The 253-room Andaz Wall Street in New York wants attendees to feel at home. The property debuted its new Concourse Level this fall after undergoing renovations due to the damages made by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The 7-month renovation took place only three years after the hotel opened, expanding the meeting space from 4,000 to 7,000 sf. In keeping with the brand’s spirit, the spaces are geared to be more like a home setting giving meeting planners a casual, flexible atmosphere to host groups of up to 250 people.
The Gallery space can be divided into four smaller spaces and features a central open kitchen—perfect for cooking competitions—which attendees will walk through to get to the spaces. True to its name, the Gallery can also be used to display art. Photographs from a local photographer are currently on display. The Stock, Bond and Exchange spaces have a similar residential feel with open pantries that include personal espresso machines. All of the spaces also include built-in video projection screens that easily connect to portable electronics.
“In having a central display kitchen, we’re always able to have a chef involved with the events,” says Jeffrey Miller, the hotel’s general manager. “Typically, it’s geared around involving the customer. If you were going to someone’s home, you become a part of the kitchen environment. Here, you feel like you’re at home versus being at a hotel; meanwhile, the chef’s cooking right next to you.”
The onsite Bar Seven Five offers that same at-home feeling. In fact, it doesn’t even really have a bar. Instead, it has six freestanding drink stations or what Miller calls “group or communal pods.”
“It’s set up like it would be at home,” says Miller. “You would put liquor bottles on the counter and pour drinks for your guest. This becomes that same kind of environment where people can pour their own drinks or can help the bartender prepare drinks. We encourage people to get to know their neighbors, and that translates well to the group side of the business.”
A grand, white pearl-ized stone staircase leads up to Wall & Water, another onsite restaurant with more of a fine-dining feel. Its open kitchen, however, still invites guests to be a part of the food preparation experience. The back room also features a Chef’s Table, in which the chef will discuss the farm-to-table ingredients used in the main entrees such as roasted young chicken with peas.