The building that houses Andaz 5th Avenue wasn’t always a hotel. It started out as a big department store in 1916 before it became Tommy Hilfiger’s global headquarters. Then, in 2006, Tony Chi transformed the space into Andaz 5th Avenue. Today, the rooms and suites at Andaz 5th Avenue ground guests comfortably in New York City, and that’s no accident. Chi designed them to invoke the open, spacious style of the city’s popular loft-style apartments.
Since its initial conception, art has always been a part of the hotel. With its proximity to the New York Public Library and the famous 5th Avenue shopping district, a variety of the arts inspired the hotel. Chi’s own artwork is in each guest room, and a sculpture by Nick Hornby captivates guests in the lobby. You’ll also find that every elevator bank is decorated with a unique mural by students from the New York City High School for Art & Design.
Andaz 5th Avenue really took the merging of hotel and art to another level with its artist-in-residence program that’s now considered integral to the hotel’s identity. It empowers guests to enjoy the artwork of a local artist, and the artist gets to showcase their work in the 5th Avenue Gallery space.
The current piece by Edward Granger, which is called “Once Upon Our Time,” will run through the end of 2022. It’s a celebration of the urban jungle of New York City.
Edward Granger was thrilled to share his art in this way he. He told me, “Andaz 5th Avenue reached out to me earlier this year, inviting me to transform their gallery space with an original piece. It was a great fit because of the Andaz brand’s unique aesthetic. The team was easy to work with, and you couldn’t ask for a more prime location.”
To come up with the “Once Upon Our Time”, Granger thought about “the return of New York, the return of travel, the city coming back to life after the past two years, and how much the pandemic may have changed our perspectives on things, and just how much we either take for granted or didn’t have enough time to focus on.”
“So, I created this piece as a celebration of the many colors, shapes, and patterns of New York but also as a reminder that life changes fast and often,” he observed.
Granger loved the experience of utilizing the interior and exterior façade of the hotel as a “blank canvas” and explained, “It’s more experiential not only to expand my own capabilities but a feast of the senses to anyone passing by the hotel. Another important detail is the iconic skyline reflecting onto the interior mirrored plexiglass from the exterior windows on 5th Avenue.”
“The 5th Avenue Gallery space and the hotel’s façade make it very accessible to everyone, guests or people passing on the street. It also isn’t contained in one space but takes over the two sides of the entrance to The Bar Downstairs and Kitchen, the whole 5th Avenue façade, and the corner awning at 5th Avenue and 41st Street. So, no matter which side you’re coming from, you can’t miss it.”
Beyond art, Andaz 5th Avenue is focused on providing an overall joyful and memorable guest experience. It offers year-round move nights. It has a focus on wellness with yoga classes, plans to add more plant-based items to their menus, and new equipment in the onsite gym. It also offers Wellness Suites which are equipped with a spa-like sound bath, a mirror gym, and free weights.
Andaz 5th Avenue has a longstanding partnership with the New York Public Library. The stunning library is just steps from the hotel, and there’s also a book nook in the lobby where guests can choose a book to enjoy during their stay.
The hotel is also near so many midtown Manhattan attractions. Bryant Park is across the street. Many restaurants and cafes are within easy walking distance. So are the Empire State Building, Grand Central, and Rockefeller Center.
When you stay at the hotel, don’t be quick to toss out the key! You can take a little piece of Edward Granger’s work home with you through the end of 2022. The guestroom key packets have a part of Granger’s design reproduced on the cover.
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