Hawaiian Shirt Optional: Times Square Is Getting a Margaritaville Resort

The island-themed resort includes five restaurants and... a synagogue?

Margaritaville Resort Times Square

Courtesy of The McBride Company

Due to open in late spring, Margaritaville Resort Times Square brings an island-themed, resort-style hotel to Times Square and a beach vibe to the very center of New York City’s famed urban hustle and bustle.

Located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 40th Street, this 32-story glass tower is set off by a fourth-floor open-air pool deck housing a year-round outdoor pool and cabanas shaded by fake palm trees.

"The resort is relaxed, which is not typical of high-strung Times Square," said Margaritaville Resort Times Square general manager Kori Yoran. "At its core, Margaritaville is about creating escapism. There’s a no-worries vibe, and we want to create that right in the heart of the concrete jungle."

Most unusually, this new building includes an on-site synagogue with its own kosher kitchen, accessible by a separate first-floor entrance. The synagogue, which is not part of the resort, was grandfathered into the new development because of a lease dating to the 1970s with the former building’s owner, Parsons School of Design.

“There was an established congregation in that space, and we didn’t want to displace them,” said Yoran, who was born in New York City. “It is their sanctuary, and we respect that.”

Founded by singer Jimmy Buffet and named for one of his songs, this resort hotel chain developed from Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant chain. Margaritaville Resort Times Square is the first in the Northeast and will add 234 guest rooms, five restaurants and bars, including one rooftop venue, and 4,861 square feet of retail space to the area known as the crossroads of the world and a central tourist hub.

5 O'Clock Bar at Margaritaville Times Square

Courtesy of The McBride Company

The McBride Company, located in the small Vermont town of Manchester, oversees the Margaritaville Resort brand's interior design. The Times Square property will have a consistent style, including signature brand art like a giant flip flop sculpture and lighting fixtures with upside-down margarita glasses as shades.

"You walk in, and you are greeted by the big flip flop," Yoran said, "and you’re immediately transported to Margaritaville." But don't worry—there are still a few reminders that you're in the city that never sleeps. "You might see the Statue of Liberty lying in a hammock," he added.

The most unique-to-New York element is the views, which include the new Hudson Yards skyscrapers and One World Trade. Meanwhile, all guest rooms have spacious king beds (even in doubles—a rarity in space-starved Manhattan) and light-colored woods set off by verdant green accents, which Yoran described as "a luxury feeling with a laid back attitude."

The food and beverage venues include a Margaritaville Restaurant, LandShark Bar & Grill (by the pool deck), 5 O’Clock Somewhere Rooftop Bar, and License to Chill Bar. Expect brand favorites like the volcano nachos and the "Cheeseburger in Paradise," and margaritas, natch. Though overseen by the brand’s corporate executive chef, the resort will also have its own hands-on executive chef. As yet, the resort is not ready to name names, said a company rep, but Yoran did drop that "she’s a well-known New York-based chef."

Once open, the resort will, of course, follow now-common pandemic protocols in cleaning and distancing throughout the hotel and in the restaurants, where dividers between tables are set up. The building’s original plans even included an HVAC system that coincidentally is compliant with safety measures relating to the recent pandemic. "We were ahead of the ball on that."

Times Square is a proven tourist draw for national and international visitors, but Yoran and his team aim to lure local business too. “Eighty percent of first-time visitors to New York stay in Times Square,” he said. "We want to also concentrate on the drive market: target people in New Jersey and Connecticut. We want local people who need a staycation, and to help them get out of the house. We think this is exactly what people need right now." Fins up!