How Sean MacPherson turned the Maritime Hotel's La Sirena into an 'elevated trattoria'

Fourteen years ago, as New York City’s Meatpacking District was just beginning to emerge, hoteliers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode opened The Maritime Hotel at 16th Street and Ninth Avenue. In 2016, surrounded by a hip and high-tech community, the property underwent a renovation to keep it in line with changing times.

The Maritime’s landmark white porthole-esque exterior was maintained, but the interior was reconceived by MacPherson himself for an ocean-liner-meets-West-Village-loft vibe.

Wining & Dining

One of the most visible changes is La Sirena, an “elevated trattoria” from B&B Hospitality Group owners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich—and the duo’s first new NYC restaurant in nearly a decade. The former plaza-level space of La Bottega was recreated with custom ’60s-inspired curvilinear pavers throughout and walls clad in Caesarstone quartz.

A 38-foot marble bar bisects the space and extends to the beloved grand patio outside, with its prime perch above Ninth Avenue. La Sirena is discreetly separated from the lobby by a wall of opaque glass panels. Mirrored beams and a velvet curtain complete the glass wall. 

The restaurant’s barroom has a dedicated tapas bar with Spanish menu, while the formal dining room has traditional table service.

The Cabanas at La Sirena are two separated event spaces. The North Cabana and the South Cabana cover more than 3,000 square feet each and have private entrances from the street level. The two rooms are connected by a sky walkway and can be used independently for separate events or in tandem for a single large event. The Cabanas have patios with weatherproof retractable glass roofs for open-air summertime events or indoor heated events in colder months. 

La Sirena will also be the host venue for this year’s Design & Dine NY—Hotel Management & Hotel Design's exclusive dinner party, where hoteliers can mix and mingle with some of the greatest designers and suppliers in the industry. The event will be held on November 10, just before BDNY kicks off at New York City’s Javits Center.

In the Lobby

A 16th-century stone fireplace, which MacPherson found in the South of France, now anchors the lobby’s north wall; it’s inlaid with exquisite Tortuga textured marble imported from Brazil.

For the new lobby ceiling, MacPherson chose narrow-slatted cerused oak beams that were inlaid by hand. On top of the cerused oak ceiling, brass tacks lend a “subtly elegant and chic effect” to the space.

Every lighting fixture has been upgraded as well, with simple, slim table lamps and pendant fixtures, all with cloth shades that throw softer light for a soothing effect.

The Maritime’s 14-foot lobby sofas were reupholstered in fabric printed with sketches of New York City subway scenes, rendered in brown and black. Multicolored velvet covers the newly upholstered club chairs to provide a contrast to the room’s earth and wood tones.

The much-photographed 3-D nautical-themed mural that wraps around the lobby’s east wall got a refresh from Stefano Castronovo, the artist MacPherson originally commissioned in 2003. To suit the elegant new lobby, Castronovo—who flew from Berlin to update the mural—has reconceived its colors in subtler, quieter tones.