“Creatively kitsch 86-room hotel with 11 floors of modern art and NYC cool”
Fall asleep to a sparkling NYC skyline, wake up to a Big Apple brunch, and find superlative shopping on the doorstep, trendy screenings in the basement and perfectly muddled cocktails at the bar - the kind of travel pursuits that set tourist and traveller apart. But there are no prizes for guessing who’s catered for here.
Throwing bland, boring and beige out of the window, at its candy-coloured centre you’ll find a modern-art melange that falls somewhere between a Tim Burton film set and an exhibition at the MoMA. And although you may wonder how much creativity you can cram into a place, thanks to a surprising sense of synergy and a comforting opulence, it really does work.
- New York's most eco hotel with a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification
- Original modern art at every turn, including a 10ft-tall Jaume Plensa human head sculpture and Peter Clark dog collage
- Luxurious attention to detail in the bedrooms: anti-misting bathroom mirrors, Frette linens, Kit Kemp products
- Plenty of communal areas, including a guest-only lounge and garden terrace
- Fantastic downtown location, seconds from Broadway, the subway and Soho’s chi-chi shops
- Some bedroom interiors are rather feminine; if this bothers you, qualify your colour scheme on booking
- The quirky modern-art design may not be to everyone’s taste
- The restaurant and bar are attached so meals can feel more raucous than relaxed
- Service in the restaurant wasn’t ‘world class’ as advertised, though it was in the rest of the hotel
- The cinema is only open for private screenings and events, rather than being a feature for guests
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant + bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Built from scratch, with lofty ceilings and warehouse windows throughout, the hotel stands head and shoulders above its sardine-can competitors. Even the smallest room feels like you’ve just swanned into an Elle Deco show loft.
That said, owner and designer Kit Kemp has enough flair to conjure up cosy with an array of plush upholstery. Bespoke bedheads and wallpapers showcase oversized prints; matching mannequins add a quirky touch, and the never-ending curtains and soft Frette linens will swaddle you to sleep.
Rooms step up from Superior (32 sq.m) to Luxury (33 sq.m) to Deluxe (34 sq.m). Next come the Junior Suites; anything bigger boasts a separate living room and second wall of windows.
One-bedroom suites are 65 sq.m and can be joined with a Deluxe to become 2-Bedrooms. If you’re looking for something a little special, the Meadow Suite literally has its own rooftop meadow full of flowering plants. The vast Crosby Suites have delicious Manhattan views – and can be joined with a Junior Suite to create a two-bed, two-bath extravaganza.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Safe box
Starting the day with ‘High Breakfast’ in bed (a bite-sized version of just about everything on the breakfast menu) is a decadence not to be missed... if you can forego the tantalising maxi-selection downstairs, that is. If not, expect a vast choice served against an artsy backdrop in The Crosby Bar. Some may find the candy-striped banquettes and Bakelite wall-mounted telephone lamps a tad outlandish, but the real art is that the overall effect is completely fabulous.
Foodwise, choose from set options - eg The English (applewood smoked bacon, organic sausage, eggs any which way); The Healthy (porridge, pineapple and sunflower seeds), Champagne (smoked salmon and eggs served with a chilled glass) - or the longest a la carte menu, including brioche French toast with fresh figs, Spanish frittatas, homemade granola...
For lunch and dinner, expect Euro/American classics.
Expats and visiting Brits may be pleased to find traditional fish and chips, with Brussels sprouts as a side. The steak tartare with toasted sourdough attracted my attention but turned out a little salty. But a perfectly seared free-range chicken breast with braised savoy cabbage and bacon followed, and the bourbon pecan ice-cream was creamy enough to convince me there was a cow in the building – possibly not too far from the truth considering the 10 chickens hopping around the rooftop kitchen garden.
In summer, eat on the hotel's public or private terraces, both lovely. The adjoining guest lounge is where, after a serious day’s shopping, one should flop on a sofa, order the Crosby’s signature afternoon tea and follow Marie Antoinette’s unforgettable adage. The English Breakfast blend is created especially for the hotel by The Rare Tea Company. The perfect compliment to the delicious homemade sandwiches, cakes and scones served.
Soho is also home to some of New York’s revered food haunts: Bathazar (for brunch), Pravda and the Blue Ribbon have all stood the test of time.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Soho is one of the world's liveliest, most popular shopping districts – Broadway hosts mid/low price labels; the cross streets (between Prince and Grand Street) have the posh stuff
- Wander east and you’ll find Nolita (between E Houston and Grand Street, before you get to the Bowery) which harbours New York’s best (not cheapest) boutiques
- The ultimate free boat trip, the Staten Island Ferry (close to Battery Park) runs 24 hours, with heart-stopping views of Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan
- Ground Zero may not be top of everyone’s sightseeing list, but if you’re interested in the site’s progression, it’s just a short cab ride away, or pleasant walk down the west-side cyclepath beside the Hudson river
- South Street Seaport’s cobbled streets are alive with tourists, there for the shopping, restaurants, street artists and East River views
- Helicopter tours of the best sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Empire State, are surprisingly affordable and run weekdays from the downtown Manhattan heliport at Pier 6
- For a taste of something different, a walk south-east of the hotel takes you to Little Italy and the increasingly sprawling Chinatown
- Further south of Canal Street, famous Manhattan landmarks like City Hall, the Woolworth Building, Chambers and the Municipal Building are all within walking distance
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
Children of all ages are welcome and the concierge can arrange a babysitting service. Family-friendly rooms come in the shape of interconnecting suites, and rollaway beds and cots are available on request.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available