Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha have ten hotels in Mexico under their brand Grupo Habita, but now they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone to build a hotel in New York City. What makes Hôtel Americano unique from prior projects? There is not much color and no art, a far cry from their previous hotels, known for their contemporary art pieces. For the hoteliers, neutrality meant no distractions and no competition with the bounty of art already in the area. Hotel Americano pushes boundaries, working with small spaces and making special features like the rooftop pool and restaurant functioning in the cold of winter as it does in summer days. "It's not about trendiness," Couturier explains. "Everything is about the architecture, the interior design..."
The hotel's exterior, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, is constructed from old conveyor belts taken, arranged, and reused to create the hotel’s metal mesh encasement.
From the street level, guests can take the glass-enclosed express elevator straight to the rooftop or open the glass doors of the entrance and step right into The Americano, the hotel’s restaurant.
From the lobby, one can get a taste of the design sensibilities incorporated throughout the property. Everything is minimalist, sleek, and masculine, from the space’s gray Basaltina walls to the black leather sofa from Antonio Citterio and the wall-mounted wood and metal credenza. The space is warmed with carefully selected books, hanging vintage Grundig speakers, a vintage iron and straw stool, and a khaki felt rug. Everything was either selected or designed by Arnaud Montigny, the hotel’s Parisian interior designer.
One of the homiest and most charming features of the hotel is The Americano restaurant’s chef station. Chefs and servers constantly buzz around the area, carefully assembling delectable dishes and drinks. Diners can catch a glimpse of polished tools and fresh fruits, spices, and other ingredients set against a backsplash of Carrara marble. There is also a to-go counter where guests can grab a quick breakfast, coffee, or smoothie.
In the Americano restaurant, the walls—one in reflective black, the other in white lacquered glass—create a striking backdrop for the marble tables, yellow felt and khaki cloth chairs, and black leather banquettes that line the space. The large suspended lights from Foscarini provide sculptural interest and are balanced out by the smaller glinting lights from Tom Dixon. Despite its name, Mediterranean cuisine is the specialty here, crafted by chef Olivier Reginensi. Dishes are seasonal and organic and reflect influences from Southern France and Latin America. The restaurant spills onto the patio, where people enjoy meals al fresco.
There are two subterranean bars, both exuding a feeling of exclusivity and mystery. The first, Bar Americano, is a cool hangout with concrete walls, mirror-polished stainless steel tables, and white leather chairs and stools by Jasper Morrison. Next door is El Privado, a more "secret" bar with a futuristic feel, with a gold ceiling, contemporary white furniture, and curved walls.
The ten-story building has 56 thoughtfully designed rooms. French designer Arnaud Montigny drew from his knowledge of Japanese architecture—perfect for working with compact spaces where every inch, deliberately used or left untouched, counts. There was also a conscious effort to use all natural materials. Beds sit on low wooden platforms, Kengo Kuma-style, and Black vinyl Zanotta beanbag chairs offer easy lounging. Fog, a Japanese brand, provided all the textiles, which play well with the leather upholstery, concrete floors, and white walls. There are also a few suites with gas fireplaces and deep soaking tubs. But take hotelier Carlos Couturier’s advice when selecting rooms: "The best rooms in the house are the ones where you’re looking at fire escapes. That’s how you know you’re in New York, not Paris or Shanghai." Courtesy of by RAINER HOSCH.
The shower stalls are enclosed in glass and perforated chrome sheet metal, reminiscent of the hotel’s exterior. The bathrooms are outfitted in tumbled Carrara marble, as well as Dornbracht sink fixtures, shelves and mirrors. Courtesy of by RAINER HOSCH.
The rooftop has a chic pool, great views, and food and drinks from La Piscine Bar and Grill. The pool is surrounded by a variety of lounge options, from chairs covered in black cotton to pouffes by Paola Lenti flanked by small concrete and metal tables. Even better, the pool turns into a hot tub in the winter, making this oasis accessible year-round.