Zorba continues to remind me that he found us the coolest place in New York to stay, Soho House.
When we arrived at Soho House at 9.30pm after a long flight from Milano, we didn’t know much about it. All we knew was that it was a Mr & Mrs Smith recommended hotel located in the cool Meat Packing District. Rather than venturing out jet lagged, we just decided to go to the roof top bar for a drink, on the recommendation of the concierge, Jamie.
Stepping out of the lift, I felt completely underdressed in my MacPac trousers and polo shirt – this place was like a scene out of Sex and the City. In fact, we found out later that Sex and the City had filmed an episode here.
Let me paint you a picture – beautiful young people dressed on-trend in the latest designer garments, impeccably groomed and perfectly poised. The decor was a cross between Hampton’s beach and French chic with big white and blue cushions everywhere. There were views of Manhattan’s skyline beyond, and a pool with perfectly sculpted bodies swimming in it – mind you, it was almost 10pm, but that didn’t seem to matter.
Right there and then I wished I had made the effort to do more than a swipe of lipstick. Oh whatever. After a quick look around, we sat at the bar and had a beer, not talking to each other at all as we oogled the activity around us.
Soho House is a members only club and hotel. It first started in London as a result of West End theatre actors and crew not having anywhere open to go for a drink after their shows. As such, membership is restricted to those in the arts / media / creative industries. There is a longer list of those waiting for membership, than members themselves. The annual fee is US$3,000 and for that, you have access to the coolest roof top bar in town, complete with pool, the club room, restaurant, a cinema, a day spa supplied with gorgeous Cow Shed products, and there’s a gym / fitness centre around the corner.
Our room, whilst classed as ‘small’, was amazing. The bed was huge, soft, and made up with the finest linen. The bathroom was stocked with five different Cow Shed shower gels and a fantastic array of complementary products that I would actually use. The decor was awesome – big red velvet arm chair, stressed / recycled wood panelling, antique phone, and brass bedside lamps.
As an added bonus of booking through Mr & Mrs Smith, we had a butler who made us a cocktail in our room while we got ready to go out. We didn’t know that he only does this between certain hours – and we were out during our first two nights. We did enjoy a cocktail in our room on our last night though, which was pretty cool.
Other things worth mentioning:
- Awesome mini bar with 375ml bottles of spirits (not mini one-serves)
- Nespresso machine and free nespresso pods – yay!
- Chocolate chip cookies each day
- small bottle of water each day
- Free New York Times delivered every morning
- Digital radio / alarm clock
- Turn down service
- Use of thongs (flip flops) for pool, and fluffy robes
The Club has rules:
- No cameras
- No mobile phones
- No corporate suits
- Smart dress at all times
The no mobile rule I really liked – people were actually talking to each other in the club bar. The no camera rule meant that I had to ask permission from Soho House to use their photos, which was granted.
Because the hotel and club rooms were so awesome, we didn’t feel the need to have to go out at night. Why would we when we were staying in the coolest place in NYC?
On our second night, we got dressed up in our new clothes that we had bought after a marathon day shopping, and sat at the club room bar and chatted to a very friendly Irish bar tender who has worked there for years. When quizzed about Soho House, he was very diplomatic, but putting two and two together, what he didn’t say was that they get a lot of wankers in there. As you would expect with an arts industry members only club.
We had a light dinner at the bar – delicious avocado hummus dip with fresh vegetables (craving veggies – have not been eating enough of them), and croquettes. Simple, delicious, and not expensive.
The opening match of the World Cup was on during our last day – so we watched it in the roof top bar and saved ourselves the hassle of having to get into one of the packed pubs showing the game. We had table service and free caipirinha cocktails – happy days!
It was a truly awesome hotel and it was hard to leave.
Perhaps if we’d known the nightmare we would endure after leaving Soho House, perhaps we wouldn’t have left! Read about our Shattered World Cup Dream here.
Soho House New York
29-35 9th Avenue, NYC (Meat Packing District, between 13th and 14th)
Book through Mr & Mrs Smith for added bonuses such as ‘one while changing’ butler cocktail service
Three nights cost A$1,450 (but everywhere in NYC is expensive. Even the 3-star hotels are expensive)
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