Like the city it’s located in, Loews Regency is a no-nonsense hotel that clearly means business. Going into this smart Park Avenue hotel, set close to the southeastern corner of Central Park, feels like entering another level of New York’s complex social structure. At almost every hour of the day, the foyer is a tableau of men in smartly tailored suits, talking earnestly on their phones – and to each other–as if a big diplomatic deal were about to go down. Immaculately dressed women with their manicured dogs (the hotel has a special Very Important Pets programme that gets them the same – perhaps even more– perks as their two-legged owners) step out of limousines, as attentive door staff rush to retrieve their shopping bags from Bergdorf Goodman just a few blocks away.
We visited at the time of the United Nations General Assembly, which may go some way to explain all of this, so perhaps at any other time of year the hotel may have more of a relaxed vibe. Our contemporary suite – one of just 58 here – had its own balcony with views across the rooftops to the park. It is one of a number of individually designed self-contained ‘apartments’ that mix a cool minimalist 1970s vibe with modern comforts. We were told that many were rented out for the month by international long-stay visitors looking for the trappings of home (with a pretty prestigious address), matched with the convenience of staying in a hotel. We always maintain that you can judge a hotel by its concierge service and in this case it scored top marks, guiding us to an exquisite local Japanese restaurant that more than satisfied our late-night cravings for sushi. Naturally, this was followed by a nightcap in the hotel’s classic American-style Regency Bar & Grill.