Friendships take me on many paths and this weekend I discovered a new world in our great city: The Hudson Yards created over the ugly train rail on the West Side of Manhattan.
The train tracks are there, but some creative genius engineers figured out how to put a “roof” over them and build stunning soaring buildings on the new surface.
My friend Lydia Sarfati was honored two weeks ago at the Polish American Women’s Conference in Manhattan. At the VIP party, I had the good fortune to meet Emily Kopelman, the impressive manager of the Equinox Hotel. I had heard positive things about the cutting edge hotel that opened in Hudson Yards a few months ago.
She and I immediately bonded and she invited me to stay at the hotel. I accepted and last Saturday it was my treat to spend the night there.
As I drove up the West Side highway and took a left turn onto the “campus” of the Hudson Yards, I saw the glistening Vessel, the extraordinary centerpiece of the Yards surrounded by a Neiman Marcus mall, which connects to The Shed, a cultural center, and my destination, the Equinox Hotel.
I felt lost in the remarkable setting and called Emily, who told me to look for her doorman wearing a white shirt. With her guidance I found the hotel across from the shopping mall.
The doorman showed me to the elevator, which I took to the 24th floor to check in. From there, we were taken to our corner room on the 30th floor with incredible views of the Hudson River and Midtown.
The Equinox brand is 25 years old and this is their first hotel. I love how their theme of “high-performance living” has translated into an unusual 5-Star luxury hotel experience.
I was amazed when the bellman showed me the TV sleep system programming, which included relaxation, stretching, and yoga videos.
I knew I was in a special place for a serene night of sleep when I saw the puffy down comforters and specially designed push-button blackout shades from an iPad with temperature and light control.
I took a tour of the Equinox’s 60,000 square-foot gym, as well as their rejuvenating spa, which added to their “temple of well being” feeling I had at the hotel.
Brunch was on the 24th floor overlooking the Hudson at Electric Lemon, offering the fluffiest, tastiest egg-white omelette I ever ate. There’s something enervating about sitting on top of the world and the sun shining light onto our comfortable plush sofa seating.
The Vessel, a unique art installation created by Thomas Heatherwick and his company, is jaw-droppingly beautiful with its glistening copper exterior. It was built during the Bloomberg era, adding the No. 7 subway to the new complex and the nearby Javits Center.
Ironically, the incentives to build it were more than what the city offered Amazon.
Everyone should visit the new world on the West Side of Manhattan; what once was a wasteland is now a thriving bustling community, unique in our city and possibly the entire country.
It’s certainly worth a visit by subway or car to see the new world “where compromise simply doesn’t exist” for the Equinox Hotel and developers of Hudson Yards.
Thank you, Emily, for making me feel like a queen during my stay at your hotel.