Imagine a hotel where there is no reception, the rooms are modern and clean, and you are greeted on arrival with a glass of quality wine. Imagine the Andaz on Wall Street. Well, actually it’s on Water Street in Lower Manhattan, but the building is on the corner of Wall Street. I’ve always thought it a bit strange that this iconic-sounding street, at the very heart of the US financial world and mentioned reverentially in the same breath as the London Stock Exchange in the City (of London that is), is in fact a tiny street tucked away in Manhattan, that takes at most three minutes to traverse. But there it is.
Anyway, I rarely use the adjective cool, as it’s usually synonymous with language spoken by non-adults and adults trying to sound like non-adults, neither of which I am. But the Andaz is definitely just that, there’s no other word for it. And contemporary. They told me it is an exclusive Hyatt brand and certainly the name Hyatt isn’t obvious anywhere, except on the website.
On arrival you are greeted by good looking chaps wearing grey suits and open neck shirts. Check-in takes place on an iPad, which they each have attached to one hand, along with the offer of a glass of wine. Happy hour in the lobby is every day for two hours and the wines are worth drinking. The process is speedy and no nonsense. The rooms are spacious and contemporary. Mine boasted a 50 inch flat screen TV and a large bathroom, walk-in shower on one side and a sizeable ‘tub’ on the other. A glass panel separated the bath from the rest of the room. The loo was a separate room, rather essential if you needed to accept the offer of two room keys on check-in. Wi-fi and minibar are both provided for free. There were slightly disappointing touches where damaged edges of furniture and damp stains under the glass sink had started to show signs of extensive use. This is one aspect of this type of hotel that really does have to be absolutely up to scratch, that is if the contemporary designer look is going to stay modern and attractive.
Just like the City (London again), Sundays are dead in this part of town, so other than a great Irish bar behind the hotel, where I badly overdid the apple martinis again, everything was shut including the hotel bar. A long cab ride up town is necessary if you want to eat properly. Apparently there’s an Andaz in Liverpool, so one of the hotel staff told me. Actually I think he was mistaken and he meant Liverpool Street, which is in London. I’d be fascinated to compare either of them to the Manhattan hotel some day, but I bet Manhattan beats them for location!