Public, New York: the five-star hotel for half the price | Eva Wiseman | Travel | The Guardian hotelier Ian Schrager’s new venture in Manhattan takes luxury down a notch. Schrager is the man responsible for purple feature walls, for lobbies that double as local cocktail bars, for chairs that look like comfy sculptures, and for today’s luxury hotel experience, with all the exclusive glossiness that entails. But this week he opens Public in downtown Manhattan, where he’s trying out something new. Populism.