Top 10 New Hotels for Incentive Travel in New York City

There has been an explosion of new hotels in New York City, with more than 30 openings in 2010 and about 20 more slated for 2011, increasing the number of hotel rooms in the city to an estimated 90,000 by the end of the year. Here is our list of the top new hotel openings in New York that are best suited for incentive travel rewards, either group or individual. As different groups have vastly different needs, the hotels included are listed alphabetically.

1. Andaz 5th Avenue and Andaz Wall Street
OK, so we’re cheating already with this two-for-one listing to try to get in as many new properties as possible. Hyatt opened both of these stylish hotels with loft-like rooms designed by the Rockwell Group in 2010 to rave reviews. Both include Respire by Hyatt – Hypo-Allergenic Rooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi and non-alcoholic mini-bar beverages and snacks. The Wall & Water restaurant, at the 253-room hotel on Wall Street, serves farm-to-table fare. There’s also a seasonal farmer’s market and cooking classes. Five meeting “studios” surround a common kitchen and lounge area that can accommodate up to 48 attendees for meetings, 60 for receptions. The Andaz 5th Avenue has 184 rooms and suites, and an event space that overlooks the New York Public Library. The bar downstairs (that’s actually its name) seats up to 80 and serves custom-created cocktails and delicious tapas-style dishes, ideal for sharing. 

2. Gansevoort Park Avenue
The Meatpacking District is so last decade. So the folks behind the Gansevoort there opened a new boutique hotel on Park Avenue South, near the hot new hotel district extending north from Madison Square Park. The property has 249 loft-style rooms, an exhale spa, a soaring three-story atrium lobby, a popular bi-level rooftop bar with pool, a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, and meeting rooms for up to 175 guests.

3. Eventi
Kimpton opened this 292-room property in the same area north of Madison Square Park with an eye toward fashionable meetings and events. The hotel has close to 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a flexible L-shaped ballroom for up to 450 guests, a screening room, and three outdoor terraces. Meeting rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing in plenty of natural light, and there’s a 20-foot-wide multimedia screen set up on a wall above the outdoor plaza area that can be used to project corporate logos, videos, and live coverage of events happening in the hotel. The sleek guest rooms have Frette linens and robes and Etro amenities. Wi-Fi is complimentary. The two-room spa is for guests only and is serviced by the staff from Kimpton’s large spa at nearby Ink48. Dining options include the multi-level Bar Basque and the casual Food Parc.

4. InterContinental New York Times Square
When the 607-room property in the heart of Times Square opened last year it was the largest hotel in New York to achieve LEED certification and the largest to open in the city since 2002. Located close to the Javits Convention Center, the property has 10 meeting rooms totaling 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, and 25 flexible suites that can be utilized as event space.

5. The Chatwal
This new luxury brand debuted in a converted landmark building—the 1904 Stanford White-designed Lamb’s Club, on West 44th Street. Its 51 guest rooms and 32 suites showcase a contemporary design that also is reminiscent of the iconic Art Deco glamour and style of the 1930s. The Club Room can host up to 100 for small meetings; the Stanford White Studio Suite can accommodate up to 40 for events. Catering is provided by the hotel’s Lamb’s Club restaurant, helmed by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
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6. The James New York
This newly built chic property is conveniently located on the corner of Thompson and Grand in SoHo and focuses on the outdoors as much as its interiors. Its 114 guest rooms have oversized windows for plenty of light, a two-story glass wall in the lobby looks onto the urban garden and has views of a neighboring sculpture garden, and there’s a rooftop pool deck and bar. Like its hip Chicago sister hotel, the James New York features art by local artists. Ideal for individual incentives or small groups, function spaces include a studio, penthouse loft, and the garden for up to 75 guests. Catering is provided by David Burke Kitchen.
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7. The Setai Fifth Avenue
This luxury boutique property located on Fifth Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets, with views of the Empire State Building, is Capella Hotel & Resort’s first New York property. Its 157 guest rooms and 57 apartment suites are large, ranging from 400 to 860 square feet. There’s also a 2,000-square-foot penthouse. The full-service Auriga Spa offers couples treatments. Function spaces include a small meeting room and boardroom. Celebrity chef Michael White’s Ai Fiori restaurant provides catering.
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8. The Strand Hotel NYC
Yet another new boutique hotel with Empire State views has opened near the Garment District north of Madison Square Park, this one with a two-story waterfall in its lobby. The Strand’s 177 guest rooms, which include 24 executive rooms, are reasonably priced compared to other new boutique hotels in the city. For meetings and events, two meeting rooms can hold up to 120 guests each, the Strand Restaurant has a private greenhouse for up to 120 guests, and the Top of the Strand rooftop lounge accommodates 70 people.

9. Trump SoHo
You can tell this 391-room hotel, located on the corner of Spring and Varick Streets, received Ivanka’s touch rather than “The Donald’s.” Its luxurious lobby and guest-room interiors are glitzy without being over-the-top. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, service is top-notch, there’s a Moroccan-inspired spa, and the views are fantastic, a given as the hotel is one of the tallest unobstructed towers downtown. Its five meeting and event spaces can accommodate up to 500 guests, and the hotel’s screening room, rooftop pool, restaurant, and lounge also can be used for private events. The catering is scrumptious, and the event staff works hard to meet your needs and work within your budget. The highlight is the SoHi room—an event space on the 46th floor with three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over lower Manhattan.
10. W New York Downtown
The 217-room W New York Downtown offers all the hip amenities expected with a W hotel, along with sweeping city views. The property is in a new 57-story mixed-use building, designed by renown architect Gwathmey Siegel, located near the World Trade Center site. Four meeting spaces accommodate up to 120 attendees for meetings, 144 for receptions.