Situated in the modish SoHo district of Manhattan, this Thompson Hotels property has stylishness written all over it. 'Understated' is a word much bandied around in hotel circles, however it is one that goes some way to describing the elegance and cleanliness of the décor. Despite having opened back in 2001 it still pulls in the crowds whether that be for its unique Thai restaurant, voguish Thom Bar or A60, its members only rooftop bar (the first in New York). But it is above all a comfortable, homelike hotel which, like its sister properties, is suited more to couples and friends rather than families.
The hotel's immediate vicinity in the SoHo district of Manhattan (60 Thompson Street) is ultimately a very agreable one, although as a tourist, much of what you'll want to see, especially on a first visit, is further up toward midtown. Together with TriBeCa, it is the home of the well-heeled bohemian and their shops, restaurants and bars. The surrounding districts of the West Village and Lower Eastside are also recommended if you have time. But for that true Big Apple buzz you'll need to hop on the metro at either Canal Street or Spring Street stations. JFK airport is just over 19 miles away, La Guardia just over 10 miles and Newark 13.
60 Thompson is part of the Thompson Hotels group, which boast 5 hotels in the city (including 6 Columbus) as well as another four elsewhere in North America. The hotel's interior design is the work of local man Thomas O'Brien, owner of Aero Studios. Due to its location in an above all residential neighbourhood, it is favoured by the likes of Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas for its discretion.
Housed in a building dating from 1997 whose exterior features balconies stacked up the middle of the façade, the hotel underwent a renovation last year (2009). Slightly underwhelming, the entrance is a small space occupied by the concierge desk with the entrance to the restaurant on the left. Once you have left your bags with the porter you'll head upstairs to the real lobby which will incite such comments as "Ah, that's more like it." The idea behind this arrangement is to avoid turning the lobby into a baggage store and to keep the real lobby private, relaxed and devoid of any passersby simply walking in off the street. This oversized living room with plenty of seating, in the form of Chesterfield seating banks along the windows to the left and an array of other armchairs and couches, features Venetian plaster walls which are constantly being cared for such is the material's fragility. To the right just before the reception desk (at the far end of the lobby) is a delightful arrangement of sideboard, mirror and retro 60s telephone which could have well been positioned just inside the door of an apartment years ago. At the reception desk you'll find a laptop free for guests' use, although wifi is also available throughout the hotel. The (spotless) corridors play on tones of brown with tan carpet, chocolate walls and beautiful wooden bedroom doors somewhere in between. The hotel does not have a fitness centre or spa.
Spread across 12 floors, 60 Thompson has 97 rooms and suites. The standard room, the queen/king superior, offers ample space and is a decent size for the city. The décor is simple, stylish and slick and features the same Sferra linen as 6 Columbus, iPod docking station, flatscreen television, a well stocked minibar plus Dean and Deluca snacks, bathrobes, umbrella and safe. The next two categories, king deluxe and double deluxe, are fairly similar in terms of their amenities and décor aside from a hi-fi system and the presence of a sofa and the hotel's signature armchair. The king deluxe features hardwood floor (hence the presence of slippers) while the double deluxe has two queen beds. The bathrooms are fitted out in gorgeous chocolate brown marble and boast Kiehl's toiletries and Gilchrist and Soames soaps while the oversize shower has two heads.
The hotel offers two types of suite, the king and the Thompson. Both have very similar bedrooms, reduced in size in order to give way for the salons, but it is the latter's which wows with its superb tan furniture, two bulbous mirrors, animal skin rug and black velvet chandelier. The lounge also features a flatscreen television and there is a second bathroom just off the room with shower only (the main bathroom has both shower and bathtub). The pinnacle of 60 Thompson's accommodation offering comes in the form of the Thompson Loft, an airy, illuminous duplex with two bedrooms, salon, floor-to-ceiling windows and a private 200ft² deck with stunning views of the Hudson River and the West Side; truly remarkable.
Arguably the selling point of the hotel is its remarkable Thai restaurant, Kittichai. It is named after the restaurant's head chef Ian Chalermkittichai who has created not only a mouthwatering menu but a delicious context (together with David Rockwell and the restaurant owners) in which to feast upon his creations. Just next to the welcome desk is a marvelous fish tank enclosed in a wooden cage. Organised meticulously upon the shelved walls which wrap themselves round the bar's seating area are illuminated jars of flowers held in position by a gel whose ensemble is breathtaking. The short corridor between the bar and restaurant is marked by a sublime carved Thai narrow boat complete with tea candles and an old Thai poem about the country's flowers on the wall. The restaurant itself is a veritable haven of tranquility with as its centerpiece a rather sacred looking pool with floating candles and single flowers, resembling hovering butterflies, hanging down over it. Dishes include chocolate baby back ribs with Thai spices, baked Chilean sea bass marinated in salted yellow beans with morning glory and Hudson Valley duck breast, duck confit salad with tamarind date sauce.
For a menu of this quality and a setting as sumptuous, the prices are truly remarkable. Thom Bar is the place to be after 5pm, with guests and the local creative set rubbing shoulders to the backdrop of yet another masterpiece of interior design. The star of the show is the urban/street feel montage that takes up one entire wall of the bar against which are three alcoves of cosy seating. The rest of the room features a hotchpotch of different seating and table styles all on a slightly worn hardwood floor. Thursday and Sunday nights are DJ nights while Friday and Saturday have more regular bar atmosphere. The lobby just next to the bar acts as a spillover. During the summer time the sun deck and roof garden are open for drinks with their Balinese carvings and light boxes.
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