Full-time hotel living has traditionally been a privilege reserved for Hollywood stars (think De Niro, who owns The Greenwich Hotel) and athletes who play in the Midwest and live in New York (think Jeremy Lin), but a new generation of permanent guests is making the switch from townhouse to penthouse living. They're young; they’re rich; they’re big fans of room service. Let’s call it the rise of the Master Suite Millennial.
It comes as little surprise that New York City is playing midwife to the movement. The St. Regis and The Four Seasons have a long history of long-term tenants, but it’s actually the W New York Downtown that’s doing the most to woo the next wave. Located one block from the just-opened One World Trade Center, the 57-story glass hotel lures long-term residents with a plethora of in-house freebies, making it one of hottest properties on the island Manhattan.
“You’re basically living here full time but with all the amenities of a hotel guest,” explains W General Manager Patrick Horstmann. And “all” is a lot: everything from valet parking to gym and sauna access, to VIP passes to the W’s private roof-deck and tickets to in-house DJ sets. “It’s much more than living in a regular luxury building where the concierge might do nothing more than hold your packages,” Horstmann adds. “If you need a packet of cigarettes or want a quarter-pounder with cheese, all you do here is pick-up the phone and call an operator.”
With real estate buffs predicting that the WTC District will emerge as the next new New York, the majority of the W’s 223 live-in residences already have the lights on. Beyond the film execs and ubiquitous Chinese investors, the new neighbors seem to share a very specific attitude. In the lobby, Wolf of Wall Street alpha types rub shoulders with high-powered FiDi felines.
“These are movers and shakers who don’t want to waste their time”, says Horstmann. In a high profit world where a trip to Whole Foods could sacrifice closing a five-figure deal, the curb appeal of hotel-living is subject to cost-benefit analysis. The benefits are apparently immense.
Just do the math: Rental rates for the W are pretty aggressively at $80 per ft², which translates to $3700 per month for a studio pad and from $4000 for a one bed. That’s more than you’re likely to pay in Tribeca, but you’re skipping the broker’s fee, the cost of furniture, the cost of an empty room when you’re on the road and the general frustration of dealing with a landlord who doesn’t want to be at either your beck or your call.
“It’s for the type of person who wants to call us up and say, ‘I’m coming home tomorrow, here’s my flight time, have my room service ready,’” says Horstmann.
Really, that’s not a type of person: Everyone wants their home to be sparkling when they get back from a business trip. It’s just a matter of who’s willing – or smart enough - to return to another hotel.
Photos by Tooga / Getty Images