A New, Family-owned Hotel Was Voted Best in New York City This Year — and I Visited to Find Out Why

By Albert Cortez

Embark on a captivating journey as we explore the allure of a new family-owned hotel, crowned the best in New York City this year. Join me as I uncover the secrets and stories that have earned this establishment its prestigious title, providing an insider's perspective on what sets it apart.

Key Takeaways
  • Delve into the unique charm and hospitality offered by a family-owned hotel that has clinched the title of the best in New York City. Discover how the personal touch of a family business contributes to a distinct guest experience.
  • Join the exploration as we unravel the reasons behind the hotel's acclaimed status. From exceptional service to unparalleled amenities, delve into the factors that have captivated visitors and critics alike.

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The Wall Street Hotel wasn’t even open for business until June 2022, but by the time Travel + Leisure announced the 2023 World’s Best Awards the following summer, people were gushing about it. “Excellently crafted,” someone said. Perfect service, according to someone else. “Amazing new addition to NYC’s downtown”

While in town to celebrate the award winners, I knew I wanted to check it out for myself because it’s not typical for a hotel to amass the kind of following that makes it the top hotel in a city like New York in only its first year.

Despite the fact that New York is my hometown, I’ve been in hotels all across the city since moving to Los Angeles over five years ago. Admittedly, my mental picture was of a tiny, dim, and strictly business hotel in the Financial District. Late on a Monday night, I arrived at FiDi with my fiancé, and I noticed a lightness I hadn’t felt before. The atmosphere was a little more lighthearted than anticipated, the decor was elegant yet whimsical, and the halls were warm and bright. I felt strangely comfortable after a lengtripaveand wasl and ready for an early morning of meetings. 

Well-considered design produces a sophisticated yet cozy and homey atmosphere.

Locals and hotel visitors alike congregate at the friendly lounge on Pearl, which serves martinis.

Bar carts filled with snacks and Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers are among the in-room amenities.

Inside the Tontine Building, a real-life example of New York Stock Exchange history, you may find it.

New York Harbor is better protected because of a collaboration with the Billion Oyster Project.

Seating at the reception area


Our 800-square-foot Otto Suite had a sitting space with light gray couch and blue velvet chairs that echoed the hue of the flower artwork behind it thanks to pastel-colored pillows. The marble bathroom had a shower that felt as large as my old flat in the city, as well as a separate soaking tub. I smiled at the unexpected face painted on a lampshade and at the minibar delights arranged on two floors of a jovial bar cart.

The Lounge on Pearl, the lobby bar, had just closed for the evening, but I had a sneaking suspicion that we would be there for a few hours at least, sipping martinis on its scallop-backed chairs with friends and coworkers. I had more than one suspicion. My immediate hypothesis about what attracted T+L readers to this hotel was that it’s a place that gives you a sense of being a part of the downtown buzz while also providing a break from this area of the city, which can be busy during the day and occasionally too quiet at night, despite being incredibly convenient for business travelers. 

Pearl Lounge: Martinis and oysters


It turns out that the key lies in one family’s talent for capturing the glitz and glitter of old New York via a relaxed Australian perspective. Or, to put it another way, this is where “Old World luxury” meets “Australian approachableness,” according to James Paspaley, executive director of Paspaley Pearling Group, the family-owned firm that owns Australia’s oldest pearling enterprise and its first hotel, The Wall Street. 

The group’s general manager of properties, Nick Hanigan, told T+L, “The Paspaley family had a vision to create a familial space that would capture the favorite moments of their own travels.” “We blended the laid-back Australian vibe with the allure of New York architectural design.” 

It’s the Australians’ job to teach FiDi how to relax. 

The Background

The hotel’s location at the intersection of Pearl Street and the Paspaley family’s history are noteworthy. Otto Gerdau & Co., an import-export business, purchased the original Tontine Coffee House in the 1930s. This building was the first to house the New York Stock Exchange in the late 18th century.

Under Allan Gerdau’s direction, Otto Gerdau & Co. began to grow and established a natural pearl farm in Australia with the goal of exporting flawless pearls. The Paspaley family, the company’s biggest Australian pearling rival, purchased Gerdau’s estate, which included the Tontine Building, in 1989, a few years after he passed away. They turned the structure into their first hotel thirty-two years later.

In addition to being a clear symbolic tribute to our legacy as pearlers, Hanigan noted, “it allowed us to share with our guests the rich fabric of our hotel’s history.” Old and fresh historical photos, as well as a few pictures from family albums, may be found in the halls of the floors. Even Pearl Martinis are served to guests in the Lounge on Pearl.

Interior guest room with a king bed 

The Chambers


The 180 rooms and suites of the Wall Street Hotel range in size from 290 to 800 square feet, and each is designed to feel “familial,” according to Paspaley. Think of it as a “luxurious home away from home with residential touches.” The ancient buildings of Wall Street and the river were visible from our Otto suite. 

Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers are provided for entertainment, Frette linens adorn the beds, and marble bathrooms include heated floors and Acqua di Parma bath products—my particular favorite. Suites provide areas for relaxing and working, and families may easily spread out with the option of connecting rooms.

