Inside NYC’s Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel

While Lower Manhattan teems with tourists exploring everything from Trinity Church to South Street Seaport, the region is not necessarily known as “hospitality central.” That title typically is awarded to Midtown (think Rockefeller Center and Times Square), or to the Upper West and East Sides, adjacent to stellar Central Park. Yet the sheer number of New York City’s downtown attractions call for inviting overnight digs. Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, answers that call. Named in honor of its location on Gold St. (a narrow thoroughfare named not after the glitz of Wall Street but for the yellow flowers that once filled the area in the 17th century) Gild Hall is an ideal homebase for exploration of this region that is more than rich in its varied charms.

Gild Hall Lobby

Steps from Wall Street, One World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge, Gild Hall was one of the first luxury lifestyle hotels to open in the area long dominated by skyscrapers. The region is now infused with tech, entertainment, and residential buildings, and Gild Hall places guests in the heart of it all. With a Mad Men-esque aesthetic, imagined by designer Jim Walrod (whose clientele included David Bowie and the Beastie Boys’ Mike D), the boutique hotel holds within its 15 floors 130 rooms and suites of varying size, many of which feature 12 foot high ceilings, a true rarity within even Manhattan’s most storied hotels. Six expansive suites offer a separate lounge area. Even Gild Hall’s smallest rooms are spacious by NYC standards, and each features plush, custom 400-thread count SFERRA linens, cozy Frette robes, slippers, and superior Chi hair dryers. Adding to the hotel’s throwback vibe are its red hallways, punctuated by black framed photos by American photographer Slim Aarons, known for his iconic images of Hollywood heyday celebrities and socialites. 

Gild Hall King Premium Guest Room
Gild Hall Penthouse

Often, it’s the seemingly minor aspects that raise a hotel’s stature. Gild Hall’s offering at check-in of a flute of prosecco, for instance, makes a welcoming impression to weary travelers. The lobby’s professional Vertuo Line Nespresso machine provides guests with delicious complimentary coffee every morning. Every room features a mini-bar with deluxe sized spirts and wines, as well as a variety of snacks, most of which are supplied by minority led brands. And well-stocked bookshelves and vintage board games in the library lounge encourage lingering. 

For onsite breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Gild Hall is fortunate to partner with Felice, whose bar and cozy restaurant is located just off of the lobby. Felice operates a handful of restaurants in New York, and the Gild Hall location is warm and inviting—an extension of the brand’s Fattoria Sardi winery, located in the Tuscan countryside. (Felice’s walls are picturesquely lined with its winery’s Chardonnay, Sangiovese, and Rosato wines.) The restaurant, with its wood paneling, mirrors, leather banquettes and copper bar, is the site of power breakfasts and lunches, enjoyed by brokers and bankers who work in neighboring buildings. The dinner menu, inspired by rustic Tuscan cuisine, includes Italian classics made with the freshest produce, and in addition to its own wines, Felice features more than 100 labels, 30 of which are offered by the glass. Upstairs, the restaurant features a chic private area, La Soffita, that is equally inviting for small groups and restaurant overflow. 

Felice Dining Room
La Soffita Dining Nook

Additional sites within walking distance to Gild Hall include Brookfield Place, the Oculus, City Hall, the 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, and easy ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, making the hotel the definition of the real estate mantra, “location, location, location.”

Photos courtesy of Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel

Fran Endicott Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is a luxury focused freelance feature and travel writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites, editor-at-large for, senior contributor to Napa Valley Life Magazine, and a California editor for luxury travel concierge service Essentialist, specializing in the Napa Valley. Prior to her journalism career she held positions in the fields of politics, te...(Read More)

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