Once occupied by milliners, Midtown’s The Refinery Hotel offers large, industrial-chic rooms that feel more like mini-Manhattan lofts than rooms. Steps from some of Midtown’s top sights — namely Times Square, MOMA and the Flat Iron Building — and its rooftop bar with a stellar cocktail menu and views of the Empire State building make the property an attraction in itself. Read on for the full review.
Where is the Refinery Hotel?
Located in Midtown, The Garment District is the heart of the city’s fashion industry. Showrooms, shops, design and even production facilities sit alongside skyscraper warehouses and factory buildings – some of which have been converted into hotels and offices. The Refinery Hotel (part of the Small Luxury Hotels group) is in a quiet pocket (by Manhattan standards), near the corner of 38th Street and 6th Avenue. LaGuardia Airport is around 18 kilometres by car; JFK Airport is around 24 kilometres; and Newark Airport is around 27km.
What’s near the Refinery Hotel?
You can practically roll out of bed into some of New York’s top tourist attractions: Bryant Park is two blocks away, the Empire State Building is four, and Times Square is five. Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall are also within easy walking distance. And, if you are up for a 25 to 30-minute walk, you can reach Central Park or the access point to the High Line located at 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Another bonus: Culture Espresso, one of the best coffee shops in Midtown, is right across the road. The freshly baked cookies here are phenomenal (often rated the best in the city).
The spacious rooms range in size from 23 square metres to 42 square metres. Distressed oak floorboards, lofty ceilings, large industrial floor lamps, and desks with legs resembling vintage sewing machines will make you feel like you’re in your own warehouse apartment rather than a hotel (in a good way). Free wi-fi included.
Restaurants and bars
A couple of years after the original building was completed in 1912, local entrepreneur Winifred T. McDonald opened a restaurant and tea room on the ground floor. Today, two of the Refinery Hotel’s venues, Parker & Quinn Restaurant and Winnie’s Jazz Bar, pay homage.
Parker & Quinn servers refined American fare in a setting that feels part 1920s diner, part speakeasy. Think: malted waffles, fried chicken sliders, or cheddar and gruyère on sourdough with a side of tomato bacon bisque (after this, you won’t look at grilled cheese in the same way). Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Located in the lobby, Winnie’s is known for its cocktails, fine American whiskey selection and nightly live jazz performances. No bookings, no minimum spend, first come first serve.
The shining star of The Refinery’s hospitality offerings is The Refinery Rooftop bar and restaurant. Twinkling strings of fairy lights and prime views of the Empire State Building create a magical “bright lights, big city” vibe that is enjoyed by guests and locals alike. The all-day menu includes starters, share plates and lighter meals such as blistered shishito peppers, seared ahi tuna, flatbreads and yucca fries with chipotle mayo. A retractable glass roof makes it equally as enjoyable in the cold and rain as it is in the sunshine. Seating and standing room available. Bookings are not essential, but highly recommended.
The fitness centre, located on the hotel’s second floor, has a selection of free weights, machines and cardio equipment. Open daily from 6:30am to 7:00pm.
The Refinery has accessible rooms with roll-in showers and ADA-compliant bathtubs. The property has an accessible entrance, accessible emergency exits, accessible exercise facilities in the fitness centre, and braille signage throughout.
What you need to know
Book the Empire State King Room for a view that speaks for itself, or the Atelier for a generous living area with a comfy couch and even more space to kick back.
Best for: City break, couples
Design: Industrial chic
Ambience: Warehouse apartment
Number of rooms: 197
Rates: From $518
Wi-fi: Free for all guests
Parking: Self-parking with no in-out privilege is available for US$72 per day
Address: 63 W 38th Street, New York, 10018
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