This month, RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) opened its first-ever overnight hospitality concept: RH Guesthouse New York. It’s not a hotel, per se, and it’s not a showroom; in fact, the guest rooms and suites won’t even have RH-branded furniture. As RH chairman and CEO Gary Friedman says: “We’re trying to create a new product.”
RH Guesthouse is located just steps from RH New York’s store and gallery and is housed in a restored and reimagined triangular loft-style building first built in 1887. While the brand doesn’t call it a hotel, it’s a hotel-like concept with six 500-square-foot guest rooms, three 1,000-square-foot spacious suites, and one full-floor 2,600-square-foot residence, as well as a private rooftop infinity pool and dining terrace, and two restaurants, The Dining Room and the Champagne and Caviar Bar. The caveat is that the rooms are booked via inquiry only, and the residence will have extremely limited availability. There are specific rules like no photos or posting the property on social media, no children or pets, no loud music, and just two guests per room.
There are bespoke furnishings in all rooms, like architectural armoires, Italian-made Fantini fixtures, HEPA air filtration, Italian linens, and more. Guests can also expect concealed projectors and flatscreens with theater-quality sound and visuals, and iPads with centralized control of lighting, window shades, climate preferences, and entertainment.
Meanwhile, the residence features an open-concept design with 11-foot coffered ceilings, boiserie-paneled walls, corinthian columns, herringbone flooring, a monolithic fireplace, and sofas swathed in Loro Piana cashmere. All accommodations have lovely views of Manhattan and the Meatpacking District.
As the website states: “This is not a hotel. This is our house, and you are our guest.” It’s designed with extreme attention to detail, from the floor-to-ceiling rift-sawn European white oak and vein-cut Tuscan travertine to bespoke furniture and more.
“What we’re trying to do is to create a new market for travelers seeking privacy and luxury,” Friedman said. “I think privacy is the one thing everybody’s given away with social media, and it’s one thing that the Internet has taken away, because you can Google anything about everybody. I think that there’s going to be a desire to find your place, to be in that place that’s special to you that gives you that level of privacy, exclusivity, and level of luxury that you just can’t find anywhere else.”
All 10 accommodations have two full bathrooms; FreshBed climate-controlled sleep systems and Swiss-engineered ergonomic mattresses; gourmet pantries (what they call a mini bar); and a gym. Only guests will have access to the rooftop pool and dining terrace, while The Dining Room and Champagne and Caviar Bar will welcome outside guests at specific times. Both dining concepts are meant to operate like a dining room or bar with a distinct residential feel.
To ensure privacy of guests, the accommodations are accessed through a secure private entrance, where there is a 24-hour concierge. The Dining Room and Champagne and Caviar Bar are accessed via a separate public entrance, so guests never have to interact or be seen apart from their room and guest-only spaces.
“The idea of the Guesthouse is, first and foremost, to elevate the brand and position RH as a thought leader, tastemaker, and placemaker in the industry,” he said. “It’s not really what anybody thinks it’s going to be. People ask me, ‘You’re opening a hotel.’ I say no, we’re trying to create a new market for travelers seeking privacy and luxury. It’s also not going to have any of our furniture. It’s not about furniture. It’s about a completely different experience. It’s a completely integrated singular design point of view that no one’s ever done before. You’re just going to see something that you’ve never seen and executed at the highest level of taste, quality, and design.”
RH Guesthouse officially opened September 7.