British boutique hotel specialist Firmdale Hotels already has a stellar reputation in the UK thanks to its five London properties, but the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo New York is its first foray abroad.
This new hotel was built from the ground up (the space used to be a car park), and every individually designed room boasts a wall of windows, which can offer either stellar views west over SoHo or east towards the Lower East Side (floors 8 and up catch the best views). The location is perfect for shopping, as well as bar and restaurant hopping, and yet the rooms are — by New York standards — placid.
While the building has modern pared-down lines, it’s been decorated in classic Firmdale style, with an eclectic combination of lush fabrics (incorporating brocades, felt and suiting fabric of every hue and pattern), handpicked antiques and a diverse — and striking — collection of art. Every room features tech-treats like free WiFi, flatscreen TVs and iPod docks. Bathrooms are stocked with goodies by British perfumer Miller Harris.
The hotel bar-cum-restaurant, The Crosby Bar, runs the entire width of the hotel’s ground floor, from Crosby Street to the entrance on Lafayette and makes no distinction between bar and restaurant (or restaurant and room-service menus), so you can eat or drink anywhere in the high-ceilinged space, at any hour of day. The menu offers luxe comfort food like lobster and corn chowder or fish and chips with minted pea purée. In the afternoon you can indulge in an English cream tea or one of New York’s favorite sweet treats — a cupcake. A pretty, leafy courtyard (available only to guests) adds alfresco pleasures for diners and drinkers come spring and summer.
There isn't a spa (heck, Bliss is a block away), but gym bunnies will be happy with the 24-hour fitness centre, and movie buffs can take advantage of the 99-seat private cinema.
79 Crosby Street, + 1 (212) 226 6400; crosbystreethotel.com