Two decades after bringing a distinctly high design sensibility to cities and resorts in their native Mexico, Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha are tackling an entirely different market: New York City. With their new Hôtel Americano, located in the middle of Chelsea’s art gallery district, the partners are celebrating both their love of contemporary art and their passion for Manhattan.
At some point in the New York hotel boom of the last few years, roofs became the new lobbies. And if the roof had a pool, even better. The latest refinement of the trend is La Piscine, the pool bar and restaurant on top of the new Hôtel Americano. Reached directly from the street by an external glass elevator (part of the building’s striking design by Enrique Norten), the 10-stories-up space looks north and east over the glamorously gritty cityscape of industrial Chelsea and west toward a slice of the Hudson. The view from the bar at La Piscine, on the roof of Hôtel Americano. Hôtel Americano has two restaurants and bars, as well as locally-produced bicycles guests can use to explore the High Line and Hudson River Park. In warm weather, the grill sends out Greek-style octopus, lamb chops and baba ghanouj, the bar slings mojitos and mezcalitos, and the stereo plays a set list devised by Bebel Gilberto. In winter, a big glass garage door will swing down to seal off the glass-roofed dining area, sheepskin will cover the butterfly chairs, and the menu will shift to fondue and hot sake. Even the pool will be winterized. The 56-room hotel features decidedly Mexican touches, like an outdoor rooftop pool that becomes a hot tub in winter, along with very New York-style details like iPads in every room that are full of recommendations for the best local galleries, restaurants and shops. iPads in every room that are full of recommendations for the best local galleries, restaurants and shops. A New Yorker is always an Americano, because they live in a city where they have to adapt all the time. Set in a former parking garage, the Hôtel Americano has a cool industrial Manhattan veneer but a warm Latin soul.
“We want to embrace the crowd,”Carlos Couturier says, “make them feel at home in New York.”