The Out NYC: Openly Gay (and not), Urban Resort
Have you ever been to a hotel or resort and known immediately that it was welcoming to only a certain segment of the population?
Maybe you are a member of that acceptable group, so you never noticed, or paid much attention. Or, maybe you aren’t, and always have to do some due diligence prior to booking a stay, knowing that you and your partner or family may not be welcome, or you will be uncomfortable, or even unsafe, unless you make sure “your kind” are welcome.
Gay people, people of color, and interracial couples have always faced this difficulty. A new hotel in NYC not only provides a beautiful and welcoming space for gay people to enjoy, it also makes an attempt to challenge the identity driven character of the hotel business.
Designed by Paul C. Dominguez Architect, The Out NYC markets itself as Manhattan’s first openly gay hotel. This 105 room urban resort was not designed with stereotypes in mind. Though the hotel is openly gay, architects intentionally created a “straight-friendly” environment, attempting to wipe away the line in the sand between gay and straight establishments.
Some of the spectacular features are the undulating hallways inspired by sculptor Richard Serra, a branch of the Parisian Nickel spa, a lap pool enclosed within a gorgeous atrium, a 14,000-square-foot XL Dance Bar located in an old 100-car parking garage and a reception hall geared toward weddings and commitment ceremonies as well as corporate events.
Ian Simpson Reisner, a managing partner of Parkview Developers, was inspired to create Out NYC Urban Resort after a stay at the Axel Hotel Barcelona — part of a small chain of upscale hotels aimed at gay visitors. Looking beyond creating a hotel, he also had community in mind. In a New York Times article, “A Resort for Gays Rises in Manhattan,” Reisner says, “It’s just as much for the community here as it is for people coming to visit. You can spend an entire day in this place. There’s everything you can imagine.”
* Originally seen in Interior Design Magazine‘s “100 Big Ideas” article.
In this day and age, it is incredibly difficult to challenge identity-based living – and traveling, without reinforcing it. Bravo, OUT NYC, for an elegantly designed hotel, that welcomes all people, explicitly.