A last minute business meeting for Jonathan prompted me to call in my birthday gift –- a stay at New York’s newest hotel, The Whitby, on 56th just off Fifth — where serious shopping and strolls through Central Park are just two blocks away.
We packed a lot into one day and night, and by choice most of it was spent enjoying the chic and colorful settings within this beyond imaginable environment. If only for its light and airiness I’m going to consider it my home away from home when in the city! Those eighty-six guest rooms with their floor–to-ceiling windows invite you to linger, pondering the well-considered details of a quality that isn’t often seen in hotels today (i.e. upholstered fabric walls).
Even Jonathan pointed out the sure handed color coordination that adds a playful spirit to the hotel’s overall impression, to be seen here from the garden-y entrance vestibule to the bar dining area. With eight hotels in London, designer and co-owner Kit Kemp has mastered her own style and it’s refreshing!
Quite simply, The Whitby is carefree in a way that makes you feel at home. I’ll tempt you with pictures that I took while there, but it is The Whitby’s “experiences” that are just as memorable for me…from the smallest (i.e. having three cup cakes, on a plate signed “Happy Birthday,” delivered to our room just after we arrived…or the fresh popcorn that comes along with the DVDs you can borrow from the concierge)… to the larger ones I’ve noted at the end of this post.
An obviously sincere interest in the enjoyment of their guests has prompted the design of the public entertaining rooms, as in the bar/dining area.
The orangery and drawing room on the lobby level.
To the three levels below the lobby – a sophisticated cinema theater.
A comfortably spacious library and gathering room.
Another convenient thirty foot long pewter bar, with its high ceilings, off of the private dining rooms.
This pink bespoke wallpaper fascinated me. It’s another Kit Kemp original design, “Mythical Creatures,” that is also interpreted on her tea service for Wedgewood.
Just for fun, I’ve designed some “experiences” that are possible at this singular new addition to the New York scene, where it’s so easy to move and entertain between floors…
English Tea with a business colleague
In the skylight-bright orangery from 12pm-5pm each day (The Whitby’s owners are British and they bring their love of this tradition to our shores; not an easy ritual to find in other hotels in NY).
Brunch on Saturday or Sunday with girlfriends
From 11am- 4pm; The menu is thoughtfully designed to consider those of us who are looking for a fresh approach to both healthy and delicious options for such a popular meal on everyone’s calendar.
Sunday “Film Club” viewing with hubby or significant other
Two showings (4:00 and 8:00pm) in their impressive small cinema theater; also perfect for bringing a group of friends or stopping by to meet new ones. The film can be paired with a three-course meal or “high tea.” Now if I were to design this particular Sunday outing, I’d suggest…
7:00-8:00pm Wine and small bites in the Whitby Bar
Herby Boucheron potato puffs, garlic aioli
Speck wrapped figs, green olives, Sicilian pistachios, house-made ricotta
Grilled lamb sliders, harrisa, tzatziki, arugula
10:00pm post film signature Whitby cocktails
“Citrus Buzz” champagne cocktail — Aperol, Cointreau, blood orange, orange bitters
“Barrel Fashion” — Mount Gay Black Barrel, Luxardo Maraschino, Amaro, Banyuls
And that’s just for starters. Come prepared to have fun at The Whitby.