The uniqueness of one of the most iconic places in New York blends into 1 Hotel Central Park, providing a welcoming environment amidst skyscrapers and sidewalks
New York is certainly one of the world’s top travel destinations, hosting visitors with different purposes, mainly business and leisure; when traveling with the latter in mind, the different areas in town host attractions for a variety of tastes, but few as iconic as Central Park, featured in films, TV, host to musical events and host also to New Yorkers and visitors who like this place to take a walk, exercise, to have some kind of contact with nature, or simply to lay down in the grass.
It is clear to see why Central Park became the second location and the first property in New York City for 1 Hotels -the SH Hotels and Resorts brand-, which opened in August 2015.
1 Hotel Central Park is located at the corner of 58th Street and Sixth Avenue, just a block south from Central Park, in an 18-story building, offering 229 guest rooms and suites. 1 Hotel Central Park is a 100% Carbon Neutral and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified property.
Barry Sternlicht, the 1 Hotel brand creator, knew this location had to capture the essence of Central Park and still blend with some downtown vibe to it.
“This hotel truly is nature-inspired and you feel that calmness throughout the entire building. There is no hotel like us in Manhattan,” declared Bernd Pichler, General Manager of 1 Hotel Central Park.
Pichler was born in Austria, where he completed his education in hospitality. His work for Langham Hotels took him to Toronto (Canada), London (UK) and Valencia (Spain), where he opened his own restaurant.
Afterwards, Pichler joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, working in Abu Dhabi (UAE - United Arab Emirates) and different hotels across the USA.
Pichler also worked at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe before becoming part of the SH Hotels & Resort by joining 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in early 2019. Pichler has combined work and continuing education having attended college programs in Canada, Spain, and finally obtaining his Asset Management certification at Cornell University.
In Bernd Pichler being the general manager for its Central Park operation, 1 Hotels counts with a highly-skilled individual that shares company values such as a passion for nature, sustainability and a healthy lifestyle.
“Either I found SH or SH found me, but no day feels like work if you love what you do, and at 1 Hotel Central Park we do just that,” said the executive.
A natural refuge in the middle of Manhattan
Amidst all the concrete and the shadow of skyscrapers, 1 Hotel Central Park offers astounding surroundings indoors and outdoors. Central Park is just a few steps away to bring that sense of being in the middle of nature with its unique scenery.
This same lush feel translates into the hotel, as its whole concept is inspired by its surroundings, welcoming guests with a three-story exterior living green wall, and furnished with reclaimed, repurposed and recycled materials such as fallen twigs as ornament and wood from New York City water towers.
The “Field House” is a very complete fitness center, open 24 hours and it’s furnished with the best equipment for exercise and yoga, and counts with expert coaches and trainers for personal sessions.
Among other amenities, the hotel offers nature infused, flexible spaces that are ideal for business meetings and social events, boasting floor to ceiling windows and views of Central Park.
Award winning Chef Johnathan Waxman brings his farm-to-fork cooking to Jams Restaurant and Bar. Executed by Executive Chef Ginger Pierce, these seasonal menus are offered through in-room dining and also as customized menus for meetings and events.
Food & beverage
Meals and refreshments available in 1 Hotel Central Park are not an afterthought, as the food and beverage programming is aligned with the brand’s principles about minimizing waste and plastic use.
Ingredients are sourced from local vendors, offering seasonal menus at Jams, the 100-seat restaurant and bar also from Waxman, showcasing market-fresh, organic ingredients. Once reopening after the pandemic shutdown, Jams is offering exciting new dishes and a patio on 6th Avenue.
Last October, 1 Hotel Central Park opened Jams Café, a new concept for guests and locals to enjoy. Executive Chef Ginger Pierce created a Jar Return Program, reducing waste en route to a reusable, zero waste carry out system with rewards for guests.
“It is important that we continue to evolve our footprint and celebrate ‘day life’ in the community and make sure guests and our neighbors are aware and involved,” said Pichler.
The opportunity of reopening
The shutdown caused by the COVID19 pandemic brought along terrible consequences in every line of business, and it especially affected the travel and lodging industry.
For 1 Hotels, taking care of its staff in each location is a priority. 1 Hotel Central Park was one of the first midtown hotels to reopen last fall, doing the best to bring back to work as many team members as possible. After weekend travel returned to the “Big Apple”, weekday lodging is also increasing, which means more team members are being called back to work at the hotel.
“Guests are consistently commenting on how warm and genuine our team members are: like-minded individuals, passionate about the same core values, sharing them with our guests and among ourselves,” the general manager commented.
Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide
Commitment to its personnel’s health and safety has taken 1 Hotel Central Park, as every other brand’s properties, to create the Director of Environmental Health & Safety role, in charge of the implementation and surveillance of new procedures and safety protocols.
Additionally, SH Hotels & Resorts properties are among the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide, a comprehensive facility verification ensuring guests to book with confidence of places with the proper health and safety procedures.
“We are also looking forward to welcoming back our loyal and new guests that were not able to travel this past year,” added Pichler.
The drive toward sustainability
The 1 Hotel brand bases all design, construction and operation in five pillars: environmental impact, advocacy, education and engagement, health and wellbeing, and food and beverage responsibility. And in 2020, 1 Hotels directed efforts to increase sustainability and reduce energy consumption.
At 1 Hotel Central Park, an intelligent guest room energy management system with motion and infrared sensors was installed. This system allows HVAC systems to go into “set back” mode based on area occupancy.
This system is fully integrated into the front desk property management system, allowing the HVAC system to go into an energy savings mode depending on the sold/unsold status of rooms.
Also, 1 Hotels just announced. MISSION by SH™: a cause-driven rewards program that allows guests to offset the climate impact of their stay by donating their reward dollars toward carbon offset projects.
And besides the multiple options for public transportation New York City has to offer, 1 Hotel Central Park has an Audi e-tron electric vehicle available for guests to use within a 15-block radius.
“We are constantly updating and improving our efforts to drive our mission of sustainability forward,” said the executive.
The beauty of 1 Hotel Central Park is currently being upgraded, as the building’s top floor is to undergo a renovation that will include brand new rooms and suites with patios with unparalleled views of Central Park.
“We are focused on our positive comeback as business continues to come back to New York City,” concluded Bernd Pichler, General Manager of 1 Hotel Central Park.