Kimpton Ink48’s Print restaurant and The Press Lounge are popular with guests and locals alike. // © 2016 Kimpton Ink48
Feature image (above): Ink48’s 222 rooms recently underwent a renovation. // © 2016 Kimpton Ink48
“I’ll be honest with you,” said Linda Chin, general manager of New York City’s Kimpton Ink48 and city director of operations for Kimpton NYC. “I don’t get many kids here at Ink48. Just dogs.”
Families as well as first-timers to New York City, Chin tells me, usually steer toward The Kimpton Muse property near Times Square so they can be in the heart of the action.
The Kimpton Hotel Eventi property in Chelsea attracts the hip, fashion set.
So, who, besides me — a magazine geek seduced by the building’s history as a printing press — and a bunch of spoiled pups would choose Ink48, all the way out in Hell’s Kitchen?
Couples, for one. They love the Hudson River Suite, where all furniture is arranged to face the floor-to-ceiling window, which frames the Hudson River.
Business travelers also love the property, according to Chin. They make up about 50 percent of Ink48’s guests, helping fill the hotel to its 90 percent occupancy rates during the week. Chin says location is everything to business clients, so Ink48 attracts those working in Hell’s Kitchen and even those working on Wall Street, which is a straight shot south.
On the other hand, leisure clients dominate the weekends, and many of them are experienced travelers interested in an off-the-beaten-path experience that is at arm’s length from Midtown chaos.
Inspired by that idea, the property recently underwent a full renovation of its 222 guestrooms. Rooms now feel more residential, which fits the sleepier pace of the neighborhood and the fact that folks coming here might want to spend more time in the hotel.
Guestrooms are also informed by the building’s original manifestation as a printing house in the 1930s (hence the hotel’s name and its Print restaurant and The Press Lounge).
Contrasting the neutral color palette of each room are fun features such as a lamp that look like it’s made of crumpled white paper and a large, white, stratified wall hanging that resembles a large stack of books — with a little imagination, of course.
This is Kimpton, after all. Though the brand has grown up from its earlier days when it went for bold colors and polka dots, Chin says that aesthetic — and the aim to do things a bit differently — still shows up here and there. For example, my King Room featured a dozen photos individually framed around the bed, which aim to show a different side of NYC not depicted in tourist pictures.
And during our chat, Chin revealed that, from time to time, guests steal the whimsical pillows that adorn guestroom couches.
Though Chin doesn’t recommend pilfering, the pillow envy is a testament to the fact that guests can see their ideal homes looking something like the rooms at Ink48 — that is, if their homes featured the impressive Manhattan and Hudson River views that draw locals and visitors to the hotel’s The Press Lounge.
And make no mistake: The Press Lounge is a renowned New York City destination rooftop. At 5 p.m., a bouncer directs guests to a special elevator that arrives at the popular 17th-floor indoor-outdoor, wraparound rooftop that features panoramic views, small plates and seating perfect for groups and couples.
Between the lounge and the downstairs Print restaurant, guests who hope to stay in — by convincing clients, colleagues and friends to come visit them for a night out — have some real advantages.
It worked for me. After a few hours at The Press Lounge, a few colleagues and I headed down to Print, which was an easy sell thanks to a menu that offers something delicious and inspired for all eaters — vegetarians, foodies and healthy eaters alike. Seasonal offerings included roasted carnival squash stuffed with cauliflower, beets, radishes, wild mushrooms, carrots, pine nuts and truffle butter; braised short ribs with “spaetzle” (soft egg noodles), bacon, leeks, mushrooms, roasted carrots and horseradish gremolata; and sweet potato doughnuts with brown sugar maple syrup and quince ice cream.
During our meal, Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” which is filmed nearby, walked past us to his table after being stopped by a group of adoring women. It doesn’t get more Manhattan than that.