RH USHERS IN A NEW AGE OF LUXURY IN THE BIG APPLE WITH THE DEBUT OF ITS NEW GUESTHOUSE, AN EXCLUSIVE OVERNIGHT EXPERIENCE DRIPPING IN GLAMOUR
BY ELIZABETH HAZARD
This is not a hotel. That’s what RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, wants guests to know about RH Guesthouse New York, its chic new hospitality enclave in the heart of New York City’s stylish Meatpacking District. A first of its kind overnight experience, this beyond hotel concept puts a heavy emphasis on both luxury and privacy.
A secure, private entrance welcomes guests inside the property, where architectural marvels immediately come into view. “This is our house, and you are our guest. Everything is designed for your privacy and comfort,” you’re reminded as you enter. Inside, the property features six guest rooms, three guest suites, and RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman’s private residence on the entire top floor. On occasion, Friedman’s residence is available for booking.
The guestrooms and suites radiate top end luxury, from European white oak walls, floors, ceilings, and moldings to warm vein matched Italian travertine slabs in each room’s two bathrooms. The Meatpacking District might be famed for its hip, sleepless energy, but soundproof windows ensure a restful night’s slumber. Architectural lighting bathes each room in a rich, warm glow, day or night.
In the kitchen, a gourmet pantry is filled with a selection of charcuterie, crudités, berries, and fresh baguettes. If you’re looking to squeeze in a workout during your stay, in room kettle bells, dumbbells, leather yoga blocks, mats, and a Bosu ball are all ready for action. Feeling sleepy? The beds are thermo regulated with a microclimate scientifically proven to support deep and restorative sleep.
The top floor residence is a stunning, singular 2,600 squarefoot, full floor private penthouse featuring 11 foot coffered ceilings, elegant boiserie walls, Corinthian columns, and herringbone floors. Amenities include a monolithic Italian travertine replace and chef ’s kitchen, plus a hand carved travertine dining table with seating for eight. Cashmere seating by Lora Piana completes the living area. Sit by the fire while awaiting your homemade meal prepared by a personal chef, all while drinking in views of the Manhattan skyline.
For guests craving fresh air, the rooftop garden, infinity pool, and al fresco dining terrace welcomes overnighters into the lap of outdoor luxury. Sculpted hedges and trees offer an added sense of privacy. For a more formal dining experience, guests can enjoy the live fire indoor restaurant, serving delicacies such as wood grilled Australian Wagyu ribeye, freshly carved rotisserie chicken, a whole branzino cooked over Japanese Binchotan charcoal, or a wood grilled avocado with 15 grams of Petrossian Imperial Kaluga Caviar.
RH Guesthouse is just the latest endeavor by Gary Friedman, RH’s CEO since 2001. With a goal of recasting RH as a luxury brand, RH Guesthouse sets the stage for reinventing the entire idea of hospitality. In a recent meeting, Friedman spoke about the concept. “What we’re trying to do is to create a new market for travelers seeking privacy and luxury. I think privacy is the one thing everybody’s given away with social media, and it’s one thing that the internet has taken away, because you can Google anything about everybody. I think that there’s going to be a desire to find your place, to be in that place that’s special to you that gives you that level of privacy, exclusivity, and level of luxury that you just can’t find anywhere else.”
He added, “We’re not trying to be different; we’re trying to be better. We’re trying to create a new product. The idea of the Guesthouse is again first and foremost to elevate the brand and position RH as a thought leader, taste, and place maker in the industry. So, it’s not really what anybody thinks it’s going to be. People ask me, ‘You’re opening a hotel?’ I say no, we’re trying to create a new market for travelers seeking privacy and luxury. And then they go, ‘Oh, I get it. It’s going to be a showroom for your furniture.’ And I say no, why would we do that? We have a 90,000 square feet showroom 20 steps away. Then I say in fact, it’s not going to have any of our furniture. It’s not about furniture. It’s about a completely different experience. It’s a completely integrated singular design point of view that no one’s ever done before. So, you’re just going to see something that you’ve never seen and executed at the highest level of taste, quality, and design.”
When recently asked how long Friedman had been working on Guesthouse, he replied: “I’ve been working on it for about 30 years, because that’s how long I’ve been thinking about it. That’s how long I’ve been traveling to really great places and asking myself questions like, ‘Why don’t they have this? And why hasn’t anybody thought of that? And why does it have to be like this?’ And I think when you see what we’ve done with the Guesthouse, there are just things that no one has ever done in hospitality.”
To further its promise of privacy, the property asks that guests not take photos, and not post to social media. It’s an exclusive, intimate experience, a home away from home. Welcome home.
New York 55 Gansevoort Street / rhguesthouse.com