Friday, November 6, 2009

Where London meets New York

This afternoon I was invited for a tour of the new Crosby Street Hotel. It is the first US-based hotel for the UK group Firmdale Hotels, which includes some of the most eclectic and beautiful hotels in London. Situated on Crosby St just behind the madness and mayhem of Broadway but close enough to Prada to know you're in SoHo, the hotel is absolutely beautiful and a breath of fresh air from the "try hard" nature of so many of the boutique chains we know.
Designed by co-owner Kit Kemp, Crosby Street Hotel offers everything you know and love about downtown New York - cobblestone streets, skyline views over cast-iron buildings and water tanks - but with the quirky charm of London design - rich fabrics, patterns and colors, modern art mixed with distressed furniture and classic lamps, sumptuous multi-colored curtains framing floor to ceiling casement windows and crazy animal motifs in papier mâché, appliqué and wood.

The rates are not cheap given we are still in a recession here - US$495 entry level - but the size of the rooms is the clincher. New York hotels are notorious for rooms that are so small you have to jump across the bed to get to the bathroom. But in this case, even the smallest rooms have sitting areas and the bathrooms could fit a small family. And the best thing? The atmosphere is chic and arty and hip without the "too cool for school" attitude and model mindset. AND, for those green hipsters, it is one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hotels in New York. Marvelous.

Images: Firmdale Hotels

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