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Archer Hotel, New York
The service-focused hotel offers hidden surprises in each nook and cranny
by Nara Shin
on 20 June 2014
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Joining the cluster of hotels south of Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan is the boutique Archer Hotel, a new brand from the privately-owned LodgeWorks Partners. The brand's philosophy is represented by a fictional, enigmatic yet gracious host named Archer, who makes himself present in the smallest of details. Archer's aim is to make guests feel welcome and comfortable, and the resulting efforts from the staff feel successful, not gimmicky. During a recent stay, we were reminded of the days when hotels were synonymous with excellent service and made you feel like royalty (for a night, at least)—rather than feeling nickel-and-dimed at every opportunity. From the complimentary WiFi to the nightly turndown ritual that results in mysterious local treats appearing on the desk, the best things about the Archer are the little details.

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Passing through a spacious outdoor sitting area, the Archer's lobby is filled with a hubbub of people. To the right is the Bugatti bar, where you'll find an impressive vintage-style glass garage door that opens to the patio. Rather than have the elevator banks sit in the center of the lobby, they are hidden away to the left side; instead, the "heart" of the lobby is the bright fire from the wood-burning ovens, visible through the open kitchens of David Burke Fabrick, the new restaurant from the chef's David Burke Group.

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Upon check-in, guests receive a "Joker" card (one per room) that equals a $10 credit anywhere within the hotel—the restaurant, bars, mini bar, room service, you name it. It's a lot more tangible and instantaneous than the thousands of points it takes to rack up a reward on other loyalty programs. As the two Archer locations planned for Napa and Austin open up, the program will expand: guests who collect one Joker from each hotel create an "Archer Flush," and will be able to book a free night's stay at any of the properties.

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While the rooms are on par with most typical Manhattan hotels in terms of size, the Archer goes above and beyond with thoughtful details that aim to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible. For example, complimentary bottles of water and salted caramel treats await in each room, and sweet treats are part of Archer's turndown routine—every night they switch up the snacks from local vendors—ranging from Baked by Melissa cupcakes to Brooklyn's Fatty Sunday dipped pretzels to Kanpekies shortbread cookies (we received chocolate covered strawberries).

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In the mornings, floor-to-ceiling windows in the main space open to let light stream through. Though the faucet could be bit more ergonomically minded, the bathroom—which receives nice natural light as well—as a whole holds the same level of detail as the rest of the property, with goods from NYC-based Malin+Goetz laying in wait.

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Situated in an area not known for a multitude of decent dining options, David Burke Fabrick on the first floor is an oasis in a desert. Though a high-end restaurant, Fabrick doesn't feel stuffy at all. With high ceilings, an envious skylight and mismatched chairs that have been painted a bright shade of red, the atmosphere is inviting and playful. And the communal New American offerings are equally fresh and surprising, like red snapper ceviche, garnished with grapefruit and plantain chips, or scallops paired with beets and carrots. We later regretted not ordering the candied bacon, however, as we saw a miniature clothesline land on the table next to us—the smoky bacon strips are held up by individual clothespins.

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After dinner we recommend hitting the Spyglass rooftop bar on the 22nd floor. It's an intimate affair with both an interior and outdoor space, as well as partially secluded areas and pockets around each corner. On a summer night during happy hour, it's rowdy and full of people who had just gotten off work, however from our experience the space seemed to clear out by 11PM—a perfect time to enjoy a stunning, unobstructed view of the Empire State building.

Archer New York at 45 West 38th Street is now officially open, with two more locations in Napa and Austin in the works. To book a reservation, visit their website. Room rates start at $249 during the low season.

Images of Bugatti lobby bar and David Burke Fabrick interior courtesy of Melissa Hom, all other photos by Nara Shin

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