Experiencing an evening of upscale fun in NYC
In partnership with Cambria Hotels.
Most of you know that I live in Baltimore but the work I do with HSS requires me to travel frequently to NYC. And, without giving too much away, we’ve had something in the works for a few months now that has had me up in the city more than usual. These trips are often quick. Sometimes I step off my train at Penn Station at 3 p.m., head to the meeting or event I need to be at and then run back to the train station to catch a 9 p.m. train back home.
Going up and back can be extremely tiring, but if I’m going to hunt the good stuff here, it’s that nobody’s telling me this is what needs to happen–I make my own schedule and do things HSS-related on my terms. That’s one of the joys of being my own boss. And on the all too rare chance I do get the chance to stay overnight, it is very important to me to be able to maximize my time, not only when I’m out and about, but more importantly, when I’m at my hotel.
Throughout the more than five years I’ve been building and running HSS, I’ve tried many different hotels in NYC. Recently, I had the chance to stay (and play a bit) at the Cambria Hotel New York – Chelsea. Here’s what I thought.
The Hotel & Room
Alright, I’m not going to lie. You know me and you know that I like nice things–nice food, nice cocktails, nice watches, modern design. And, of course, those preferences for nice things extend to my choice of hotel. I won’t go so far as to say I’ve experienced the gamut of hotels in NYC because I’ve never stayed in a grimy, shoebox-sized youth hostel or an expansive penthouse suite with panoramic city views, but I have had my fair share of NYC hotel experiences.
The hotel I stay in always has to fit the following criteria. Honestly, I like an upscale experience. I find that the level and quality of service has a direct correlation to my enjoyment and how productive I am. Second, I need a hotel that’s designed, at least in part for the business traveler–connectivity and great amenities are a must. Third, the hotel needs to be in a location that acts like a hub for all my activities while I’m away. And, finally, I like hotels that feel like the city they’re in.
So how did the Cambria Hotel New York – Chelsea stack up to my criteria? Starting with location, I give it a 10 out of 10. My activities generally range, at the northernmost, from no higher than 67th down to Nolita and the Cambria Hotel is perfectly situated right in between. Plus, it’s walking distance from Penn Station. Bonus.
Design and amenities? Well, you can see the photos of the room. Super crisp modern design, excellent light in the room, and (not shown) a very, very spacious bathroom with some pretty thick and fluffy towels. There is also an additional sitting area with a love seat and coffee table. Not something you see in many NYC hotels, especially at the price of the Cambria Hotel New York – Chelsea.
Ambiance and service. As I mentioned, I really do like staying in luxury hotels for a variety of reasons. Luxury hotels can have a certain feel when it comes to how much they want to dote on you. Now let me be clear, there are definitely times when I will take full advantage of every single perk. But there are other times, especially when I’m on a tight schedule, that I have no need or desire for that and the time it can consume. At the Cambria Hotel, I can report that the staff seemed to sense this. They were extremely professional, polished and respectful–hallmarks of luxury service–without being overbearing (no fuss).
The evening I got to spend at the Cambria Hotel New York – Chelsea coincided with a pretty happening night on the rooftop. Servers had all manner of NYC-inspired finger foods (see the slideshow for one of my favorites) and a bar stocked with absolutely top shelf stuff. Generally, if I’m at a hotel bar and I order a Negroni, I expect a) either to have to tell the bartender how to make it or b) having it made with some of the worst sweet vermouth known to man that has been languishing in a half-full, warm bottle for probably like two months.
So imagine my surprise when at the Cambria, I asked the bartender for a Negroni–my favorite, not to mention the best, summer cocktail–and he not only made it with Beefeater (my preference) but with Carpano Antica vermouth. Didn’t even have to ask. That’s just how they do it. Amazing.
An adept jazz trio played well into the night and a good time was had by all.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style