Background Open since September, the Crosby Street hotel is the first property outside the UK for luxury boutique group Firmdale Hotels. The company has several properties in London, including ones in Soho, Haymarket, Covent Garden and Knightsbridge, and is a member group of Design Hotels. What’s it like? Like Firmdale’s other properties, Crosby Street makes use of quirky design, striking art and warm colours, with everything finished to a high spec. The New York hotel retains designer and owner Kit Kemp’s British aesthetic, from the dog sculptures covered in copies of the Beano comic in the lobby (canines are a recurring theme), to the pop art prints of the Queen in the restaurant. The centrepiece of the bright lobby is a huge hollow head made from letters of the alphabet. To the right as you go in is a guest-only drawing room, and to the left is the bar/restaurant, both of which open on to a courtyard. The hotel is a new-build and has 11 floors and 86 rooms. Where is it? On Crosby Street in Soho, well placed for doing business in the financial district to the south, and sightseeing in Midtown to the north. There is a subway station around the corner. Room facilities The 86 rooms and suites start from 31 sqm, big for New York, with varying colour schemes (mine had a mint and mocha theme). Floor-to-ceiling warehouse-style windows look on to the city or courtyard, with cushions placed on the wide sill for you to take in the scene, and a large mirror faces the window to reflect the view (one of many thoughtful touches). Common features include a mannequin and an oversized headboard, both upholstered in accordance with the colour scheme. All rooms come with free wired and wifi internet, a 32-inch flatscreen TV, a Bose iPod dock, a Blu-ray player, 24-hour room service, free mineral water, a laptop safe, plush robes and a minibar (water US$4, beer US$8). My tenth-floor Deluxe room had a great city view, a large comfortable bed, two armchairs with a coffee table, and a heavy dark-wood desk with US plug sockets above and below, along with a computer modem/port. Chocolates and a lavender pillow spray were placed in the room at turn-down. The granite bathroom had twin sinks, a large walk-in shower (most suites also have a bath) and custom-made Miller Harris toiletries. My only gripe was that the bathroom doors opened outward then swung shut behind you, which could be a bit perilous. From the doorman to the concierge, service was superb. Restaurants and Bars The bar/restaurant is open 7am-1am (from 8am on Sundays) and is a colourful space with candy-striped sofas and a relaxed vibe. At night it transforms into a low-lit, buzzy spot with funky music. A continental buffet or cooked-to-order breakfast is served here, with lunch, high tea and dinner also available (last orders at 10.30pm). Starters cost US$11-19, and mains US$14-32. The slow-roasted beets with Camembert, and the sheep’s milk cheese panini with roasted vegetables (both US$14) are recommended. Business and Meeting Facilities The basement has three meeting rooms and a pre-function area, as well as a 99-seat screening room with deep purple walls and orange leather seats. The meeting rooms have no daylight but are stylishly designed. They hold from 18 people boardroom-style to 80 for a reception, and two can be joined together to accommodate 110 people. Leisure facilities There is a good-sized 24-hour fitness centre with Technogym equipment and free weights two floors below ground. There is no spa but in-room treatments can be arranged. Verdict A beautifully designed hotel with spacious rooms and a level of service you don’t always get in New York – it’s not cheap though. Michelle Mannion
- How many rooms? There are 86 rooms, including 14 suites. They are a mixture of Superior, Luxury and Deluxe rooms, along with Junior, Meadow, one- and two-bedroom and Crosby suites.
- Room highlights The fantastic city view, the pretty colour scheme and the Bose iPod dock.
- Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from US$574 for a Superior room.
- Contact Crosby Street hotel, 79 Crosby Street; tel +1 212 226 6400; crosbystreethotel.com