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04/10/14 The Marlton Hotel

Rather than characterless keycards, there are actual keys to the Marlton’s guestrooms. Yes, guestrooms. You’d be hesitant to label abodes of such character and history the same way you would lodgings at a Holiday Inn.

Its construction dating back to 1900, what was then called Marlton House was a rinky-dink Greenwich Village hotel later known for its captivating clientele. Kerouac wrote a couple novellas here, probably burning through many nights with fellow resident Neal Cassady. Lenny Bruce stayed a while during his obscenity trial, and later, one Mickey Rourke became a regular.

Building on such an engrossing New York past, a newly renovated Marlton was unveiled early this year. Influenced by the romance of Parisian apartments and the hotel in Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, the re-launched guestrooms feature the stuff well-read young sophisticates would appreciate: splayed-arm ceiling lamps by Serge Mouille, velour headboards, ‘20s-inspired bathrooms tiled in black and white. An aesthetic that’s equal parts nostalgic and forward is the project of hotelier Sean MacPherson, the man responsible for the sceney Jane and Bowery Hotels in Manhattan. Both are characterized by mystique and revelry, lodgings where you don’t just go to sleep or luxuriate in, but to live.

1384 Marlton Hotel

You’d consider a MacPherson property less a hotel and more a cultural nexus. That’s evident at the Marlton, which doesn’t give inhabitants much reason to leave the premises, having both an espresso and cocktail bar at ground level. In the latter, you’ll find handcrafted drinks that nod to the past: The Marlton House, say, or the Dharma Bum (Kerouac). On its walls, YSL prints hang above barstools and booths upholstered in cherry leather. The bar leads to an all-day café with banquettes you can imagine a famed artist and controversial actress occupying, both steeped in 2 a.m. conversation. From the genteel, wood-paneled lobby to guestrooms staff go a step further in calling “baby grands,” you can feel there is more history to be made.

Location: Greenwich Village, New York City.

1359 Marlton Hotel

1384 Marlton Hotel

1384 Marlton Hotel

1384 Marlton Hotel

1359 Marlton Hotel

1359 Marlton Hotel