Just off the hotel's lobby awaits Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant in Manhattan. // © 2017 Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
Feature image (above): Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown’s guestrooms provide posh amenities and views of the compelling neighborhood. // © 2017 Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
When chef Wolfgang Puck considered where to put his first Manhattan restaurant, he chose the new Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, in large part because of its location. Flanking the Financial District and Tribeca, the hotel’s neighborhood has evolved from business-centric to universally appealing. Its streets are chock-full of exciting new retailers, eateries, galleries and attractions.
Puck wanted to go where the action was, and I’d say he made the right call. Open since September 2016 and just one block from the World Trade Center, Four Seasons Downtown has become a fashionable address for upscale travelers in the heart of a fast-trending zone.
The 189-room hotel lives up to the brand’s standards in spades, as I found out during my stay. Since the staff is cross-trained to assist guests with all requests, service was impeccable and intimate, starting with the doormen who greeted me by name each time I passed by.
At once classic and contemporary, the hotel’s interiors are enhanced by a captivating art collection. Above the lobby-level suspended staircase, for instance, hang thousands of handcrafted mirrored strips assembled to recall a grand New York skyscraper.
Guest accommodations are creamy-hued and chic, with a focus on 21st-century sensibilities. In my room, a small sofa added a home-away-from-home ambiance. On the other hand, my oversize bathroom offered luxurious touches I would never find in my own house, including a huge, freestanding bathtub that filled up in two minutes and a television built into the bathroom vanity mirror. The hotel elevates the minibar concept with cut crystal, an espresso maker and snacks by local purveyors.
On the third floor, a 2,100-square-foot spa pampers guests with top-flight health and wellness amenities. The bright and spacious facility features an outdoor relaxation terrace and sundeck, a eucalyptus steam room, a 24-hour fitness center, personal trainers and seven treatment rooms, including a couple’s suite. But for me, the true star of the spa was the 75-foot-long indoor lap pool, one of the largest in the city. As I swam a few lengths, I let my mind and body drift to the music piped through underwater speakers.
From the hotel, I easily walked to downtown highlights such as the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues facing off near Wall Street. A mere five-minute stroll led to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the One World Trade Center building and the Oculus, a breathtaking hub of transportation, dining and shopping. Also nearby was Hudson River Park, with its jogging and biking paths and Statue of Liberty views.
Back at the hotel, a neon-lit bar lured me into Cut by Wolfgang Puck, which is right off the lobby. The menu champions steak, most notably a sublime Japanese wagyu. Drawing a mix of suit-clad deal-makers and stylish leisure guests, it mirrors Four Seasons Downtown’s forward-thinking approach to hospitality in the midst of a neighborhood reborn.