Photograph: Steve Freihon Photography
New York City's Roosevelt Island will soon receive hotel guests for the first time a new set of arrivals to a slim, two-mile-long island in the East River with an eye-opening past and a high-tech future.
The 224-room Graduate Roosevelt Island opens to guests on June 1. Sitting at the entrance of Cornell Tech's innovative new campus, the 18-story tower will be the Graduate brand's 29th property and its first in the city.
"To be able to have a hotel in New York City still rooted to a campus, still rooted to a major university like Cornell ... and really what is supposed to be the gateway to the tech industry for New York City, was a really unique opportunity for us," said David Rochefort, president at Graduate Hotels and a Cornell alum.
Graduate Hotels, the campus-inspired boutique hotel collection that launched in 2014, will be making its New York City debut with a new property on the island opening on June 1, CNN reported. The hotel, which will be the company's 29th location, will be tethered to Cornell Tech, the Ivy League university's city campus that "fuses technology with business and creative thinking."
This hotel will represent another bet in the economic recovery of New York, the city hardest hit by the coronavirus in the world, in unemployment and deaths.
The narrow island, which lies between Manhattan and Queens, is home to NYC's only cable car, famous in “Spider-Man” movie sequences. In general, it is considered an “unknown” residential oasis in the city, with little traffic, silence, low commercial activity, and a lot of greenery nestled on the East River.
For many years in the 19th and 20th centuries, the government used that tranquility so that the island was home to hospitals, prisons, a quarantine zone, and even a mental asylum, the legendary "Lunatic" exposed by Nellie Bly in 1887, today a residential complex 500-unit luxury apartment (The Octagon).
Little by little, the flat island of 147 acres (0.6 square kilometers) evolved into the home of many elderly and disabled people, between green areas, historical relics, a lighthouse in the far north, and the park "Franklin D. Roosevelt" in the south, which gives it its name.
A Metro station (line F) connects it with Queens and Manhattan, and a peculiar cable car (tram) leaves from Midtown East and works with the same MetroCard ATM. By car, you can only connect with the city through the little-known "Roosevelt Island Bridge," although the famous Queensboro Bridge passes over it.
More recently, several technology headquarters have been built (Cornell Tech, Tata Innovation Center, The Bloomberg Center). Now, starting June 1, the island will also have its first hotel.
Roosevelt Island was developed as a middle-class neighborhood, with the first apartments opening in 1975, The New York Times reported. It had a population of 14,000 in 2017. The area continues to develop affordable housing, with a new 21-story building also scheduled for occupancy this year.
The new hotel features a ground-floor restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor rooftop bars, 5,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
Rooms start at $ 219 per night and are pet-friendly for an additional $ 25, the New York Post detailed. According to the statement, his original style blends "Old School and New Age, drawing inspiration from both the rich history of Roosevelt Island and the future of technology that embodies the Cornell Tech campus," according to the statement.
I believe that this hotel will be an opportunity for New York to recover its economy after the pandemic, as it will be a new attraction for the city. This new concept is quite interesting and will give a new touch to the city's existing attractions.