Finding Sanctuary Just a Half Block from Times Square


Take a right from Times Square's Father Duffy Square down West 47th Street for a short stroll and to your right, an early-20th-century hotel completely transformed into a four-star boutique hotel rises nine stories above the surrounding chaos. It's clear that father-and-son co-founders Hank and Brandon Freid took their 2010 creation of Sanctuary Hotel NYC, a luxury Buddhist-themed retreat, as a challenge and ultimate statement of creating the impossible here.


Although its original architectural facade remains, modern touches were added to Sanctuary's street level exterior like piped-in music, glass awnings, and opaque glass block windows. The oasis of tranquility concept is readily apparent from the moment you open their intricately massive carved wooden front doors and enter their opulently decorated lobby.


An illuminated glass floor guides you to the lavish lobby lounge featuring a glowing fireplace set with tiger skin travertine tiles. Warm yellow leather cushions grace the couches while deep orange leather wall panels surround the elevator bank and guestroom hallways. Custom made furnishings showcasing a deep brown and cognac color palette are enlivened by surrounding design elements like lavish terrazzo tile with brown glass chips, honey onyx, and shade of brass.


The ambiance in many ways replicates the allure and comfort of a private living room with inviting nooks for lingering and touching base. A full bar to the front serves up specialty cocktails and tapas while a museum-like display of Buddhist statuettes cluster in the corridor leading to guestroom floors. Pictures that are also Buddhist themed grace walls throughout the property.


The Zen-like vibe continues upon checking into rooms richly appointed with plush beds dressed in high thread count European linens framed with chocolate leather headboards. Crystal chandeliers, glass-walled showers, marble counter tops, and leather-printed wall tiles round out the decor while quarried marble window ledges and cream leather curtains maximize brightness and light when you want it. Decor accents of smoked glass, honey onyx, and brushed brass add a chic vibrancy.


But like any world class property, an extraordinary setting must be matched by stellar service to make it a true 5-star experience. Sanctuary Hotel NYC ensures this crucial formula adds up with their S.T.A.R.™ Program (Service Tailored to Any Request). Inspired by warm hospitality synonymous with European boutique hotels of the same caliber, S.T.A.R. elevates attentiveness beyond concierge to having a personal assistant that not only helps plan your daily itinerary but arranges for things like warm cookies and hot tea or gluten-free breakfast delivered to your room. S.T.A.R. staff also stand ready as personal shoppers helping you pick an outfit for that no-holds barred night out.


Enter the card coded elevator to Sanctuary's 9th floor and you've arrived at Haven Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge. Boasting unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline, Haven's year-round rooftop transforms to accommodate the seasons with a fully retractable roof and year-round furnishings, Chef Madison Belem's French inspired menu along with an innovative and ever changing cocktail menu created by award-winning mixologist Isaac Grillo, make the Rooftop a destination for residents and tourists alike. Indulge in dishes like Mussels & Frites and Filet Mignon accompanied by craft libations like Safe Haven or a Cloudtini as the bright lights of Times Square pulse through the surrounding skyscrapers in the background. Plush seating areas & intimate cabanas complete this perfect escape from the ordinary.


Accessible via Sanctuary's lobby and a separate street entrance, Tender Bar & Grill offers an upscale sports bar experience, complete with elevated pub-style menu and multiple flat panel TVs broadcasting the latest sports games. You can truly blur the lines here between game and date night dining on black cod, rigatoni bolognese, or world-class sushi while hoisting a cold one and keeping track of the score.

Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored visit. Photos: Sanctuary NYC,, Steve Mirsky

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