Highgate Holdings and Felcor Lodging & Trust commissioned Gabellini Sheppard Associates to reimagine the historic Knickerbocker hotel in Times Square, celebrating its legacy while attracting a new clientele. The 15-story, 175,000-square-foot project includes a new grand lobby, espresso bar, restaurant, wine room, library lounge, private event space, health club, and rooftop lounge as well as fully redesigned guest rooms and suites.
The hotel, fondly known as the “42nd Street Country Club” after it opened in 1906, is re-conceived as a beacon of contemporary New York glamour. The entrance lobby greets guests with a vaulted metallic ceiling, illuminated stepped ceiling panels, and alternating bands of light and medium-toned marble flooring. The adjacent Italian espresso bar and café, Jake’s @ The Knick, with its atmospheric lighting and breccia capraia marble bar, transitions seamlessly to an evening cocktail lounge. The fourth floor is a social oasis anchored by the 122-seat restaurant, Charlie Palmer at the Knick, featuring a custom-designed bar, lightweight metal mesh curtains, and mica interlayer glass screens. The pinnacle of the Knickerbocker experience is the newly inaugurated rooftop lounge, St. Cloud—a glowing ember of the city below, offering open-air VIP Skypods and an interior bar area wrapping around a dance floor of wood dipped in a silver metallic finish.
Guest rooms provide a “made to measure” experience with bespoke furnishings and customized layouts including freestanding “floating armoires” between the sleeping and bathing areas. Four specially designed suites on the top floors, each with its own personality, are inspired by several of the hotel’s legendary guests: world famous tenor Enrico Caruso, celebrated playwright George Cohan, artist Maxfield Parrish, and Martini Di Arma Di Taggia, the hotel’s bartender recognized for inventing the Martini cocktail. From barrooms to bedrooms, the renewed Knickerbocker Hotel evokes New York at its finest.