Ian Schrager is bringing his newest hotel brand, PUBLIC, to Manhattan in June, opening the first property in a company that “transforms the industry with smart design and an elevated experience that is affordable and accessible to the masses, with a $150 per night entry price point on rooms.”
That’s quite a promise in Manhattan, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Schrager. His game plan includes designs by architects Herzog & de Meuron; a restaurant and grab-and-go marketplace helmed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten; a lobby that doubles as a community space to draw in the neighborhood as well as the guests; and a modular multimedia venue that can serve as a nightclub, art gallery, cultural center, performance space, screening room or intimate concert venue; a nightclub and terrace; and an outdoor garden designed by Madison Cox.
“There has not been a new idea in the lifestyle hotel space since Ian Schrager’s Morgans, Royalton and Paramount hotels over 25 years ago,” Schrager said. “Every hotel since then has been derivative of those. The time is right, in this new milieu, for a disruption in hospitality as there clearly is a dislocation in the market.
Luxury is no longer defined by a price point, Schrager said; rather, it’s about “experiences and how something makes you feel.”
“I truly believe that everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind experience that lifts their spirits and makes their heart beat faster, one that elicits an emotional response…and to deliver this at a reasonable price point is even more on the mark for today’s savvy and sophisticated traveler,” Schrager said. “People want a really comfortable bed, but they could care less about sheet thread count. They want great coffee, but delivered fast and hot, not in fine bone china.”
And since service is such a personal thing, PUBLIC will offer up “the PUBLIC ADVISOR,” whom Schrager describes as “the rock stars, the go-to people, the hosts at the party who bring the brand to life. There isn’t anything they would not do to make a guest’s experience the best it can be.”
The hotel also will offer “the fastest WIFI in the city” at no cost, mobile and self-check in, mobile key, Apple TVs in every guest room, online food ordering and expedited communication through a custom-designed chat bot.
“It’s not shabby chic, retro, industrial, reclaimed or the ubiquitous Brooklyn look…it’s simplicity as the ultimate sophistication,” Schrager says.
The food, beverage, meeting and entertainment spaces at PUBLIC have also been rethought to reflect the modern lifestyle. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s PUBLIC Kitchen and LOUIS will offer healthy and organic food cooked up using a smoker, a wood-burning oven and wood-burning grill as a focal point. Three bars, landscaped gardens, multiple communal workspaces, and private event rooms, both indoor and outdoor atop the building, offer space for socializing, entertaining or working.
Public Arts, meanwhile, is “a progressive, avant-garde multimedia performance space like no other,” offering film screenings, theatrical and dance productions, intimate musical performances, art exhibitions, lectures, product launches, comedy and amateur nights, and dancing! “It’s Manhattan’s answer to BAM, but better,” Schrager said.
PUBLIC is expected to open June 8 on the Lower East Side.