The newest addition to the Four Seasons hotel portfolio, Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, opened last September on Church Street, a block away from City Hall Park and next door to the legendary Woolworth building. We had the opportunity to spend an evening there at the invitation of the hotel, and it’s chic, luxurious, and everything you look for in a Four Seasons.
The doorman asked for my name as we were getting out of our cab, said a few words into his lapel, and by the time we reached the front desk in the stylish, low-key, high-ceilinged lobby, our reservation was already pulled up and we were greeted by name. The lobby sets the mood for the entire hotel: The floors are cream-colored travertine, walls are dark wood, accents are brushed bronze; the overall vibe is quiet, subdued elegance. A dramatic suspended staircase opposite the elevators leads to event spaces and a large ballroom that clocks in at nearly 3,000 square feet.
This color scheme of cream and muted earth tones continues throughout the 189 hotel rooms and suites, which range from 400 to 2,400 square feet. Our 450-square-foot Premier Room had a comfortable chaise and leather chair, soft carpeting, an unimaginably comfortable bed, and dark wood furniture, including an armoire, a large desk, and a cabinet with a well-stocked mini bar along with a coffee maker, a Nespresso machine, and several different types of glassware. The 55-inch TV was set to the welcome channel, pre-programmed with a custom greeting. Plugs and charging stations were plentiful, and several different lighting modes were available at the push of a button; a button at the bedside even opens and closes the window shades. (The blackout curtains also succeeded in blocking every trace of sunlight when closed.) The massive bathroom had a large shower, a deep, free-standing oval tub, a TV in the mirror, and plenty of mosaic and tile.
It was a cold and dreary day, so we decided to just hang out in the room instead of venturing outside, which turned out to be a good decision. We popped a bottle of Champagne (a requested ice bucket was delivered in minutes) and opened the in-room dining menu, which was a sight to behold. Available 24 hours a day, the menu (somewhat of a rarity these days), developed by veteran Four Seasons executive chef Shaun Acosta, is expansive and had something for everybody. Breakfast includes eggs in a variety of preparations, avocado toasts, French toast, lemon ricotta pancakes, churros con chocolate, ancient grain porridge, breakfast meats, bagels, pastries, custom smoothies and juices, and several styles of coffee and tea.
All-day (11 a.m. – 11 p.m.) offerings read like the menu at a fine dining restaurant: Appetizers include burrata with heirloom tomatoes and basil, foie gras with apple and brioche, a trio of crudos, a platter of local cured meats and cheeses, and even Petrossian caviar; sandwiches include an herb-roasted turkey club (mandatory for room service), pastrami on rye, and a short rib Angus burger with local Cheddar and crispy onions; pastas include penne cacao e pepe, tagliatelle Bolognese, and linguine with squid ink, sea urchin, and crab; and entrées include pan-roasted Scottish salmon with fennel, saffron cannellini beans, and lemon butter; free-range Amish half chicken with cumin roasted carrots and sage jus; Berkshire pork chop with sautéed Swiss chard and roasted fruit chutney; and prime 28-day-dry-aged New York strip or filet mignon.
For those looking for a late-night meal, a variety of dishes including soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and desserts are available overnight. To drink, a nice selection of local beers and ciders is available, as well as a full (and impressive) wine list. For an in-room dining-only menu, the selection is staggering (if you’re looking for a sit-down dining experience, Wolfgang Puck’s first New York restaurant, an outpost of his hit steakhouse Cut is now open in the lobby.
If you’d prefer to get out of your room but stay within the luxurious confines of the hotel, the spa is also a must-visit. There are seven treatment rooms, a couples’ spa suite, and an outdoor terrace and sun deck, and offerings include massages, luxury skin care, detox and mud wrap, and nail care. The third-floor 24-hour gym is over 6,000 square feet and is fully-stocked — it even offers personal trainers on request. To top it all off, there’s a 75-foot-long lap pool open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
If you’ve ever stayed at a Four Seasons, there’s a certain level of service and hospitality you’ve come to expect, and they’ve got it in spades in this very welcome addition to Downtown. And if you haven’t stayed at a Four Seasons and are planning on visiting New York any time soon, you won’t regret choosing this hotel to be your home away from home.