Q: What is it? A: A hotel in the Financial District of NYC! On Wall Street! Almost 7 kilometers from Times Square! Yes, you can actually live down there! And the neighborhood is quite enjoyable as well.
The Rockwell Group designed 235 of these. They managed to break some of the conventions of how a hotel room is supposed to look. The desk is a room divider, minibar, TV-stand and… a desk. There’s a window between the bath and the bedroom. Not too unusual a solution but the Andaz version felt a little more voyeuristic than most.
That famed bathtub with a view. Picture is snapped from the shower area of this very dark room. Shower head was of the monsoon type. This particular bathroom came with an unwanted feature: Taking a shower meant a quite soaked floor which consequently meant that I had to waste quite a few towels.
Functional and not too spectacular but to the right (not really visible here); a revolving closet-cube, which on the other sides comes with a full-length mirror, coat hangers and the area known as the snack bar. I must admit that I first thought that I was breaking something when the entire cabinet started to move.
This view opened my eyes a little. Those are homes. I suddenly realized how many people who actually LIVE in the Financial District. Before the September 11 attacks some 15,000 were living here. Now the number has risen to 58,000 with more and more office-buildings being converted from office space to apartments.
The not-so-busy Water Street during Super Bowl weekend. This is the entrance you should use to the hotel. Much easier to get to. Letting your cabbie drive to the actual Wall Street address is complicated and costly and sadly enough New York has some of the worst taxi drivers in the world. There are exceptions (hey, my Sri Lankan friend!) but they are few and far between.
A modern looking space it is. David Rockwell designed the lobby in 2010 (where members of the staff come running with an iPad to check you in). ”Cerused oak, end-grain bamboo, and veined marble run throughout, yielding a warm luminosity…” the architect’s website will be tooting followed by a proud little fanfare.
A surprise in the ocean of steel and concrete.
When I decided to stay there, I wondered how many people I’d meet? Would I be the only living creature there? No. Instead, I found a rather busy neighborhood. A peek out the hotel window + a bit of research brought me closer to the truth. Some 58,000+ people are living in the Financial District today. That’s a packed fair-sized arena. Like the Dodger’s Stadium in L.A. or the Friends Arena in Stockholm. I also found myself very much at home on the upper floor of the Dead Rabbit, crowned the world’s best new cocktail bar. I was in the Financial District and happy with it.
You’re staying at a pimped up Hyatt, dude!
I avoid the big hotel dinosaurs whenever I can. But Andaz is proof that a huge hospitality chain may get it least almost right. The employees I met were all friendly and seemed to care (as opposed to just carrying out services while on duty). Rooms are ginormous for being New York. High ceilings and 345+ spacious square feet. They also come with odd solutions like a revolving closet. Sometimes it gets a tad too conceptualized. For instance, the check-in made on an iPad, with the reception less than 6 ft. away, but thanks for trying.
It’s called Wall Street but it’s on Water.
One of the more confusing aspects of the Andaz Wall Street is their address. Sure, they are located on 75 Wall Street. Or at least their bar is. The main entrance is on Water Street, one of the main thoroughfares in lower Manhattan, and given the shifting quality of the New York cabbies… well, just follow the instructions beneath the address here below. Also, I stayed here during Super Bowl-weekend. The old rule of Financial District hotels seems to hold. Slightly higher rates in the weeks. Rates during weekends, much lower. So in order to save some cash, just follow the money in Manhattan…
Andaz Wall Street
75 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
Tell your cabbie: Don’t drive to Wall Street. Tell him to go to the corner of Water Street and Wall Street instead – the actual entrance is on Water Street (see photo above). Look for the Andaz flags.