Last night we attended the opening of Andaz Wall Street, part of Hyatt’s new line of boutique-y feeling hotels designed to challenge Starwood’s very popular (and ever growing) W properties. Only about 50 of the hotel’s 253 rooms are set to open on January 18, but the handsome Andaz (meaning “personal style” in Hindi) is gearing up to compete with the Financial District’s top hotels. While the hotel’s smooth lines and dim lighting are a draw in their own right, it is the freebies that will surely win over guests — free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, free non-alcoholic mini-bar items, free gourmet lobby snacks (think charcuterie), and a barista in the lobby throughout the day.
Like many hotels, Andaz Wall Street wants guests to feel like they’re in a friend’s home. The sentiment is cliché, but the execution is intriguing. The hotel’s lobby area has no front desk; instead, a member of the staff approaches guests and checks them in using a tablet (a.k.a. a mini laptop). At Bar 7even 5ive, the bartenders are free flowing rather than manning a central bar, stopping at scattered islands to pour drinks or reaching into visible mini fridges when necessary.
Rooms are sleek and contemporary, with high ceilings, seven-foot windows, and plenty of bedside outlets. The star feature, though absent in the standard rooms, is a rotating closet cube – one side closet, one side mirror, one side robe hanger, and one side wet bar. Each sexy black bathroom takes up 30 percent of its guestroom and has a rain shower; some bathrooms have a revealing peek-a-boo window between the bathtub and rest of the room (much in the W tradition).
Andaz Wall Street officially opens its doors next week, with a Fifth Avenue outpost opening later this year.