.
"I did it in Miami with the Delano. Terrible neighborhood when I opened that up," he said of Miami Beach. "I did it in West Hollywood with the Mondrian. That was a terrible neighborhood when I opened up."
The Times Square Edition is a brand-new luxury hotel in the heart of Times Square in New York City. The 452-room hotel is a collaboration between Marriott International and legendary hotelier Ian Schrager, who also cofounded iconic nightclub Studio 54.
On a recent spring morning, I went to the Times Square EDITION for a tour of the hotel, its amenities and restaurants, and its penthouse suite that starts at $10,000 a night.
The entrance is on 47th Street in Times Square, one of the busiest neighborhoods in New York City that locals tend to steer clear of, partially because of the crowds of tourists.
The hotel's minimalist black-and-white entrance is staffed by two doormen and flanked by (fake, I believe) potted plants.
Unlike at other hotels, I didn't find myself in the lobby immediately upon entering. Instead, I was greeted by a large shiny green orb and the elevator banks to the right.
The lobby is on the 10th floor, where a sleek black check-in desk sits in front of a floor-to-ceiling plant wall.
At the other end of the lobby is the hotel's sculptural stairway.
Before heading up to the hotel's penthouse suite, I peeked into the lobby bar, which includes a brightly-lit white room ...
... and an all-black room with a fireplace.
The penthouse suite, which starts at $10,000 per night, is on the hotel's 40th floor. It's the only room on that floor.
The spacious suite includes a living area, a dining area ...
... and even a kitchen, complete with an oven, range, and sink.
The terrace includes two stylish outdoor sofas and a sound system.
From the terrace, you can look down upon the hustle and bustle of Times Square. When I'm down in the middle of it, I'm usually overwhelmed by the noise and the crowds. But from the 40th-floor terrace, I found I could actually enjoy the liveliness and the sounds of the city.
Like the rest of the suite, the bedroom is decorated in neutral tones. A fluffy throw blanket was tossed artfully on the bed.
I walked past a walk-in closet to the sleek bathroom.
The bathroom includes a walk-in shower and a deep soaking tub overlooking the city.
Schrager, who's credited with inventing the boutique hotel, is known for his dramatic yet minimal style in his hotels, and the rooms at the Times Square EDITION seem to be no exception.
The Times Square EDITION has six different dining options. There's the casual Terrace Restaurant, which serves a variety of homemade pastas, steaks and chops, and vegetable dishes.
The dimly lit eatery is full of live plants, giving a jungle-like effect.
When I was there at about 10 a.m., the restaurant was full of people drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and reading the newspaper. Some were likely guests, but the restaurant is open to the public. Through a short hallway off of the restaurant is another bar.
This gorgeous bar next to the Terrace Restaurant had the feel of a luxe speakeasy.
Red velvet stools were lined up at the black marble bar.
On the other side of the Terrace Restaurant is the outdoor garden, which has a tented ceiling adorned with greenery instead of a roof. Like in the restaurant, both living and artificial plants were scattered everywhere. This part of the hotel especially made it hard to believe I was in the middle of Times Square.
The outdoor garden leads to a wraparound terrace. On the morning of my visit, it had just been raining, but I could imagine how vibrant this space could be in nicer weather.
Walking around the terrace, I came upon yet another bar and lounge area adjacent to the Terrace Restaurant. All of these spaces are open to the public, not just hotel guests.
All the outdoor spaces were surrounded by greenery, which made them feel like something of an oasis in the middle of the city.
The hotel also has a fine-dining restaurant, 701West, with food by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser. "The dishes on the three-course prix fixe menu are conceived with the extensive, Old World wine list in mind," the website reads.
The wood-paneled dining room features electric blue velvet banquettes.
As Schrager became famous as the cofounder of Studio 54, I was looking forward to seeing the hotel's cabaret, the Paradise Club, created in partnership with the wild Brooklyn nightclub House of Yes. Unfortunately, it closed for a shoot during my tour, but the photos I was provided make it out to be quite the nightlife hotspot.
I'll admit that, going into my tour of the hotel, I was skeptical of the Times Square EDITION's location in Times Square, one of the most-hated parts of the city.