Interior Great Pearl Suite living space


“To add softer touches to the heavy masculine image of Wall Street, we led with a female muse for the rooms and décor,” Paspaley continued. “To make sure all the tiny things that make traveling easier are present, our board looked over each room, item by item. A guilt-free minibar, convenient gadget charging, and a few little indulgences.

The unique Great Pearl Suite, located on the 14th floor, promises to provide exceptionally restorative sleep on a Bryte Balance mattress.

Eatery and Beverage

It’s not simple to design a hotel lobby bar that New Yorkers want to spend their evenings in, but Lounge on Pearl succeeds in doing just that. The space has swiftly gained popularity among residents and hotel visitors because to its cityscape murals, marble fireplace, mixed-print furnishings, and bright selection of liquors behind a bar that is centered around martinis.

Almost immediately, I understood Paspaley when he said, “I love to unwind with a Manhattan in the Lounge after a busy day and fall back into the mood of the hotel and slow down from the pace of the city.” My fiancé and I looked forward to getting together at Lounge on Pearl to unwind after exhausting workdays since it rapidly became our secure home base. Several T+L editors made the special effort to come back downtown for drinks and a debriefing following an exhilarating World’s Best Awards launch party. 

Private meal at La Marchande 


Before dinner at La Marchande, the lounge is the ideal spot to start the evening with an aperitif and, if you’re lucky, live music. John Fraser, the chef behind NYC’s Michelin-starred Dovetail and Nix, skillfully crafts the contemporary cuisine for the French chophouse-style restaurant. Amy Racine, Esquire’s 2021 beverage director of the year, curates the wide wine list with a French bent. Like the rest of the hotel, it’s fashionable without taking itself too seriously, as seen by the French onion dumplings and drunken mignonette, an oyster accompaniment enhanced with vodka. The candlelit environment strangely works equally well for a date or a business meal. 

Activities and Facilities

The hotel’s luxurious, compact gym is equipped with Rogue exercise equipment, Peloton bikes, Mirror—the beloved interactive exercise screen that Lululemon currently owns—and everything you need to do yoga or even CrossFit. 

Free bike and scooter rentals are provided for visitors to explore the city, and valet parking is offered around-the-clock. Anything from private pilates to a hot shave to childcare may be arranged by a well-curated concierge service. Pets are allowed, and upon request, bowls, beds, and toys can be found in the rooms. 

The hotel also has event areas, such as a rooftop with a classy private bar and breathtaking views, that are ideal for conferences, meetings, and weddings.

Sustainability and Accessibility


All aspects of The Wall Street Hotel’s operations, from daily attempts to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and carefully manage waste and water, to building and design that made use of salvaged local materials, are driven by the fundamental goal of sustainability. The restaurant and bar focus using sustainable suppliers and don’t use single-use plastics. 

The hotel’s collaboration with the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to rehabilitating New York Harbor’s oyster reefs, is perhaps its most noteworthy arrangement. Join in the fun by purchasing presents inspired by oysters, like as the half-shell bottle opener found on each minibar, with a part of the sales going to the charity. Additionally, a donation can be made at the time of checkout. Take an instructive tour of the neighboring Governors Island, home of the Billion Oyster Project, for a chance to become involved firsthand.

The lobby entrance, registration desk, and all on-site food and beverage establishments are accessible. Reservations for ADA-compliant rooms may be made by calling 212-688-9255 or sending an email to [email protected]. Both wheelchairs and valet parking for accessible cars are provided upon request.

Bathroom of the Carnegie Suite


The hotel is well located for those with business obligations in the Financial District and has good subway connections to the rest of the city, situated on the historic corner of Wall Street and Pearl Street.

Walking distance away are the Seaport District, which is home to the Tin Building, where chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened his popular dining hall, Pier 17, one of the most picturesque concert venues in the city, and Manhattan’s only Ipic theater. Stone Street is a charming cobblestone stretch that is pedestrian-only during the warmer months.


  • The Wall Street Hotel was voted the No. 1 hotel in NYC in the 2023 World’s Best Awards by Travel + Leisure readers, just a year after its opening in June 2022.
  • The hotel, owned by the family behind Australia’s oldest pearling enterprise, combines Old World luxury with a relaxed Australian perspective, creating a familial space capturing the glitz of old New York.
  • With a prime location at the intersection of Pearl Street, the hotel offers a mix of luxurious rooms and suites, each designed with a “familial” feel and residential touches, showcasing a blend of Wall Street’s history and Australian charm.
  • The hotel emphasizes sustainability in its operations, collaborates with the Billion Oyster Project to rehabilitate New York Harbor, and provides accessible facilities, making it an attractive and environmentally conscious choice for business and leisure travelers alike.

Join the LUXURIOUX world, and discover a new level of opulence. Our editors and writers are dedicated to finding what is truly the best in class across many facets of life. Experience the finest things only your imagination and money can afford.

By subscribing to our newsletter(s) you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement

In the heart of New York City, a new family-owned hotel emerges not only as an accommodation but as an experience. Voted the best this year, its charm lies not just in its luxurious amenities, but in the warm embrace of family hospitality. Join me on this journey as we unveil the secrets behind its success and explore why it has become a beacon of excellence in the city that never sleeps.