The Loews Regency is one of the most well-known hotels in New York. Located on Park Avenue and 61st Street, it’s been going strong for more than 50 years and has been hailed as the birthplace of the “power breakfast.” We recently had the opportunity to spend an evening there and have dinner at its restaurant, The Regency Bar & Grill, at their invitation, and this is a hotel that we’d recommend without reservation.
If you haven’t spent any time at the hotel since seeing a show at Feinstein’s (its famed cabaret and jazz club) a decade ago, then you’re in for a real surprise. For one, Feinstein’s doesn’t exist anymore; it closed on New Year’s Eve 2012 to make way for an expansion of the restaurant. And two, the entire hotel underwent a $100 million renovation in 2013 and re-opened in January 2014 with a completely new and modern look. Owner Jonathan Tisch brought in the best in the business to reconceptualize the whole hotel: Meyer Davis Studio for the bar, spa, salon, and two suites; Rottet Studio for the guest rooms and lobby; Sant Ambroeus to run an adjacent stand-alone coffee shop; and celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel to run the spa and fitness center (which attracts plenty of locals along with hotel guests).
The new lobby is sleek and spacious, with plenty of marble and cream tones. There’s a comfortable lounge and sitting area on one side, and down a few steps you’ll find the completely refurbished Regency Bar & Grill (more on that later). Our guest room (one of 379) was also surprisingly spacious, decked out with all the amenities you’d expect in an upscale New York hotel: soft Frette linens on a super-soft bed, a large workspace with an ergonomic desk chair and plenty of outlets, electronic window shades, a 47-inch flat-screen TV, a marble bathroom with a TV embedded in the mirror, and high-end toiletries from Julien Farel. It had a pleasing color scheme of earth tones, and a refrigerator was brought to our room when requested (we had some leftovers from dinner). I had the opportunity to check out a couple of the 58 suites as well, and they’re large and nicely-designed; there are also some Signature Suites designed by world-class designers including Lauren Rottet and Nate Berkus, and they’re jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Our meal at the Regency Bar & Grill was also relaxed and enjoyable. The restaurant is large and comfortable, with a stylish bar up front. New executive chef Catherine Medrano works with local farms to showcase regional ingredients, and the menu has several locally-made cocktails, pizzas, and desserts on its menu as part of the Flavor NYC program, including diavola and porcini truffle pizzas from Olivetta Gourmet Group, gin cocktails from Brooklyn Gin, petits fours from Bon Vivant, and cookies and desserts from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. The rest of the menu is fairly straightforward: share plates including crab cakes, hummus, shrimp cocktail, and mini corned beef reubens; starters including house salad, tomato soup, and asparagus with prosciutto, cashews, and lemon vinaigrette; main plates including chopped and Caesar salads, a burger, rigatoni Pomodoro, breaded chicken paillard, and roasted baby cauliflower; and “simply prepared” bone-in ribeye, mahi mahi, cage free chicken, and Berkshire pork chop. We started with the diavola pizza: ‘nduja, hot sopressata, mozzarella, and tomato sauce on an oblong crispy charcoal black crust. It had way too much cheese and the black crust was a, shall we say, interesting choice, but it was still tasty regardless.
The chicken paillard was nicely fried and topped with a pile of dressed arugula, lemon wedges, and shaved parm, and the airline chicken breast was juicy and crispy-skinned and accompanied with a mound of watercress, but I’m not certain if the $38 price tag is justified (béarnaise and chimichurri are offered on the side, and they added some needed complexity to the entrees). For dessert, the Bon Vivant petits fours were pretty spectacular, as were uniquely spiced cookies from Mah-Ze-Dahr.
I spent some time exploring the hotel the following morning, and this hotel really has a lot to offer. It’s still a breakfast destination and its restaurant serves a very nice weekend brunch. The 10,000 square foot spa and salon are decidedly upscale and quite luxurious. There’s a full-scale fitness center with private personal training sessions available, as well as a business center open 24/7. There are also a few other surprising perks: items can be ironed, pressed, or steamed within two hours for just $5 apiece, a Mercedes is available to drive guests anywhere within a 20 block radius, there are meeting rooms with full AV setups, complimentary shoe shine is available, the hotel is very pet friendly, and there are plenty of offerings available for children as well. And if you’re planning on returning to the hotel soon, they can store your clothes and toiletries for you.
The Loews Regency exudes an air of modern luxury, and it's sleek, stylish, and thoughtfully designed. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, and you probably will as well.
The hotel stay and meal that are the subject of this review were provided at no cost to the writer.