Mr. C Seaport is a rare jewel among New York luxury hotels. Developed by brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, the fourth-generation visionaries of the celebrated Italian hospitality family, the hotel comprises sixty-six rooms, six of which are suites with covetable balcony terraces. It occupies a landmarked group of five, mid-nineteenth century red-brick buildings in New York’s Seaport District. Tucked away along a quiet cobblestoned street, the hotel unfolds in an area undergoing a striking and vibrant transformation. With a nod to its historic waterfront setting and the magnificent presence of nearby Brooklyn Bridge, Danish architect Thomas Juul-Hansen, along with Ignazio Cipriani, has imbued Mr. C with an expansive contemporary luxury that belies the hotel’s intimate scale. Rosewood-and-brass supply elegant sheen to the lobby lounge and bar. A vibrant painting by the Spanish-American, neo-Expressionist contemporary artist Domingo Zapata enlivens the ground floor elevator landing. Yet, for its polish, Ignazio Cipriani aims for guests, whether business or leisure travelers, to feel Mr. C is a home away from home, a hotel with enduring appeal.
Mr. C is a home away from home, a hotel with enduring appeal.
Light streams through broad windows into the hotel’s restaurant Bellini, whose tables are set with fine linen tablecloths and napkins by Rivolta Carmignani, the Milanese textile maker, and vibrant Solimene ceramic tableware. The atmosphere of Italian geniality is as welcoming to neighborhood residents as it is to Mr. C guests. The dining room’s striking centerpiece, a mural by the artist Max Farina, captures a kaleidoscope of photographic images of the Grand Canal that alludes to the Cipriani family’s Venetian background. The menu, created by chefs from various Cipriani restaurants, showcases culinary traditions from Italy’s regions. Among pastas, there is a classic bucatini cacio e pepe and a silken tagliolini with zucchini and scampi. For main courses, grilled New Zealand lambchops with carrot puree, and Dover sole with baby artichokes are standouts. Breakfast, even for those inclined to skip it, proves irresistible, from a Macedonia, the refreshing Italian dish of macerated fruit, to Norwegian eggs or avocado toast, Bellini-style.
Few hotel rooms have views that reveal the marked contrasts of New York’s landscape like Mr. C Seaport . From the terrace of a suite, sweeping views encompass Financial District skyscrapers and, to the west, the One World Trade Center tower. Others take in the Brooklyn Bridge and ferries along the East River. A corner aerie looks down upon brick facades of historic Seaport buildings. Inside, insulated glass windows assure guestrooms hushed silence. Teak millwork and custom handcrafted furniture by Tedeschi, the Italian manufacturer, provide spare elegance to a soothing palette of creamy beige, taupe, powder blue, and light gray. An abundance of white Carrara slabs endows bathrooms with opulent luxury. And here too, Seaport heritage and Italian élan meet in up-to-date seamless technology: guests can check in with a smart phone, use the device as a room key, or control their Smart TVs.
The Mr. C Seaport logo depicts a butler with an oversize bowtie, a whimsical motif that appears subtly etched into the granite marble floor of the lobby lounge or as an abstract pattern on the vestibule screen. It is also on the miniature sweater of the smiley Mr. C teddy bear, one of the thoughtful amenities for children that lends a warm welcome to the hotel’s smallest guests.