A new boutique hotel opening up in New York tends to create a good amount of buzz. The anticipation is inflated when the hotel is an independent located in Greenwich Village. Say hello to The Jade Hotel.
According to the hotel’s interior designer, Andres Escobar of Andres Escobar & Associates, the plan from the outset was to design the hotel in a fashion that made it seem like it had been there for years. “We didn’t want to make it feel like it was brand new,” Escobar said. “Rather, like it had been there all along. We wanted it to feel of the Old World and be relevant to its locale.”
William Obeid, president and CEO of Gemini Real Estate Advisors, the owner of the hotel, added, “We sought to create a neighborhood boutique hotel that was of the Greenwich Village fabric. That meant capturing the history, charm and magic of the Village. As part of that vision, we wanted to create a hotel that harmonized with the local surroundings, contributing to the artistic and vibrant life of the area.”
|Grape and Vine|
This idea was not lost on the hotel’s principal architect, Gene Kaufman, founder of Gene Kaufman Architect. “The idea was to have the finished building look and feel like it had been part of the Greenwich Village neighborhood forever,” he said. “The building is completely new construction, but we wanted to convey a sense of a prior life and have the hotel feel rooted to its place.”
The hotel has 113 rooms, but any passerby would think it was much smaller, due in part to the exterior façade and entryway. “Efficiency and intimacy went hand in hand in planning the space,” Kaufman said. For example, guests enter the hotel and immediately are drawn into a double-high space and fireplace that acts as the focal point on the back wall. From there, guests walk down a grand staircase into the sunken lobby. “This gives the entry the feeling of an underground club but practically allowed for the lobby lounge and adjacent restaurant to have high ceilings,” Kaufman said.
The lobby is very communal in nature and is an inviting place for guests and non-guests to mingle.
This space was initially problematic, Escobar said. He had to convince the developer to remove a walled room that was right in the entryway in order to create the double-volume space. “The volume was short and narrow,” Escobar said.
Rooms are not large—it’s New York—but slight space is more than made up for with effectual Art Deco design inspired by 1920s’ French Deco artisan Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann. Touches include antique phones and desks.The guestrooms are decorated with rich shades of crimson, blue and gold and furnished with Makassar ebony and textured hardwood furniture.
Escobar also wanted to make sure that technology was hidden. Flat-screen TVs are hidden behind sliding panels that open when guests want to watch TV. “It’s more like artwork on the wall,” Escobar said. “We didn’t want tech in your face.”
Lighting also plays a huge role. The designer did not want a bright vibrant atmosphere, again playing off the Old World theme. A W, this is not, Escobar said, comparing it more to a bed-and-breakfast type atmosphere.
The lobby leads to The Jade Hotel’s day-to-night restaurant and bar, Grape & Vine. To get there, guests walk through a low-slung brick hallway that gives the feeling of walking through someone’s European estate into the wine cellar. A bar with décor reminiscent of the Gilded Age fronts the speakeasy-style bistro.
“The hotel is a collage,” noted Kaufman. “Details like a Georgian-style portico, decorative brickwork and a 50-foot-tall copper-clad bay window help the building harmonize with surrounding pre-war buildings, but because the hotel is completely new, it offers its guests state-of-the-art facilities.”
Name of Project: The Jade Hotel Interior Designer: Andres Escobar of Andres Escobar & Associates Architect: Gene Kaufman Design Architect: Richard Cameron Façade Designer: Atelier & Co. Owner: Gemini Real Estate Advisors