The building that houses Andaz 5th Avenue has not always been a hotel. It started as a department store in 1916 before becoming the world headquarters of Tommy Hilfiger. Then, in 2006, Tony Chi transformed the space into Andaz 5th Avenue. Today, the rooms and suites at Andaz 5th Avenue comfortably beckon New York City, and that’s no accident. Chi designed them to invoke the open, airy style of the city’s popular loft-style apartments.
From its initial conception, art has always been part of the hotel. With its proximity to the New York Public Library and the famous 5th Avenue shopping district, a variety of arts have inspired the hotel. Chi’s own artwork can be found in every room, and a sculpture by Nick Hornby captivates guests in the lobby. You’ll also find that each elevator seat is decorated with a unique mural by students from New York City High School for Art & Design.
Andaz 5th Avenue has truly taken the fusion of hotel and art to another level with its Artist-in-Residence program which is now considered an integral part of the hotel’s identity. It allows guests to appreciate artwork by a local artist, and the artist can showcase their work in the 5th Avenue Gallery space.
Edward Granger’s current play, which is called ‘Once Upon Our Time’, will run until the end of 2022. It’s a celebration of New York’s urban jungle.
Edward Granger was thrilled to share his art in this way. He told me, “Andaz 5th Avenue reached out to me earlier this year, inviting me to transform their gallery space with an original piece. It was a great choice due to the unique Andaz brand aesthetic. The team was easy to work with and you couldn’t ask for a more prime location.
To come up with the “Once Upon a Time,” Granger thought of “New York coming back, the travels coming back, the city coming back to life after the past two years and how much the pandemic may have changed our outlook on things, and how much we take for granted or what we haven’t had enough time to focus on.
“So I created this piece to celebrate New York’s many colors, shapes and patterns, but also as a reminder that life changes quickly and often,” he observed.
Granger loved the experience of using the hotel’s interior and exterior facade as a “blank canvas” and explained, “It’s more experiential not only for developing my own abilities, but also for everyone who passes by. the hotel. Another important detail is the iconic skyline that reflects off the interior mirrored plexiglass from the exterior 5th Avenue windows.
“The 5th Avenue Gallery space and the facade of the hotel make it very accessible to everyone, guests or passers-by on the street. It is also not contained in a single space but takes up both sides of the Bar Downstairs and Kitchen entrance, the entire 5th Avenue facade and the corner awning of 5th Avenue and 41st Street. So no matter which side you come from, you can’t miss it.
Beyond Art, Andaz 5e Avenue is committed to providing an overall joyful and memorable experience for its customers. It offers moving nights all year round. It emphasizes wellness with yoga classes, plans to add more plant-based items to its menus, and new equipment in the on-site gym. It also offers wellness suites equipped with a spa-like sound bath, mirror gym and free weights.
Andaz 5th Avenue has a longstanding partnership with the New York Public Library. The stunning library is a short walk from the hotel, and there’s also a book corner in the lobby where guests can pick up a book to enjoy during their stay.
The hotel is also close to many downtown Manhattan attractions. Bryant Park is across the street. Many restaurants and cafes are within easy walking distance. The same goes for the Empire State Building, Grand Central and Rockefeller Center.
When you stay at the hotel, do not throw away the key quickly! You can take home a small piece of Edward Granger’s work until the end of 2022. The guest room key packs have part of Granger’s design replicated on the cover.