September 27, 2023

Virgin’s cheeky new hotel is perfect for an adults-only New York stay

By Kylie McLaughlin
September 27, 2023 — 12.37am
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The hotel

Virgin Hotels New York City

Check-in

Flinging open its doors in 2023, this is the seventh hotel for the Virgin brand and follows a spate of openings across the US and UK.

The “Where’s Richard” mural by Nigel Sussman.

It’s located in the heart of midtown Manhattan and the tower-like structure is one of the largest in the neighbourhood and spans 39 floors, with 460 guest “chambers”, suites and penthouses. The sparse ground-floor check-in area is attended by three friendly staff and dominated by a “Where’s Richard” (Branson) mural by Nigel Sussman. Guests wouldn’t have had to look very far in April, when he was in attendance for the opening party.

The look

The hotel occupies a whole block and is a brand-new build, and it’s not finished yet, with the finishing touches being completed on a spa. The Everdene bar and restaurant on level three is the social hub, a huge L-shaped area covering the outdoor terrace and colourful dining room, with an eye-catching rainbow bookshelf and the whopping bar its centrepiece.

The “Pool Club”.

I’m early for check-in so take a seat at the expansive bar, where a drag show is taking place – a regular Sunday afternoon feature – and staff are taking orders on stilts. As it’s warm, the bar is accessible from inside and out. Most guests sit outside to enjoy the enticing views of New York, even from level three. Take the trademark Virgin racing car-red staircase to level four to find a swanky teal-coloured “Pool Bar” and cute pool, which reflects the Empire State Building – a major feature of views from a large portion of the hotel.

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The room

The “Sleeping Lounge”.

My corner “Sky Chamber King” room is on the 33rd floor with splendid views across NYC. You can even open a window just a crack from the bottom and peer down on the city. With a white, beige and Virgin-red colour scheme, chambers are reasonably sized and separated into two areas referred to as the “Dressing Room” and the “Sleeping Lounge”, distinguished by a full-length, mirrored sliding door. Flashes of Virgin’s dashing red adorn door handles, the fancy Smeg fridge, shower nozzle and a sketch of city rooftops above the bed.

The “Dressing Room”.

As the Virgin guest is expected to play, the dressing room facilities are excellent, in particular the sit-down vanity with ring-light mirror has life-changing makeup for a hotel room. Frosted glass doors separate this area from the shower and toilet. In the “Sleeping Lounge” the rooms have custom-made beds with an upholstered head that extends into a chair with a small table. There’s little room for anything else here but a well-stocked and reasonably priced minibar and coffee pod machine. It’s a quiet and comfortable place to sleep or relax and stream shows to the wall-mounted smart TV. “Lucy” – Virgin Hotel’s app – gives access to a mobile key, light and AC controls, so you can switch the lights off from your bed. Other accents such as the “couples pack” and the peephole in the door separating the two “rooms” suggest the hotel is more adults-only than family-friendly.

Out + about

When I say it’s located in the heart of Manhattan’s NoMad, I mean it. I’ve got tickets to see The Cure at Madison Square Gardens which, according to Google, is a six-minute walk away, where Penn Station is also located. You can almost reach out and touch the Empire State Building, and it’s a 15-minute walk to Hudson Yards on the river. Shoppers will love Nordstrom Rack across the street.

Food + drink

Breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner are all served from the Everdene. In summer it’s a pleasant way to while away a few hours in the shadow of the Empire State Building. The food is typical, high-end hotel fare, with options for the healthy or the hungover.

Everdene Bar.

I have a rich, intensely-flavoured Korean-style fried chicken burger for lunch, but as breakfast is not included in the cost of the room, I get it elsewhere. I do find the service to be friendly, then lackadaisical … I seriously had to hunt down a staff member to pay a bill, then she gave me the wrong one. Should you prefer not to wander far to go out at night, events are held most evenings a week here – some more raucous than others – with the bar closing 1am on weekends. Noise does not travel to the rooms.

The essentials

1227 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, US; virginhotels.com; Rooms from $665 a night.

The verdict

The pool deck at Virgin Hotels New York.

Virgin’s playful and friendly atmosphere is perfect for an adults-only stay for the young, and the young-at-heart, who are most likely able to afford a stay here.

Our rating out of five

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Highlight

The “Dressing Room” aspect was a true highlight – allowing you to get your Carrie Bradshaw on in the heart of NYC.

Lowlight

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I found the swipe cards for the elevators tricky to use. They scan your room number and select the elevator you must use to access the floor.

The writer stayed as a guest of NYC Tourism and Virgin Hotels

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Kylie McLaughlin is the digital deputy editor of Traveller. Follow her travels on Instagram @kylieam and TikTok @kylie_travels
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