No finer place for sure, Downtown
A next-generation Four Seasons with brave design and views of One World Trade Center. The spa is an artistic marvel dusted with mother-of-pearl, but the steak restaurant from Wolfgang Puck doesn’t live up to the hype.
cubist bas relief on the walnut walls.
Finishes are eccentric: a giant bronze conch sits on a stone slab in one corner, pillars are made of shaggywaved marble, and black Saturn-esque rings which hover from the ceiling in reception for no apparent reason at all.
The move away from the classical luxuriance that has until now defined the brand is palpable – instead of the usual effusive flower displays, bowls hold a single white flower each, clipped of their stems.
The doormen remember your name, housekeeping go above and beyond, and reception staff greet you like old friends. But the hotel has franchised its restaurant, and it shows: at breakfast, black tea came without milk. When I requested some, it was hot, giving my drink the texture of cappuccino.
Facilities include a gym and spa with lap pool. The latter is a vision of gorgeousness, decorated with marble mosaics that are implanted with mother of pearl, tree-trunk tables, and Korean paper art.
The lack of public space for guests to enjoy the high-rise views is a glaring missed opportunity; the bar and restaurant are on the ground floor.
Restful visions in taupe with armchairs made from the supplest of leathers and rough-textured feature walls. The iPads and automated curtains will appeal to technophiles. Lamps with stems bent into eccentric angles keep things interesting.
Marble-mosaic bathrooms have rain showers and bathtubs with a view of the One World Trade Center. Lorenzo Villoresi toiletries, which smell of orange blossom and Tuscan herbs, are the kind you’ll want to take home.
Food and drink 6/10
The hotel hosts the city’s first Cut steakhouse by Wolfgang Puck, who has just got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has something of a nightclub feel about it, having been doused in black paint.
Unfortunately, a magnificent char, both sweet and bitter, couldn’t redeem my mediumrare steak. Instead of a glowing pink interior – the same shade as a baby’s flushed cheeks – I found a mournfully pale thread of raw meat choking within a vast, brown slab; the flavour of cow had shrivelled away, leaving only a sense of thick protein and insurmountable size.
Breakfast is better. Try the eggs Benedict, with towel-thick country ham, zingy maple hollandaise and jalapeño toasted bread. The 9/11 Memorial, above, is a short stroll from the Four Seasons Downtown; the lobby, left and one of the rooms, far left
Value for money 7/10
Double rooms from $499 (£404) in low season; and from $599 in high. Breakfast not included; budget around $50 per person. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
All public spaces are wheelchair-accessible. There are 10 adapted rooms.
Fifteen interconnecting rooms.
27 Barclay St, New York, NY 10007 (001 (646) 880 1999; fourseasons. com/newyorkdowntown). For more hotels in New York, see: telegraph.co.uk/ tt-newyork hotels