Providing another compelling piece of evidence that everything was better in the old days, Refinery Hotel occupies a former hat factory from 1912 that stretches impressively across a whole block of Manhattan’s fashion district. The building’s pedigree is plain to see; originally called the Colony Arcade running from 38th to 39th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, it boasts period features such as neo-Gothic arches and nostalgic arts and crafts décor.
The hotel’s accommodation benefits from its factory heritage, which left a legacy of 12-foot ceilings – plenty of clearance for even the most outlandish millinery. Designers Stonehill & Taylor must have enjoyed this project. An air of sophistication and elegance pervades the interior of the entire premises, but one of the highlights is to be found on the roof of the hotel, where 12 storeys up a 3,500 sqft inside/outside roof terrace bar affords clear views of the island’s skyline including the Empire State Building. Back on the ground, and recognising the building’s important connection with aesthetics, the factory loading bay is being transformed into Hatbox, an industrial gallery and creative events space.