This relatively new venture, formerly the West Park Hotel, is housed in a 1920s brownstone building right on Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park. One of the more trendy of New York's hotels, it is neither pretentious nor unnecessarily exclusive like many of its competitors. With a refreshing modern take on 60s design, a great location and a celebrated restaurant, 6 Columbus offers an affordable entry into the world of designer boutique hotels. Recommended more for couples or friends than families.
The hotel's name pretty much gives its location away. Right on Columbus Circle, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, at the foot of Central Park, the hotel has a prime spot in a bustling part of town. Within walking distance you have Broadway, MOMA and the Rockefeller Center, not to mention great shopping, restaurants and bars. The vicinity is served by the metro with 59th Street-Columbus Circle on your doorstep. JFK is 20 miles away, La Guardia airport 11 and Newark 17.
6 Columbus is part of the Thompson Hotels group, which boast 5 hotels in the city (including 60 Thompson) as well as another four elsewhere in North America. The hotel's retro 1960s theme was the brainchild of New York interior designer Steven Sclaroff and is a real success, aiming to combine uptown bustle with neighbourhood chic. The hotel's restaurant, the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill has been named by Zagat as one of the top 50 restaurants in New York and is frequented by the likes of Madonna, The Roots and Clint Eastwood due to that rarest of assets in the city, discretion.
They say that good things come in small packages. Well the 6's lobby goes to show that better things come in even smaller packages. Although one of the smallest lobbies of any hotel we have visited it is masterfully conceived with two 12ft leather couches facing each other (delivered only the week before our visit), in between which are several solid wooden block tables which define the timeframe from which the rest of the hotel's décor is drawn. The triptych of grainy photographs above the seating area depict a fleet of jets used by the CIA and other US government bodies to transport undercover operatives on secret mission. They were taken secretly, from a distance of several miles, by Trevor Paglen and give an edgy, cloak and dagger feel to the space. The rest of the hotel's public spaces, such as the corridors, diverge from the norm and feature navy blue walls, sleek, space-age room numbering and custom carpet. The staff is young and voguish, the receptionist girls sporting sassy ensembles while the bellboys are kitted out in Rag & Bone. The hotel does not have either a gym or spa.
A total of 88 rooms make up the inventory of the 6 Columbus. The standard room, the POD, while not enormous, is meticulously appointed with teak walls, custom made Sferra linen, a well-stocked minibar with Dean and Deluca and Eli Zabar snacks, iPod docking station, flatscreen television and, as is every room, a Guy Bourdin print. Bathrobes, safe and an umbrella can be found in the closet (iron and ironing board on request) and there is extra storage space under the bed. The bathroom, whose dark blue rectangular tiles have been laid rebelliously in a vertical position rather than the more orthodox horizontal fashion, features a round mirror with an illuminated white light ring (perfect for slapping on make-up) as well as toiletries from the oldest apothecary in New York, C.O. Bigelow and soap from Gilchrist and Soames. For something more spacious opt for the King Deluxe (same as the POD but with desk) or a suite. The Junior Suite, which is more of a typical New York studio apartment, features the same amenities as the standard but with a balcony (those on the 10th floor have the largest), ebony hardwood floor and both a bathtub and shower in the bathroom. An extended stay may well merit a King Suite which boasts a salon with pull out queen bed, turtle shell coffee table and pony skin rug. The Thompson Penthouse and Columbus Loft represent the summit of the 6's accommodation, both arranged on two floors with unbeatable views of the city.
The Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, one of nine Blue Ribbon Outlets in New York, is the hotel's slick eatery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner against a modern Japanese backdrop. The menu is substantial and features sushi and sashimi from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as a sushi bar in the room at the back. Prices are extremely accessible, especially considering the quality of the product, which is appreciated by local chefs who gather here when not in their own kitchens. The hotel plans to open a roof-top bar later this year.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights May : average price