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Inside NYC’s dazzling new Virgin Hotel

By Lois Weiss April 3, 2023 3:43pm Updated

New York's new Virgin Hotel has been quietly open since the winter -- but with a grand opening event planned for Tuesday, it's making a grand debut.Michael Mundy

It has not come quietly. After all, emblazoned across the retail base of Sir Richard Branson’s new Virgin Hotel in NoMad — on the corner of Broadway and West 30th Street — is a giant “NYC OMG” in the brand’s signature red letters. While the property quietly opened in February, a glam opening celebration is scheduled for April 4 — and the lodging is quickly becoming a hot spot for drinks, eats, events and stays. With architecture by Stantect and designs by the Brooklyn-based MARKZEFF, a light and playful touch is evident at every turn. For instance, the “Where’s Richard” lobby mural by Nigel Sussman is a play on “Where’s Waldo?” Its 39 stories encompass nearly 19,000 square feet of event spaces as well as 460 “chambers” — all with Virgin red doors. 00:0001:18There are a few 770-square-foot suites as well as two “Sir Richard’s Flats” — 2,800 square-foot two-bedroom duplexes across the 35th and 36th floors. The two can also be combined into an even larger spread.

Sir Richard Branson.

Eye-catching interior features include this stylish bar.Michael Mundy

Guests get mod interiors at each step of the way.Michael Mundy

Room with a view.Michael Mundy

The Shag Room.Michael Mundy

Walls here are decorated with some of Virgin CEO Branson’s own photos and artworks that commemorate everything from Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines to his own Virgin Galactic flight into space. Although the 277-square-foot chambers might feel small to some, they have floor-to-ceiling windows and nearly all have iconic views of the Empire State Building looming over the city just four blocks away. Opening nightly rates are $595, but a web search found rooms for $400 and up and even a few scattered dates for $336. (New York State residents can get a 25% rate cut for staycations while other specials are available on the hotel website.)

A view of the Empire State Building from the property.

Michael Mundy

The exterior of the hotel.Michael Mundy

The hotel stands in prime NoMad.Michael MundyIt’s not just for sleeping. The glass-enclosed 38th-floor Sky Lounge event space and outdoor observation deck on the top of the tower have already been snapped up by designers for Fashion Week runway shows — and are sure to be a coveted spot for weddings and corporate get-togethers. Elsewhere, the fourth floor holds the hotel’s private outdoor oasis with a heated pool — that opens this summer — on a deck that’s just for guests. But the public can sip drinks and nibble on eats at the striking-looking sapphire blue indoor bar. Chef Freddy Vargas — known for Scarpetta, and more recently the new Arva and Nama at Aman New York in the Crown Building — is now rustling up the menus for Virgin’s upcoming fine-dining restaurant concept inspired by modern Italian cuisine with global influences that opens later this spring on the fourth floor.

Chef Freddy Vargas.Lois Weiss

Archways of books in the library restaurant area.Lois Weiss

The fitness center.Michael Mundy

Giant red stairs link to the third floor below, which is already open to the public and worth a peek — drink or no drink. This Everdene restaurant and bar meanders through 4,000 square feet and has large outdoor terraces that are energized from the bustling street just below. One luxurious area — the Shag Room — is immersed in deep Virgin red with velvet banquettes. Touch, but don’t pull on the Soda Can wall sculpture that’s made of thousands of metal pop-tops all linked together in long chains. The library restaurant area on the opposite end of the floor has archways of books arranged by color — while brass accent arches break up a large window and add to the Art Deco-lite theme. What do you think? Post a comment. To get the party going, Brooklyn’s House of Yes has been hosting two Queen Supreme drag queen brunch extravaganzas on Sunday afternoons with drag, cabaret and circus acts for $75. This is suggested for mature audiences who may be caught on camera, but attendees are expected to get into the spirit of the experience with “glamour, glitter and fab style vibes.”


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