October 22, 2012
By Yanic Simard
I’ve always dreamed of living in a hotel, and during a recent stay at my favourite accommodation in New York City, The Surrey Hotel & Spa, I decided to really take note this time of the unique design aspects that this luxe accommodation exudes. Located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, near the scenic Central Park and many prominent boutique shops, this 1920s style Beaux-Arts designed residential townhouse is one of the finest, quaintest hotels that the city – or the world – has to offer. I wanted to bring it all back with me to share with you and give you a little piece of heaven – a place that you should all treat yourself to and stay at one day.
There are features of the transitional design that stand out immediately, like the extensive artwork collection – particularly the oversized piece of Kate Moss that greets you as you enter the lavish lobby, setting the tone for your entire stay and what’s to come. The subtle and sultry expression on her face says it all. And then there are other features that aren’t so noticeable right away, but when you recognize them you fully appreciate them, and like I’m known to say, “it’s all in the details.”
As you go through the hotel’s common areas and down the halls that lead you to your home away from home, you notice that one common colour scheme is carried throughout. The mix of grey, cream, white and tan with dark and medium-toned woods create a soothing palette that make for a true homey feel, in conjunction with the highly stylish yet extremely comfortable furnishings.
This scheme is carried right down the halls with the painted faux wainscotting through to the hotel rooms themselves, which is where I drew most of my inspiration from and noticed many of the smaller details I made point of earlier.
Not one square foot of the interior of this structure was left unnoticed or untouched. The intricate doorknobs, carefully picked hardware, substantial baseboard, ceiling detail, Art Deco grid vent covers, door profiles and bevelled door panels are just the start of the list of particulars that The Surrey’s got covered. They even matched the subtle chevron pattern of the wall covering material behind the headboard to that of the throw on the bed.
I really adore how they mix the lighting too – each room has a carefully selected array of sconces, floor lamps, table lamps and pot lights, ready to set any mood you like with their pre-set options for activities such as reading or television watching, or you can control them yourself with dimmers and switches conveniently but discreetly located throughout the suite.
The layout and positioning of the furniture is another aspect that I also found to be extremely well-thought out. Each suite radiates the feeling that everything is exactly where it should be, with well-defined areas in a more open type of concept (sitting, working, sleeping, kitchen, eating). Each room feels perfectly filled and layered with pieces – nothing lacking, nothing owing.
And last but not least, the bathroom – or should I say the ensuite spa. These beautifully designed bathrooms are just as comparable to their world-acclaimed Cornelia Spa. Just about every inch of these generously sized rooms are covered by exquisite Calacatta marble — from the floors, the walls and the vanities, the mix of patterns (brick and straight lay) and tile sizes — and they all scream opulence. The oversized mirrors, mix of lighting, rain shower, soaker tub and chrome finishes collectively equal one of the most beautifully designed hotel bathrooms you’ll ever see.
Now that I have found my love for The Surrey, I also find that it’s the main reason I keep going back to New York City – besides my work of course! I’ve always dreamed of living in a hotel. And if I did, it would be the boutique hotel, The Surrey. But for now, it’s just a dream that I can take parts of the luxury boutique hotel home by implementing some of their well-appointed features and design ideas into my own space.
Yanic is the design editor of New Condo Guide and principal designer of Toronto Interior Design Group. Specializing in residential and commercial projects, Yanic often applies his signature high/low and old/new combination techniques in developing his unique designs. He has created designs for clients in Toronto, Montreal and Miami, and appears as a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine. tidg.ca • facebook.com/yanic.simard • twitter.com/yanicsimard