This month, the Robert A.M. Stern-designed, 189-room Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown opens in the shadow of the One World Trade Center. The brand's second New York hotel, it joins its midtown location. Travel Weekly news editor Johanna Jainchill spoke with Peter Humig, the hotel's general manager, about the much-anticipated opening.
Q: What went into the decision to open a Four Seasons in lower Manhattan?
A: Location. The rebirth of lower Manhattan represents an exciting stage in the city's history and evolution.
The opening of Brookfield Place, the Oculus [transit station] and its Westfield Center shopping and cultural complex, Eataly and a number of emerging celebrity chefs, including Wolfgang Puck, who will headline the hotel's signature restaurant, makes this Four Seasons hotel opening in the right place at the right time.
Q: What does the hotel's opening mean for the area?
A: Four Seasons will be among the first luxury hotels in downtown Manhattan.
The brand has a large following around the world and is nearly at 100 properties.
The exterior of the Four Seasons New York Downtown, which is adjacent to One World Trade Center, at far left in the photo, the 9/11 Memorial and the Oculus transportation hub, at right.
We expect to welcome Four Seasons loyalists as well as a new breed of traveler looking for luxury accommodations downtown that are paired with reliable, customized and personal Four Seasons service.
Q: Do you expect a different kind of traveler than you see at the uptown Four Seasons?
A:With the emergence of the TAMI sector downtown [Technology, Advertising, Media and Entertainment] in addition to traditional finance industries, we do expect Four Seasons travelers, as well as a new breed of business travelers working in high-tech and entrepreneurial businesses and new media. With the buzz of the Tribeca Film Festival, Cut by Wolfgang Puck [the celebrity chef's first restaurant in Manhattan] and Fashion Week events with Conde Nast headquarters at One World Trade Center now and Vogue, we expect a creative crowd.
Q: Has the neighborhood changed to become more appealing to luxury travelers?
A: With the proximity to new luxury shopping, galleries and top restaurant tables in Soho, independent boutiques in Tribeca, the tree-lined streets of West Village and the Meatpacking District, which boasts the High Line and the relocated Whitney Museum of American Art, downtown is the place to see and be seen.
Q: How have early interest and advanced bookings been?
A: There has been strong interest, especially as the hotel is opening in late September, amid the high season in New York City for travel, arts, entertainment and galas.
A first look at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown