New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1998
Taking the 'home away from home' concept to new lengths is New York's celebrated new hotel, The Mercer. Since opening in March, it's been lauded as a groundbreaker, both for its emphasis on an intimate, homely atmosphere and for the design input of Frenchman, Christian Liagre. Liagre's reputation as a designer of chic interiors and furniture is fast approaching that of France's other stellar designer, Philippe Starck. Proclaimed as Soho's first luxury hotel, The Mercer boasts 75 loft-like guest rooms with furniture designed exclusively by Liagre. Public areas are intimately scaled to convey the sense of being in a private home, albeit a luxurious one. There's a library, a guest's living room, and the in-house restaurant, The Kitchen, includes communal dining tables to make lone diners feel more at ease. Owner Andre Balazs (also owner of the celebrated Chateau Marmont hotel in LA) says "we like to think of every staff member as every guest's personal concierge and the front desk as your private secretary". A popular New York base for the glitterati, with standard rooms priced from $US350 a night to $US1850 for a penthouse suite, mere mortals might have to satisfy themselves with a quick stopover for their style fix. 99 Prince St, New York. Phone (001-212) 966 6060.