Boutique Experiences in the Heart of NYC
Hotel Henri – part of the Wyndham Hotel chain – is a recent addition to the New York landscape, but it has already cemented itself in the heart of one of the world’s most bustling business havens, New York City.
Though the building itself is into its tenth year, the Hotel Henri name is a bit newer. The building was originally opened as a Wyndham Garden hotel in 2008. However, the previous company that owned it went into bankruptcy, which allowed Fortuna Realty Group to purchase the building and property in 2016. It was then refurbished in the first quarter of 2017 and re-opened as Hotel Henri soon after. Its sister hotels, Hotel Hugo and Hotel Hayden, are also owned by Fortuna.
Within its first couple of years, Hotel Henri has already seen much success in its niche as a boutique hotel. Though it is a relative newcomer on the scene, Hotel Henri is already making its mark.
Hotel Henri is one of Wyndham’s only boutique hotels and provides unique experiences to its guests, a factor that Christiaan Aldoy, general manager of the hotel, believes is a crucial part of its identity.
The hotel sports 118 rooms, each measuring approximately 220 square feet. Its more upscale rooms, such as its premium deluxe king, offer further amenities such as private walk-out balconies. There is also an in-house Greek restaurant, the Mykonos Blue Grill, which offers traditional Greek cuisine as well as handcrafted cocktails. From its interior decoration to the many perks like Equinox Gramercy fitness pass and Sir Henri rooftop lounge, Hotel Henri aims to make its guests feel like a star.
Being a part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Henri has very high standards to which it keeps. This also allows the hotel and its guests to benefit from such an association, such as through the usage of the Wyndham Rewards Program for its frequent guests. However, being a boutique hotel also allows it to craft a distinctive touch and create unforgettable experiences that have become its calling card. As Aldoy notes, Hotel Henri, “benefits from being a little bit of both [types of hotel].”
When it comes to the success of Hotel Henri, a big part of that is due to its location. In a city like New York, it is important to stand out from the crowd. The hotel sits on the border of the Flatiron and Chelsea neighborhoods in downtown New York City. This is a great neighborhood according to Aldoy, steps away from Gramercy and very close to places like Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, Chelsea Market, Times Square, and many other sights including restaurants and other activities one can only find here. Hotel Henri looks to offer an authentic New York experience, and it is hard to get more authentic than its centralized location.
What is more, in eliminating one floor of guest rooms, the hotel was able to make room for the Sir Henri rooftop lounge overlooking the bustling area, particularly the Flatiron district. Aldoy describes the addition as the “crown” of the hotel.
With no tall buildings to interfere with the local sights and sounds, the lounge is a prime place to take in the view and experience New York like not many can. Hotel Henri’s premium location is what Aldoy describes as what has netted “some of the most positive feedback we get,” and that a majority of the hotel’s corporate accounts find the location very convenient to their business needs.
Another cornerstone of Hotel Henri’s continued success is its staff, who are an integral part of the hotel’s commitment to a one-of-a-kind experience for its guests. As Aldoy says, the hotel seeks to find the best staff possible. “You can hire anybody on skill set, and they may have the capabilities and the know-how and the technical skills, but it’s really about the personality. That’s what I’m really looking for, for people that have great personalities and that can bring that to the table; any skill can be learned, but a personality is one of those things you’re born with.”
Along with such amenities as twenty-four-hour concierge service, the staff have become mentioned as guests’ most memorable parts of their stay at the hotel, Aldoy says. Front desk staff provide personal service and develop relationships with the guests, especially with corporate clients who are more regular guests to the hotel. He finds that guests from across the world, especially businesspeople, cite the service they receive as a reason they keep coming back to Hotel Henri whenever their work takes them to New York, since Aldoy and his staff aim to stay away from the typical cookie-cutter hotel experience and offer something much more personable and suited to their individual needs.
Aldoy also credits his sales team as an invaluable part of the hotel’s initial success. “They have been keen to identify local area accounts [within] a ten-block radius of our location,” and they have attracted both previous and new accounts, including a millennial demographic that is attracted to the hotel’s boutique nature and trendy location. Henri’s status as the only hotel on the block of West 24th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues also helps it stand out.
Hotel Henri has seen a great deal of success so far, but it will not be sitting back on its accomplishments. “We are looking to enhancing the overall experience in guest rooms by looking at some innovative new features that are going to become more industry-wide as the years progress,” Aldoy says. It will also be continually finding more ways to improve on what it does best.
One thing to look forward to is the implementation of the ‘Stay Well’ program, which Aldoy says is geared toward wellness through built-in features in guest suites and to ensuring that for business-minded clients, personal health and the inconveniences of frequent travel such as jet lag can be managed much better. As well, guests who travel with technology will soon be able to stream in their guest rooms from their own personal accounts, for a premium.
What is more, Aldoy notes that there are “a few other projects in the ground right now,” to begin construction or debut soon. One such debut is Hotel Hendrix, a hotel slated to open next year on 38th Street.
After Hotel Henri’s refurbishment and debut in 2017, Christiaan Aldoy and his staff continue to focus on making the neighborhood more aware of what Hotel Henri is and providing the boutique experience for which it is fast becoming known both at home in New York City and around the world.