There is a renovation that affects the works of Gachot Studios. Boasting a star-studded portfolio including Paul Rudolph’s iconic luxury home on Beekman Place and Glossier’s first storefront, Christine Gachot has ruled New York City with style and flair. However, the epidemic changed the City and its hospitality industry. This is why Gachot, once again, is bringing his magic wand to Manhattan’s haute hotels and hotspots. From Bar Pendry located within the MICHELIN Guide Hotel in Pendry Manhattan West, to Pebble Bar and Jac’s on Bond, Gachot continues to elevate and redefine the city that never sleeps. Below, we chatted with the designer about the perfect hotel, his favorite drinks, and MICHELIN’s top hotel summary.
What drew you to interior design?
Obviously all the actors, but honestly, I appreciate his acting–a group of people come together to remove something that is flawless and seamless when people experience it.
What is your design philosophy?
Service is work first. The production team is a back-up team to the work team, ensuring that they can deliver the best service at all times. We’ve all been there, you’re somewhere that’s beautiful, amazing, but you can’t find a drink anywhere. That or when the food is cold. If you’re grabbing a late-night burger at a hotel lobby, it should arrive well-prepared–and fire–as he commanded.
Courtesy of Gachot Studios
What is the best hotel? And an amazing experience?
For me, I’m looking for a job. I want to be safe all the time, and have experiences that support me personally. I want my journey to be thoughtful and compassionate. One thing I learned in my 10 years of hospitality development is that you have to make sure that every guest that leaves feels like the most important guest in the hotel. It doesn’t matter what the price is or what room you are in, what matters is that you are a valued guest.
When it comes to production it all comes down to the little things. I make sure that the bed is one that the housekeeping team can make well. I make sure you don’t reach under your desk to plug in electronics. I want to make sure you have enough space to unpack your clothes properly.
Most interesting/experience you’ve had in a hotel?
[MICHELIN Guide Hotels Plus property] Et Hem in Stockholm. If that’s not on your list, hop on a plane this weekend. I have never experienced anything like this. They make you feel and you feel like you are living in someone else’s house. The lobby feels like a living room designed by Elsa Crawford. I had dinner there the other night, and it was amazing. He made sure that everything from the table to the flower arrangement was perfect. There was no food, they just cooked for my friends and family that night. It’s not going to be very good.
What makes sense in design? What is the process of designing hotel rooms? What is the starting point?
I always tell people that you have to know your guests. It’s a good place to start when you’re designing or building a project. You need to know why he chose to hang out with you. What are their aspirations? What do they want to get out of it? What will they appreciate most? Building a hotel in Parrot Key is very different from building a hotel in Pendry. You don’t need a lot of bathroom hooks in a room in New York City, but a piano is nice to have. You need to know what your guest is expecting, and their needs before asking them.
Creativity is such an emotion, it is not material. It’s not just warm wood, beautiful fabrics or wall coverings. It’s about people using the site they’re inviting you to join. It includes all events.
How does the design / layout work in relation to the drinks / menu?
You want to make sure people are comfortable. Who are your guests there? Most of them are found in food, and there is good food too, but I’ll put the “B” before the “F” in most of these. One thing is to make sure that people have the right chairs for their tables so that they don’t feel uncomfortable when they sit there. Another is an interesting idea. Some of these places have amazing views, and they are amazing. But New York is a place to see and be seen, you want to make sure people can see each other. We have some of the best people in the world here, so I want our manager to be eye candy and a joy to watch. The people who come are part of the design.
Jac is a good example of this. You have a very bright color scheme with glass tables and Janette paintings, but the focus is on the people. What they wear and what they drink is what pleases them.
William Jess Laird / Jac’s
What do you look for to promote Pendry, Pebble Bar, and Jac’s?
With Pebble Bar and Jac’s, we played a lot in the neighborhood. The Pebble Bar has a great reputation that we wanted to honor, and we were very inspired by the multiple levels and size of the space inside Rockefeller Center. It’s a little thing in the middle of the madness.
Jac’s was easy. I lived on Bond Street for 20 years, and it’s a neighborhood. It is a place built for neighbors, by neighbors.
And with Pendry, Michael Fuerstman just brings so much experience. He knew what he wanted, and it was this light in California in the middle of New York City. So we took this little piece of amazing space and turned it into a place where you can just come and take a deep breath and have a palate cleanser from all the chaos going on outside.
Describe each place in three words.
Jac: Smooth, fun, community
Pebble Bar: Little guy, big place (I know it’s four!)
Pendry: Lighting, art, warmth
Courtesy of Pebble Bar
What’s on the menu at Pendry, Pebble Bar, and Jac’s?
For Pebble Bar, it has to be The Rock (one whole lobster, yuzu kosho oysters, six shrimp, scallop crudo, lobster salad, tuna spread, and Royal Ossetra Caviar with Pain de Mie toast).
Jac’s would be the French Shrimp & Avocado (luxury lettuce, lime, French dressing) and the Killen’ Em Softly Cocktail (Patron Reposado tequila, Amontillado, Sherry, strawberry, lemon, and basil eau de vie).
At Bar Pendry, of course it’s French fries and their house margarita.
Liz Clayman / Bar Pendry
What is your favorite story from each episode?
They all revolve around art and music. For Bar Pendry, we sent the artwork of the talented Nancy Lorenz. We put the whole room around the piece. And Hervé Descottes from L’Observatoire International shed light on it all. I want to appreciate it all, but it’s the magic of Nancy’s paintings and Hervé’s lighting that really shines through.
At Jac we leaned on Janette Beckman, who is a neighbor on Bond Street (and not to mention one of the most famous and popular hip-hop artists). He took care of the art and photography in the space, and he brought this 90’s vibe to Jac which I love.
Pebble Bar apparently has a piano that has a lot of celebrities playing there often, so that’s awesome. But there are also these Ojas speakers that are made by Devin Turnbull. They took all these old things and turned them into something that not only sounded amazing, but was beautiful to look at.
William Jess Laird / Jac’s
What’s the first thing you do when you get to your hotel room?
The first thing I do is release. The next step is to check the minibar. I love a good minibar curation, you don’t know. I’m looking forward to trying whatever is local and the different flavors. I love content management, because these are small searches within your journey that are much bigger. You are on your own mini vacation inside your hotel room.
Should you have a minibar?
Cold beer. It is universal. Whether you’re eating a burger at night, home from a party, or planning to go out, a cold beer is perfect.
What is your hotel like?
Fixed! I am very fond of writing about people, I write to family or friends that I miss or to share how I am.
If you could be a MICHELIN Guide restaurant or hotel, who would you be and why?
You were with me at Ett Hem. Ett Hem is a verb in my life.
Hero photo: Pendry Manhattan West