101 W. 57th St., New York; thequinhotel.com; 208 rooms starting at $349 (U.S.).
The corner of New York's 57th Street and 6th Avenue had seen better days. The Buckingham Hotel, as most short-term Manhattan accommodations do, once played host to many early-20th century luminaries, including pianist and Poland's first prime minister, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Having faded in glamour of late, the property was bought and reopened as the Quin in late 2013. It would be easy to consider its address the most important asset, but the range of amenities and services make it hard to leave the hotel despite the environs.
You are in walking distance of Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and all the shopping and landmarks on offer in Midtown. Once you've exhausted those cultural attractions, there are conveniently located subway stops on the corners of both 6th and 7th streets.
Being on a block that includes the Viceroy and Le Parker Meredien, the Quin has taken its prime positioning amid luxury to heart. Suites are super-modern, but warm, including a mix of lacquered woods and sustainable materials for cabinetry throughout the space. Beds come from the Swedish manufacturer Duxiana, whose Dux collection includes technology that helps shape the mattress to individual sleepers. Climate, lighting and blinds are all controlled by a bedside tablet. The gadget even allows you to view a local weather report, as well as set privacy and room requests without having to get out of bed – a welcome proposition.
Guests who are seeking one-of-a-kind New York experiences can work with Luxury Attaché at the Quin. The high-end concierge is usually only on offer privately, but the Quin is one of a handful of hotels to offer the service. Picture this: Your son loves baseball, and we will forgive him for liking the Yankees. What about a meet and greet with Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter? Or how about access to FAO Schwarz and its iconic keyboard floor for an hour before opening, or arranging private viewings of not-yet-released designer fashions at Bergdorf Goodman? If you can afford it, they will make it happen.
Eat in or eat out?
The in-house restaurant, the Wayfarer, was not yet open during my visit. However, it is now, and the floor-to-ceiling windows in the restaurant, coupled with that corner real estate, will make for great people-watching to go along with your meal. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If I could change one thing
I wish there was a proper cocktail or coffee bar in the main lobby to better enjoy the hotel's 4.5-metre-high digital art wall, a jigsaw mosaic of LED screens that delicately looms over the room and displays a curated collection of multimedia work (it currently features the work of New York and San Francisco-based filmmaker-photographer Robert Christian Malmberg). Certainly worth sitting down to admire.
Room with a view
Ask for a corner suite high up, with a rare bird's eye view of 6th Avenue, one of New York's most famous boulevards. From that perch, you must take a moment to watch the non-stop parade of tiny taxis and petite pedestrians.
The writer was a guest of the hotel.