Fodor's Expert Review The Walker

52 W. 13th St., between 5th and 6th Aves., New York, New York, 10011, USA See on Map

Julie Baumgardner

Recently reconceptualized as The Walker (formerly the Jade), this charming West Village hotel in the heart of the Gold Coast (where the wealthy Federalists lived) offers a lovely boutique hotel experience. Stylishly appointed rooms that are spacious and fitted with contemporary Art Deco “antiques” and fabulous wallpaper, this hotel brings an uptown view of service to a sharp downtown setting. Modern and luxurious, the Walker retains the familiarity and personalized attention of a small boutique operation against a more stately interior.


It certainly says something about the type of establishment that leaves the New York Times at the door in the morning. “Every last detail,” says the management. The rooms are no different. The building itself is a 1920s Georgian revival, and in the West Village (hello snug!). Thusly rooms do come with different configurations leading to the rooms being a pint-size with interrupted flow. However, the iconic “Art Deco fan” pattern upholstered headboard, bright velvets and gilt touches make for a snazzy decor. The rooms are also fitted with desks, reading chairs and plush robes to read and work in. Standard 4-star amenities await.


Black-and-white subway tile—the pre-war sort—set the tone for the very Art Deco-feeling bathrooms that are clean and economized for space. Some rooms have extras like separate soaking tubs and stall showers.


The stage is set in the lobby with its Art Deco glass columns and purple and sapphire velvet couches. The hotel has ample seating space, both for travelers and behind in the Parlour, a space for sipping. It’s certainly the social center of the space, perhaps inspiring its restaurant...


A basement gym is set up with the latest machines in a compact space.


Society Café, a nod to the literary scene who convened on 13th street, is a new seasonal and Union Square-sourced restaurant serving fresh American fare in a sumptuous and elegant setting. The restaurant also provides in-room dining, and is where breakfast is served.


Society Lounge is a full-bar within Society Café emphasizing mixed drinks and interesting fine wines. THe Parlour, located in the hotel’s lobby is designed for guests to linger and share a bottle before dinner.


Getting Around

Closest subways are the F/M at 14th street a block away, or a short walk from the A/C/E and B/D/F/M at West 4th Street.


Speaking of literary hangs, Cafe Loup (3-minute walk) was a favorite with Susan Sontag and Paul Auster and remains a little slice of Paris in the West Village. Rosemary’s (5-minutes) also moved into the neighborhood a few years ago and has brought its airy charm and roof-grown herbs to much delight. At the gate to both the West Village and Flatiron, a walk to either will lend to a great culinary find.


13th street is home to Parsons, New School and NYU—trip and you’ll land across the threshold of a saloon. But look no further than across the street for Cork Buzz (1-minute walk), the inspiring wine emporium that even has fun tasting programs. Across Union Square is one of the oldest (it’s up for debate still!) taverns in the city, Old Town Bar (10-minutes) which is dark, regal and one good time.


Most hotels downtown have that self-serious “downtown” aesthetic, with its sleek graphic lines in muted neutrals. The Walker remembers how downtown was associated with worldly people whose houses were flush with finds from across the globe shown off in rich, vibrant interiors. It’s a lovely contrast, a stylish setting with that true boutique (not corporate boutique) feel.


109 rooms, 4 suites
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
Valet Parking


Phones: 212-375–1300

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