Romer Hell’s Kitchen Opens in New York City
Imagine a new kind of hotel where a local bar owner trains the concierge team on where guests can find the best late-night eats. A hotel that stands for its neighborhood so they've appointed a "Mayor of the Block" to be a friend to all. A hotel invested in supporting nearby businesses so they work with a vintage shop down the street to style and accessorize associate uniforms. That is the DNA behind Romer Hell's Kitchen, a 295-guest room hotel in one of Manhattan's most storied neighborhoods. Romer Hell's Kitchen is rooted in the belief that travel should be anchored in local culture. It is a place where guests become locals and locals become regulars.
"When we say that Romer is built to embrace its neighborhood, we mean it," said Highgate CEO Arash Azarbarzin. "The inspiration for Romer came from my constant travel throughout my career. When I arrive in a new destination, whether it be for business or leisure, I want to experience that place as authentically as possible. I want to eat where the locals are eating and discover the best that the destination has to offer - rather than ending up in tourist traps. With Romer, our aim is to design, program and activate this hotel so that it not only delivers the brand promise, but serves as an extension to exploring the local neighborhood."
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR EXPERIENCE
At Romer Hell's Kitchen, the essence of the neighborhood is deeply ingrained in the guest experience -
reflecting an unwavering commitment to the local community.
Romer Hell's Kitchen isn't taking a traditional approach to building its team. The "Mayor of the Block" - a key part of the hotel team - fosters personal connections and collaborations with the neighborhood because small businesses deserve to be celebrated more than just one Saturday a year.
Enter the Corner Store, a dedicated manifestation of the Romer Hell's Kitchen brand. It acts as a platform for local small business owners, artisans and entrepreneurs without brick-and-mortar stores, for installations and full-day pop-ups. It serves as a gateway to Hell's Kitchen and an interactive concierge for guests to get a feel for the neighborhood and leave tips for the next guest.
For example, Hell's Kitchen-based stores Fine and Dandy and PDL Vintage are launching a seasonal, vintage residency in The Corner Store. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit their stores, located just steps away from the hotel, to receive complimentary fashion styling consultations. Ongoing activations embrace seasonality, and Romer Hell's Kitchen is committed to partnering with local artists and musicians throughout the hotel, from Berklee School of Music alumni to musicians currently playing the pit in Broadway's top performances.
Did we say locals are training the team? Yes. Under the stewardship of local magazine W42ST's founder and publisher, Phil O'Brien, Romer team members are trained to ensure that guests get the real inside scoop on what there is to see and do, like the best early-morning bakeries, side street galleries, live music and more. Even more, instead of elite photographers staging and shooting the hotel's content, Romer Hell's Kitchen gives cameras to its neighbors and local celebrities, like a former Rockette turned bar owner, to capture and share stories about the Hell's Kitchen they know and love.
"We created Romer Hell's Kitchen internally from the ground up on a single premise — give everyone the ‘good neighbor experience.' By beginning this process before interior design even started, we made sure that every part of the hotel had a distinctive purpose," said Callie Peck, Creative Director of Romer Hell's Kitchen. "Romer celebrates the thrill of the unexpected and encourages people to ditch their overly researched itineraries for more authentic New York experiences just around the corner."
WHAT'S INSIDE ALSO COUNTS
Romer Hell's Kitchen offers larger-than-usual Manhattan guest rooms at up to 600 square feet. Designed by Islyn Studio, each guest room is inspired by the historically artistic spirit of Hell's Kitchen, reminiscent of a bohemian dream apartment - which intricately weaves the hotel into the cultural tapestry of one of midtown Manhattan's dynamic neighborhoods. The impression is one that mirrors an old-school quintessential NYC abode - adorned with precious art and objects collected over a lifetime with vintage-inspired furniture and classic black-and-white tiled bathrooms.
Preserving the historic charm of architect Morris Lapidus' 1960s building, the design incorporates custom cantilevered chandeliers, an architectural-scale custom ceiling light and modernist silhouettes complemented by locally-sourced art.
COMFORTABLE AND APPROACHABLE
Romer Hell's Kitchen acts as much as a social club as a hotel. Designed by local design firm, Goodrich, public spaces are intended for both local residents and guests in a series of inviting rooms that transition seamlessly from daytime to evening vibes, including a living room, library, communal tables and a fireplace. A comfortable and approachable vibe welcomes the entire neighborhood to spend the day working, meeting, and socializing, moving effortlessly from one to the other without ever having to leave.
The Neighborhood Cafe promises an authentic taste of the neighborhood with every sip and bite. Breakfast and lunch are served daily through a series of rotating residences with local bakers and regional coffee roasters.
In early 2024, Romer Hell's Kitchen will be home to a speakeasy-inspired piano bar with live performances, carrying the neighborhood tradition with subdued lighting, elegance, sophistication and hand-crafted classic cocktails.
Romer Hell's Kitchen is managed by Highgate, an industry-leading hotel management, investment and development firm. Highgate's in-house Design & Construction studio, LUCID, led project management for all design partners. The hotel team is excited to benefit from Highgate's track record as a brand innovator and collaborative partner.