With all the glitzy-hip hotels opening in New York City these days, you could get very tired of the boutique approach that went into full throttle after Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell opened Morgans Hotel in 1984. While that first one was minimal (designed by Andrée Putman), the clever imitations that ensued from the commercial-chain crowd are not.
So it's a relief to discover the sleek and trim 56-room Hôtel Americano next to the High Line in the thick of the Chelsea district in Manhattan. Its industrial–Modernist architecture brushed with touches of luxe fits in well with both the former warehouses containing art galleries and the edgy new apartment buildings nearby. Fortunately, Americano's soigné yet comfortable ambience lacks the desperation and raucousness of so many recent hotel arrivals. The low-decibel sleekness of its architecture by Enrique Norten/TEN Arquitectos of Mexico City and New York and the interior design by MCH (Arnaud Montigny) of Paris could explain why the 10-story caravansary is becoming a casual hangout for artists, architects, and fashion types.