In the midst of New York City’s southern borough, Laura Brown visits the latest game-changer in the world of urban hotels
Luxury for all
While the concrete jungle of New York City inspires many, others find solace in the calmer boroughs. In the lesser-known LES (Lower East Side), located to the east of Little Italy and tucked away in a concrete build, PUBLIC hotel dares to be different. The space offers a renewed type of luxury – one that is at once elegant and simplistic while comprising all your modern-day needs. PUBLIC’s fundamental statement is that it offers luxury for all. For an urban lifestyle hotel as such, luxury is about exceptional experiences within a community-driven space. Providing an avant-garde space for art openings, theatrical performances and even a nightclub venue, the hotel is alternative in concept and modern in design.
Lobby bar on the rooftop of PUBLIC hotel
The same goes for one of the Public restaurants: stay for fine dining on the spot or order easily on the go. It’s a hotel that can be whatever you wish it to be. In the city that never sleeps, PUBLIC opened early this year in June. “PUBLIC is the people’s hotel,” says Schrager
, the man behind the brand. “It’s about inclusivity, not exclusivity. We live in a modern world. The services should reflect our modern way of living.”
Home away from home
The style of the hotel is simple yet chic. Functionality of space is key here although the furnishings are just as snug as they are classy without holding on to one particular style or trend. Without thinking too much of it, this is what a hotel should feel like – where each traveller belongs, without adding a statement – a place to relax and feel in perfect harmony with one’s surroundings. Moreover, the hotel’s vibe is close to its DNA – it is a home away from home, where your bed is extremely comfortable with crisp linens and endowed with a mix of finishes and objects that could very well resemble the interiors of your own abode. A taste of minimalist
perfection comes with the Hella Tulip dining table and the Wiener Stuhl chairs. A wooden cube encloses the box spring bed, softens the sleek white walls of the room, and frames the curtained windows simultaneously drawing your attention to the outside view.
King room at PUBLIC hotel
Two escalators, clad in shiny copper, lead the way to where crowds arrive and mingle, resembling two giant caterpillars. Here, wooden stairs function as desks and seats at the same time. Dimmed light comes from behind the walls or soft tone LED strips on the ceiling. Throughout the space gadgetry dominates, yet it is better to make nothing extraneous of it—PUBLIC exudes comfort in perfect harmony with functionality, whether in the form of the fastest Wi-Fi in the city, mobile and self-check-in, mobile key, Apple TVs in every guest room, and room-service to front desk communication via a custom-designed, state-of-the-art chat bot (something to get used to, but it magically works), as well as USB ports within the public spaces so that anywhere in the hotel would be conducive to working remotely—a necessity today where the line has been blurred between work, leisure, culture and fun.
Lobby at PUBLIC hotel
And fun it is, the rooftop feels like a street party in the sky, where the fashionably dressed flutter by while business folk and urban travellers gather for a social catch up before the weekend commences. Outdoors, the landscaped gardens are for lazy sundowners and catching a bit of calm amidst the urban jungle. Saturday mornings are for yoga on the roof – boasting a 360-degree view for your morning Asanas, after which the neighborhood’s uncanny charm captives for a midday stroll. The cutting-edge subculture of the New York City
urban jungle all of a sudden does not look so dim, catching a glimpse of old rustic buildings, which (fingers-crossed) await a similar future or simply adorn the eclectic mix of art galleries, indie fashion, finer foods and sophisticated drinks. It’s a place for the Public, and the Public a place for the people.