Ian Schrager Goes Public With Low-Cost Luxe

by Wendy Sy Photographed by David X Prutting and Neil Rasmus/BFA.com
Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ian Schrager wants you to come and stay a while—to Public, that is. Created by the co-founder of famous ’70s disco, Studio 54, and the Morgan’s hotel group, the new boutique hotel is based on the concept of “luxury for all.” To toast its opening, a grand dinner and party was held on Tuesday night at the Lower East Side locale.

In the age of Airbnb, it’s no secret that many folks are looking for convenient yet affordable places to stay. And a touch of luxury couldn’t hurt either. Public seeks to fill this void in the hotel industry.

Thoughtfully designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the 188,600 square-foot space located on 215 Chrystie Street includes 367 guest rooms, inspired by yacht cabins. Each room includes an Apple TV with floor-to-ceiling windows complete with a city view. As for the rates? They start at $150 and you can easily check in via an iPad on the second floor.

“Everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind experience that lifts their spirits and makes their heart beat faster, one that elicits an emotional response,” Schrager notes on Public’s Instagram. Speaking of the social media platform, guests posted snapshots throughout the evening—from the main floor on the neon-lit escalators to the rooftop, where the Empire State Building in the backdrop shined in tropical hues in observance of Caribbean Week.

Spotted on the second floor were newlyweds Hannah Bronfman and Brendan Fallis as well as fashion mavens Amy Fine Collins, Freddie Leiba, and Christian Siriano. When asked what does luxury mean to him, Siriano said, “Being here tonight, I think the service is really impeccable and that is what luxury should be—making sure everyone feels comfortable in their environment, which is nice.”

Public’s hotel staff are known as advisors and are always on site to provide a helping hand. Schrager calls them the “rockstars” of the place and indeed they were last night. When champagne glasses accidentally shattered on the floor (several times–it was that kind of party) advisors appeared within seconds to clean up the mess.

The building also includes two restaurants (Public Kitchen and Louis) as well as three bars (Diego, the Roof and the Lobby Bar) created by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

The evening continued with performances by multi-instrumentalist Questlove and punk rock’s Patti Smith in the Public Art performing space, which will feature everything from film screenings to dance shows and comedy nights, adding to the hotel’s claim to be more than just a place to crash. If anyone can up the hotel ante, it’s got to be Ian Schrager.


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