Roger Smith Ho­tel

New York

Business Traveller (India) - - TRIED &TESTED -

BACK­GROUND This bou­tique fam­ily-owned (and op­er­ated) ho­tel opened in 1929 and has been in the same fam­ily since then. One of the lesser known gems of mid­town Man­hat­tan, it’s a charm­ing lit­tle prop­erty right on Lex­ing­ton Av­enue that stands out with its old school ver­ti­cal board that’s lit in green.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The en­trance is em­bel­lished with vivid bronze art­work in­clud­ing two show­pieces. The lobby also features sim­i­lar pieces of art and oil paint­ings that have been cre­ated by James Knowles. He is the president and chief op­er­at­ing officer and hus­band of Suzanne Knowles, who owns the ho­tel with her two sis­ters. Wooden fix­tures and a red car­pet complement the art around the lobby. Guests can also pick up Green Moun­tain Yo­gurt from Ver­mont and ap­ples at any time of the day from here.

WHERE IS IT? It’s on Lex­ing­ton Av­enue, walk­ing dis­tance to Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion. Ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions like An­heuserBusch, JP Mor­gan and the United Na­tions are close by. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES I checked into my One Bed­room suite (53 sqm) late evening. It felt homely and warm with a fire­place, a book­shelf (with a great col­lec­tion of bi­ogra­phies), two colo­nial writ­ing desks and a cabi­net with a mi­crowave, mini-fridge and a Ne­spresso ma­chine. Walls bear flower mo­tifs and the art­work around the space is vin­tage Amer­i­can. The sofa (with a pull­out bed) in the liv­ing room is quite com­fort­able — my pre­ferred spot to un­wind in the evenings. There’s a bal­cony with two chairs and a table that opens up to the sur­round­ing build­ings. The snug space is well-lit with a num­ber of clev­erly placed lamps. Be­tween the liv­ing room and the bed­room is the large bath­room that car­ries Beek­man 1802 toi­letries. There is also an iron and iron­ing board, free wifi and a hair dryer. Ev­i­dent at­ten­tion to de­tail is paid in the de­sign of the ac­com­mo­da­tion that has per­son­ally been de­signed by Suzanne Knowles. All rooms and suites at the prop­erty fea­ture dif­fer­ent lay­outs, but have the same soul — an old-world charm. The ho­tel be­lieves in book ex­change, al­low­ing you to leave a book be­hind if you wish to take one home. RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS

I quite en­joyed my evening at Henry’s (open April-Novem­ber), the ho­tel’s bar that’s named after

the fam­ily dog. It’s a clas­sic Man­hat­tan rooftop venue that’s sur­rounded by mid­town’s sky­scrapers — a sig­na­ture New York ex­pe­ri­ence that’s highly rec­om­mended. Lily’s is an­other bar on the ground floor that opens in the evenings. It features a wall that ex­hibits art from lo­cal artists and a glass win­dow that of­fers an un­in­ter­rupted view of Lex­ing­ton Av­enue. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING

FA­CIL­I­TIES For a bou­tique ho­tel, Roger Smith has im­pres­sive meet­ing spa­ces. In re­cep­tion style — So­lar­ium can ac­com­mo­date 120, Winthrop can fit 60 and Starlight Loft can have 100 peo­ple. I en­joyed din­ner at Pent­house that has been re­con­structed at the very place Suzanne grew up at. It has por­traits of her by­gone fam­ily mem­bers in ad­di­tion to a pi­ano and a vin­tage col­lec­tion of hard­bound books. The ter­race at Pent­house of­fers the most mag­nif­i­cent view of the Chrysler build­ing. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES Dur­ing their stay, guests have free ac­cess to a nearby health club.

VER­DICT An art-in­spired choice for busi­ness trav­ellers look­ing to stay in the heart of mid­town Man­hat­tan.

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