Hotel Review: New York City's Archer Hotel

Garment District Digs Come With David Burke fabrick and Spyglass Rooftop Bar

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The new Archer Hotel lands in the Garment District. Photo credit: Archer Hotel

NYC's Garment District, long considered a wasteland for any worthwhile establishments on the restaurant, bar, or hotel fronts, is in the midst of rapid reinvention, which comes as great news to the folks who pour through the area to report to their office jobs, set out on shopping sprees at Macy's, catch concerts at Madison Square Garden, go sightseeing at the Empire State Building, or do their commuting at Penn Station. Several new stylish hotels have cropped up over the last few years (like the Ace Hotel or the Refinery Hotel), offering tourists decent digs, as well as worth-sticking-around for dining-and-drinking venues.

The new Archer Hotel, which launched in May 2014, is the latest in the wave, debuting sophisticated hotel rooms, the David Burke fabrick restaurant, and a 22-story-high rooftop bar. Here's what to expect:

The Hotel

The new-build, 180-room Archer Hotel comes with plenty of personality, including a design scheme that nods to the historic neighborhood's locale with industrial-chic touches, and the behind-the-scenes consummate (and fictional) hotel host "Archer," whose mission, as communicated through hotel marketing materials, is to ensure guests a memorable stay.

And that they will. Guests can expect thoughtful touches like a curated art collection (including sculptures, digital art, and more); a rotation of nightly turndown amenities like Baked by Melissa Cupcakes; and even in-room mini reading libraries.

Snug guest rooms come in four design palettes, each changing out color accents along with drapery, headboards, throw pillows and blankets, and artwork. Many room features have been locally sourced, including light fixtures manufactured in Brooklyn, millwork from Queens, and custom furnishings from nearby Westchester. Units come with tech-friendly extras like complimentary Wi-Fi, 42-inch flat screens, and MP3 docks. In the bathroom, look for plush Frette towels and bathrobes and Malin+Goetz bath amenities, while a Nespresso machine and stocked minibar round out the offerings.

While all rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows, it's well worth the splurge to upgrade to one on a top floor touting stellar Empire State Building views.  

Plans for new Archer Hotel branches in Napa and Austin are currently in the works. NYC rates run from $249‒$499/night; 45 W. 38th St. btwn Fifth & Sixth Aves.

The Restaurant: David Burke fabrick

The latest outpost of David Burke's fast-growing culinary empire is fabrick (the fifth restaurant for Burke in NYC), set on the ground floor of the Archer Hotel, just behind the lobby bar. Oozing industrial-influenced interiors, the lofty restaurant boasts skylight windows, an open kitchen, a wood-burning oven, a birdcage chandelier, and bricks of Himalayan salt (which the restaurateur uses in his beef dry-aging process). Mismatched red chairs play off nicely against wood tables and exposed brick.

The menu, centered on rustic American fare, comes designed by Chef Burke (though it's helmed by executive chef Adin Langille), and encourages sharing plates between diners. Don’t miss starters like the melt-in-your mouth Avocado Panna Cotta ($16—though be warned, your own homemade guacamole will never quite do again), chow down on Lamb Chops & Ribs ($34) for your main, and finish off with delectable desserts like the Chocolate-Hazelnut Burke-'n Bag ($14) or the Caramelized Peach Melba Donuts ($21).

  David Burke fabrick is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; davidburkefabrick.com.

The Rooftop Lounge: Spyglass

Another brainchild of the David Burke Group, the Archer's rooftop space, Spyglass, is an intimate affair, with room for just 90 patrons. Pair signature cocktails with sweeping views of the Empire State Building and out across NYC's iconic rooftop water towers, from its 22nd-floor perch. Swill mixologist-prepped cocktails (from $15‒$17) like the "Empire State" (a blend of Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, ginger, and basil) or "Top of the World" (Aperol, watermelon, St. Germain, and Prosecco), and pair them with light bites, sourced from downstairs eatery, David Burke fabrick.

Beers run $6‒$9, or order up wine by the glass from $14. Just be forewarned, should the views sweep you off your feet: It's standing room only outside, so you'll need to head to the indoors area in order to nab a stool at the granite bar. There's no bottle service or reservations required; it's first-come, first-served, and is primed to be a summer happy hour hot spot for Midtown after-work crowds; spyglassnyc.com.