Travel | January 10, 2023 8:22 am

Inside the Hotel Where Rooms Go for $15,000 a Night

Welcome to Aman New York. Your plunge pool awaits.

Interiors of the Crown Building in New York City.
Midtown's historic Crown Building is the new-ish home to Aman New York. We gave it a visit.
Robert Rieger

In case you didn’t get the memo, Aman Hotels are taking over the world.

The world’s most exclusive hotel group (Bill Gates, David Beckham and Tom Hanks are all fans) recently opened the Aman Hotel in New York City, which has rooms that start at roughly $4,600 a night, and can soar all the way up to $20,000.

Located on Billionaire’s Row on Fifth Avenue, right across the street from Bergdorf Goodman’s, Aman New York trumps the Mark Hotel (starting at $1,200 a night, though their Presidential Suite goes for roughly $75,000 a night), the Mandarin Oriental, New York (starting at $1,000 a night) and the Ritz-Carlton New York (starting at $1,200 a night), not to mention high-end rooms at The St. Regis New York, The Carlyle, Baccarat, Hotel Chelsea, Wall Street Hotel, The Ned Nomad and the Ritz-Carlton Nomad.

The hotel is home to 83 suites inside the historic Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, right off 57th Street. The amenities are next level, with a decidedly zen sensibility. Think: clay walls, soaring ceilings and a soothing scent that seeps throughout the high-profile property; here it’s all about spaciousness and calm…a real achievement at the core of the Big Apple.

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“One of the main responsibilities we had designing Aman in the middle of New York was, of course, acoustics,” said Jean-Michel Gathy, principal designer, Denniston International.

“We were very careful to use textures on the walls which were acoustically performant. That’s why we have a lot of layers of fabric and layers of screens etc. The whole purpose of course is not only to give that feeling of luxury, of generosity, but also increased acoustics.”

Once you get past security at the entrance (good luck without a reservation), there’s an enormous black slab of stone that doubles as the reception desk. All of the hotel attendees are exceedingly friendly — the sort who acknowledge your every move down the hallway, and are happy to point you towards one of Aman New York’s restaurants or to-die-for spa.

Upon arrival, guests are ushered up to the 14th floor (the lobby elevator just has a few buttons on it, and one is 14, so access to rooms is not available from this elevator). 

On the 14th floor, there’s a lounge space, a patio and two restaurants: Arva does Italian, Nava does Japanese. Between the two restaurants are a group of couches and sit-down tables where guests can rest their bones and order their drink of choice. This is no average check-in; there’s has a lounge-like vibe, private and informal at the same time. 

From there, you’re taken to your room, in a separate elevator, by key card, on the other side of the building. The hallways are quiet, serene and lined with faux candles standing on pillars, with gold-gilded floors by the elevators. 

Even though it’s smack dab in Midtown Manhattan (a few blocks from Central Park, more or less), the design manages to keep things private, cleverly sourcing metal lattice and fabric blinds to hide the city’s grit, grime and noise. And when you step into the spa, it truly feels like you’re in an oasis in the middle of nowhere. There’s a private patio with plunge pools, surrounded by a collection of leafy trees that do yeoman’s work to drown out the honks of taxis below.

The actual rooms, you ask? Inside the suites, it’s any design-lover’s dream. The most exclusive suite is the Aman Suite, whuch goes for roughly $15,000 a night, though it doesn’t explicitly say that on the website. You’re just invited to “inquire via email.” It touts cream-hued couches, a fireplace, lounge chairs, Japanese art on the walls and a sprawling king size bed, which overlooks the best chunk of the island. 

“The most luxurious aspect of the Aman Suite, in my opinion, is the bathroom and the walk-in closet,” said Gathy. “They are spacious and you feel like you’re in a room. But you know, the bedroom is cozy, with a fireplace. I think it’s just a matter of the composition of the room. Aman doesn’t have these separations of spaces. It is one entity.”

Meanwhile, some of the lower-level Grand Suites feel like exquisite studio apartments, with artworks in them by Hasegawa Tōhaku, a 16th century Japanese artist whose paintings and “byōbu” folding screens are valued at an upward of a million dollars a piece. The king size bed and couches are divided by a fireplace, while the bathroom is divided by rice paper folding screens that can open and close at will, turning the whole room into an open concept space.

All suites source an “open concept” sensibility.
Robert Rieger

“The grand suites are situated at the corner of 57th street and 5th Avenue in New York, which is difficult to beat in terms of address,” said Gathy. “They had to be well located. We did not want them to be an old-fashioned New York suite. We wanted a ‘professional suite’ where you can sit and have a real power discussion or power lunch with important clients. You have a fireplace, some privacy, a fabulous bathroom.” 

Everything is placed perfectly, and the design is in the details…down to the the taupe leather-lined drawers. It somehow feels worth it, even for the high price. And to be honest, it really makes you want to visit Japan, more than anything — to explore Japanese art, design, traditions, history and cuisine. Is Aman an advertisement for Japanese culture, then? Yes.

“One of the responsibilities you have when you design an Aman is to respect the Aman DNA,” said Gathy. “The DNA of Aman is a color palette that is a calm, peaceful tone, as opposed to being aggressive or fundamentally making a statement. You want to be able to create a mood which is liked by everyone, but also basically the whole idea is to be peaceful. Aman means peace.”

But the real grab is the spa. Simply walking through this three floor spa will put you in a relaxed state. It has a 20-meter pool, 10 treatment rooms, a fitness room and two Spa Houses, plus cold plunge pools, a cabana, terrace and a fireplace. 

At the spa, it’s part wooden-clad boutique. They have their luxury goods on sale, like the Aman Essentials, a line of leather items, and items from the Aman Skincare line. They also sell items from Sva, the Aman supplement line, and Aman Fine Fragrance, a collection of seven scents inspired by the seven Aman destinations that opened in 2021. Not to mention, also sell items from Ready-to-Wear, their latest line of clothing, which includes cashmere sweaters with the iconic “A” logo on the chest.

Meanwhile, the mysterious top floors are home to the 22 branded residences, which are all occupied (some tenants even have their own private pools), though the residents are allowed to use the hotel amenities, too. One of the top residences sold for $53 million in August to a mystery buyer, a 6,253-square-foot, four-bedroom condo. That’s one floor underneath the $75 million penthouse suite on the 22nd floor. 

This is the third Aman hotel to open in the US, after Wyoming and Utah. If three ultra-luxe hotels wasn’t enough, Aman Miami Beach is set to open in 2024, while Aman Beverly Hills will launch in 2026.

The only public space where non-hotel guests can visit is their jazz club, which is in the basement, and it’s just called The Jazz Club (somehow, they even got the domain name). That’s reservations only. 

That said, Aman New York do host private events. Back in September, they debuted Aman Essentials, a luxury retail brand with a line of 19 leather goods that sell from $500 to $4000, items like wallets, clutches and laptop bags. 

The launch was a seated dinner at the hotel, attended by Academy Award-winning actor Jessica Chastain, Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, Gilda Ambrosio from The Attico, among others. The aim is to compete with the likes of brands like Hermès.

But even just walking through Aman New York, money isn’t really an object. You’re so relaxed that numbers feel like more of an afterthought. Besides, you only get billed upon check out.

“We are thinking out of the box,” said Gathy. “We are coming up with amenities that don’t exist in New York, or they exist maybe but at a different level. So, I think that’s what makes Aman so special. The look that we have given the terrace, that we have given all these things, makes it special. I think that is why it is the new luxury. Completely out of the box compared to New York.”