New York is about to discover whether a hotel aimed squarely at the gay market can succeed in one of the toughest markets in the world: The Out NYC, a boutique accommodation in Hell’s Kitchen, just held its official ribbon-cutting on Thursday.
Located on 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues on Manhattan’s West Side, the 105-room hotel is part of what its owners call an “urban resort”—with an adjacent mega-club, XL, already doing major business and a 24-hour restaurant, Kitchin, opening in May.
“The Out NYC was built to be the city’s, the country’s and maybe the world’s first straight-friendly, gay-oriented urban resort,” where LGBT guests “can feel at home,” says Ian Simpson Reisner, a partner at Parkview Developers, which owns the venue. He’s quick to add, though, that “our straight friends and family are welcome to stay here, play here, eat here and enjoy themselves, too.”
After all, you don’t want to alienate a potential guest in this economy.
At yesterday’s unveiling, workmen were still putting finishing touches on various areas—including one of three outdoor courtyards—but there was definitely a feeling of excitement in the air. (Many were just happy the hotel finally opened, after redesigns and financial issues delayed its debut.)
Strolling through the three floors of The Out NYC, its easy to see how Reisner and his partners were influenced by boutique hoteliers like Ian Schrager and André Balazs. The look is sleek, crisp and European minimalist, with light woods and dark colors—and branding everywhere: Even the shampoo bottles say “The Out NYC.”
Standard rooms begin at $250 per night, although several shared hostel-type spaces are being planned. Those group rooms will offer four beds, personal TVs, privacy curtains and a communal bathroom. The idea is “to help make the property affordable to a younger demographic,” says Reisner.
Our favorite part (besides the totally adorbs staff) is definitely the courtyards: the “Great Lawn” (right) sports plush seating and wall-to-wall Astroturf; a more meditative space includes a black-bamboo garden; and a Fire Island-style retreat will offer a sundeck, two hot tubs, cabanas and a “cascading curtain of rain.”
We’re actually kind of sad we live three blocks away and have no reason to check in. Oh well, maybe we’ll have to get fumigated some day!