Updated: Feb 20, 2014
id: stylish, contemporary business hotel
atmosphere: urban pied a terre
‘hood: East 40s near Grand Central Station
cool detail: terrific guest lounge
By Terry Trucco
At a glance: Names can be misleading. Hyatt 48Lex has more in common with Hyatt’s Andaz chain than with any hotel labeled Hyatt we’ve seen, including the Grand Hyatt down the street.
You check in informally with an attendant who wields a laptop computer and escorts you to your room. The inviting second floor Lexicon Lounge offers complimentary fruit and baked goods much of the day. And the hotel’s emits a contemporary vibe that’s cooler than a classic Hyatt.
What the hotel really feels like is a small, clubby business hotel. With floor-to-ceiling windows – unheard of in the older hotels in the area – the hotel looks chic and serves up heart-pounding I’m-in-New-York moments, if cityscapes do it for you.
The lounge, outfitted with a gas-jet fireplace and plenty of sleek sofas and swivel chairs, is a great place to hang if your room gets too confining (stacks of newspapers, magazines and Assouline art books should keep you amused if the brazenly state-of-the-art WMF Bistro coffeemaker doesn’t).
With none smaller than 370 square feet, rooms are spacious by New York standards, though you might feel otherwise if you’re accustomed to suburban square footage. Still, Hyatt Lex48’s developers could have done whatever they liked with a hotel built from scratch. We like much that they’ve done.
Rooms: For a hotel in the heart of Manhattan’s business district, rooms are surprisingly romantic – if seeing a cityscape through floor-to-ceiling windows gets your heart pumping. I saw two rooms, including a corner suite – the hotel’s showpiece. I liked the entry hall with floor tiles that look like wood and a dark wood butler’s pantry to the side, well stocked with wine, china, glassware and the surprise amenity: a Fisher-Paykel dish drawer dishwasher.
A small, carpeted sitting room followed, contemporary-cozy with a sleek steel-colored sofa and a handsome desk with a pull-out writing table — sufficiently businesslike, in other words, for a meeting place.
The sleeping area’s centerpiece was a white queen-size bed backed by a handsome, chocolate leather headboard enveloped by a larger gray velvet rectangle that reminded us of men’s suit fabric. A brown wool throw was folded at the foot, and a flatpanel TV opposite the bed seemed to float in front of the window (okay, it was attached to the wall – we looked — but the effect was intriguing).
The white bathroom, hidden behind a sliding frosted glass door, felt spacious with a large, glass-fronted stall shower and generous washstand. And instead of classic white terry, a suave black bathrobe hung on the wall.
The standard room I saw was similar, sans sitting room and corner views. Like the suite, it featured a good-looking closet armoire, smaller than you’d expect in a luxury-minded hotel. But kudos to whoever decided to stash the extra pillows in black fabric bags. I’ve often wondered how many times spare pillows and blankets hit the floor before being tossed into a closet.
Food and drink: Lexington Brass, the bustling, ground-floor brasserie billeted in the hotel, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and handles room service. Overseen by the owners of Abe & Arthur’s, a hip restaurant in the Meatpacking District, Lexington Brass serves breakfast, lunch and dinner -- and a mean burger during the gap between lunch and dinner,
Amenities: The basemen fitness room is well equipped but windowless. As mentioned above, complimentary fruit, nibbles and coffee are offered all day in the second floor lounge. WiFi ($16 a day). In-room spa treatments available from Suite Spa, a company that proves spa services to hotels.
Surroundings: A superb location if you want midtown. The hotel is a short walk from Grand Central Station, the Waldorf Astoria, scores of midtown offices and Rockefeller Center (Saks Fifth Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the outdoor ice skating rink and Top of the Rock). The subway is a short walk away so it’s easy to zip uptown or downtown. Times Square and the Theater District are a straight shot to the west – walkable if you like walking but more likely you’ll be taking a cab (allow time; midtown traffic is heavy). Bus stops are also nearby.
Back story: The Hyatt 48Lex is a rarity – a new building in midtown built from the ground up as a hotel. It opened in August 2011.
Keep in mind: Though open to guests only, the second floor Lexicon Lounge, which should be an oasis, can get noisy and crowded.
What We Saw: