While the rest of the Meatpacking District falls apart thanks to the terminally unhip tourists from New Jersey and the hedge-funders with their square-toed loafers, Soho House New York remains a safe haven of shameless exclusivity. Once you’re through the doors, signed in at reception, and safely in the dark, leather-padded lifts heading upwards, all is well with the world.
Even the smallest rooms are bigger than you’ll find in most New York hotels, but if you upgrade to a Playhouse, you’ll be living the Elle Deco dream with French armoires, collages and stencils on the walls and immense, white, ornate, hand-carved beds. All the bigger rooms have 40” LCD Bravia TVs (they’re still a decent 26” in the Playpens).
Like many of the Soho House operations with bedrooms, it’d be easy enough to check in here and never leave. Beds are huge and the bathrooms are close to perfection, from the rainforest shower-heads to the full-sized Cowshed body products. These are rooms that beg for breakfast in bed, dressed in a big fluffy bathrobe.
As a hotel, it can be all things to all people: if you’re here on business, it’s a great place for meetings and to set up a laptop while ordering lattes and gluten-free toast throughout the day. If you’re here for fun or romance, it’s also intimate and sexy, and French martinis are always on call – this is a hotel that’s as designed for hedonism as it is handsome.
- Booking a room effectively gives you temporary membership of one of the most exclusive clubs in the city
- The poolside scene is the most incandescent in Manhattan, particularly since they re-jigged and tightened up membership
- The no-suits rule
- The well ventilated, self-contained indoor cigar/smoking room – for those who just can’t quit
- That white-hot pool scene can get too busy at weekends, and it’s not the biggest of pools
- No photography allowed outside of the bedrooms, so you can’t legitimately get your sun bed, celebrity-adjacent glamour loaded up on Facebook
Need to Know: Soho House New York
Number of rooms: 24
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: Yes. The Cowshed on the third floor has private eucalyptus steam rooms, treatment rooms and a relaxation space and offers private ‘Pretty Party’ hire for groups.
Dogs welcome: Small dogs welcome in the bedrooms only.
Eating and drinking: Relaxed, easy comfort food poolside and in the sixth floor restaurant (roast chicken and fingerling potato; lots of salads and burgers). Brunch at the weekends is particularly good, and the bar is open until 4am.
Location: The Meatpacking District (or MePa as some infuriatingly insist on calling it), is a double-edged sword. While it has the best shopping (Jeffrey is still amazing) and some great restaurants (Pastis is always reliable), the all-night partying can get wearing. The tranny hookers are long gone, but the elegant, atmospheric cobbles remain.
Getting there: It’s 19 miles to JFK, or from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes in a cab, depending on traffic. It’s five minutes’ walk from the West Village and a block from the 14th Street subway stop for the L train. Taxis are always plentiful.