Decades ago when clubs were a retreat to smoke cigars, drink bourbon and take in a bit a mischief lived, the now landmarked building, The Lambs Club. The first professional theatre club in America, the Lambs Club has entertained and enlightened some of the world’s most renowned entertainers including Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, Will Rogers and Stanford White – the architect behind the building, the Villard House and the original Madison Square Garden. Years later, 105 to be exact, The Chatwal opened in its place.
Still housing many of its Lambs Club architectural beauty, The Chatwal was designed by Thierry Despont in 1903s Art Deco style. Large vibrant steel lamps with red gradation, Machine Age wall prints, leather round edged seating with arm sconce accents lighting the lobby. Door men, bellboys and butlers uniformed in a manner that takes you to a world only read about in novels or told in stories by our elders.
Take the elevator up a few floors and you’ll retreat to your luxurious temporary abode. As the bellboy unloads your luggage, he’ll provide a brief tour on the amenities inside your room as well as how to use them. Lounge in the $256,000 bathroom made of galaxy granite speckled with tiny diamonds, chrome accents and wall to wall mirrors…. Even in the water closet. Which happens to come equipped with state of the art bidet/drying system as well as toilet paper for the less adventurous. But before you make way to the living quarters, de-stress in the deep soaking jet tub and lavish with the Asprey Purple Water essentials, or quickly cleanse yourself in the rain drop shower. Not all 76 guest rooms come with tubs, but all house rain showers.
Dress yourself in the Kashwére robe before taking time to yourself on the plush chaise lounge nibbling on not so mini-bar snacks and reading thematic novels, magazines or daily journals. Suede walls wall every guest room, spacious closets evocative of Louis Vuitton travel trunks run so deep I fit inside (with door shit), hideaway desks of embossed leather ensure you’ll only think about working when necessary.
But forget about unpacking your luggage as your butler will do all of that for you, hanging each suit jacket, ironing each chemise and putting away everything else for easy access. And while he does this, make your way to The Lambs Club where you’ll devour treats by Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian.
A popular face on The Food Network, Zakarian has created seasonal dishes utilizing bar/grill methodology and intertwined it with modern American cuisine. Dishes like Roasted Beets with fromage blanc, watercress, and blis elixir, Crisp Brussel Sprouts with malt vinegar dressing or, one of my favorites, 28 Day Dry Aged Creekstone Delmonico with roasted shallots and watercress. Perfectly spiced, adequately portioned and freshly made, The Lambs Club offers the same menu for room service – for those moments you just don’t want to get out of bed. But who wouldn’t want to sit in the red leather banquettes, be warmed by the club’s original wood burning fireplace, or enjoying the bars famous drink concoctions.
Located in New York City’s theatre district, one block away from the Condé Nast building, blocks from Bryant Park, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center and most everything that makes New York so iconic, The Chatwal takes old world charm and gives it new life. From an in-house gym, world famous Red Door Spa and historic imprint, The Chatwal is the first member of Starwood’s luxury collection. Then again, are you surprised?