Once a millinery factory with a swish tea salon attached, the new Refinery Hotel brings a dose of nostalgic elegance back to New York's oft-neglected Garment District. Beside original Neo-Gothic arches and windows, which have all been preserved, the building, which has entrances on both 38th and 39th Streets, has been decked out in an industrial style by Stonehill & Taylor, the architecture and design firm behind other hip favourites like the NoMad and Ace Hotels.
The 197-room Refinery is no slouch. Each loft-like space boasts 12-foot ceilings, reclaimed hardwood floors and custom furniture. The lobby houses the Prohibition-style Winnie’s Tea Lounge, named after an original tenant who ran the bustling tearoom that was once in its place. The hotel restaurant, an upscale American bistro called Parker & Quinn, is much welcome in the area, with its dearth of culinary offerings. However the real jewel is the 12th-floor rooftop bar, a sprawling amalgam of terracotta brick, wood and glass that showcases the dramatic view of the Empire State Building. With both food and drink on offer here, the bar is sure to be the hotel’s best asset and its lynchpin in bringing new life back to the area.