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Hôtel Americano, Chelsea 

518 West 27th Street
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 216 0000
view web site ›'s insider take:

Looking to become the go-to hot spot for young artists and scenesters in ever-trendy Chelsea, the 10-story Hôtel Americano, opened September 2011, has emerged from top to bottom as a sophisticated cultural clubhouse for the world's bespectacled art elites. Beneath the hotel, Bar Americano is perhaps the sexiest bunker in the city, with curved concrete walls, white-leather Scandinavian furniture, and a sunken Brazilian bar (the living room–esque El Privado is tucked away in the back for VIPs). On the ground floor, guests can sip on strong coffee and sup on inventive Latin–French dishes in The Americano restaurant, with a back patio for dining alfresco. Up and up, via a dedicated elevator, the all-weather rooftop lounge La Piscine has Mediterranean flair (and fare) in the summer and alpine frills (and a wood-fire grill) in the winter, along with a heated pool open year-round. As for the accommodations, the 56 midcentury minimalist rooms are comfortable, if a bit small, reminiscent of an urban ryokan with platform beds, gallery-white walls, and a mix of textures—wood, felt, chambray, mirrored metal, marble, brushed concrete. The standard Downtown King and Queen rooms are not much more than crash pads with '60s-inspired vinyl beanbag settees, iPads loaded with tunes and concierge apps, but no desks. On a relatively grander scale, the Uptown Studios have a separate sitting room with low-to-the-ground furniture and hanging teardrop fireplaces, and somewhat awkward soaking tubs in the small bathrooms. Denim robes from Loden Dager, Aesop toiletries, 24-hour room service delivered in bento boxes, and mezcal tequila and harmonicas in the minibar add just the right amount of quirkiness. In lesser hands, all this mishmash might appear muddled, but interior designer Arnaud Montigny (of Colette fame) nails the je ne sais quoi of cool.—Justin Ocean

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