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Hotel Duane Street Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

New York is crammed full of mid-range, good value boutique hotels and the trend doesn't look like slowing down any time soon. So what makes Duane Street so different we hear you ask? Well, several things. First, is its perfect Downtown location. Second, its sleek décor that does not try too hard. Third, the personable and enthusiastic staff. And fourth, its innovative and exciting little restaurant and its owner. While it might lack some of the facilities that larger hotels boast, it makes up for this with its character and fine balance between trendy and function. We couldn't recommend this hotel more highly for any type of traveller, no matter how many times you've been to New York.

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  • Gastronomy
  • Charm
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    Location 5.12 /10

    The hotel is situated on the corner of Duane and Church Streets in the Tribeca neighbourhood to the north of the CanDo district. It's pretty much equidistant from SoHo, the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall and the FiDi district and Wall Street. If you're into your films then this would make an excellent base during Robert De Niro's famous Tribeca Film Festival in April/May. The area around the hotel is filled with trendy bars, restaurants and boutiques while Chinatown and Little Italy are both within walking distance too. There are several metro stations close by to the hotel which will get you to Midtown and Uptown as well as over to Brooklyn. JFK is 20 miles away, La Guardia 11 miles and Newark 13.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    Although some of the 45 rooms at the Duane Street are on the small side, many have high ceilings and all have floor-to-ceiling windows and art and photography from local gallery Pelavin. They are all functional, bright and well appointed. Every room has hardwood flooring, a queen or king bed on a wooden frame with a white leather headboard, cordless telephone, clock radio and flatscreen television. In the closets you'll find a safe, umbrellas, bathrobes and iron and ironing board. The rooms also have desks on which you'll find a selection of wine and snacks while the minibar is located in a separate cabinet. The slate and marble bathrooms all have monsoon showers, aside from the superior doubles which boast bathtubs. You'll find 'we live like this' toiletries, a make-up mirror, hairdryer and scales in the bathroom too but watch out for the main mirror's strip lighting which can get extremely hot! Some of the larger rooms have extra furniture in the form of armchairs and pouffes as well as funky round rugs and a collection of books. Those of you who are light sleepers will be pleased to know that despite being on a fairly busy road, you won't hear a thing during the night as the double glazing is particularly effective.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The five-storey hotel stands at the corner of the street it's named after and in contrast to its neighbour in that it has been constructed in a light coloured brick and has large, rectangular picture windows. It's quite a compact little establishment so there is not an enormous amount of public space. The main area is the narrow lobby which you will see in front of you as soon as you walk in through the tall glass double doors. Whatever time of day you stride in, you'll be greeted with a smile and refreshing drink and checked in hassle free. It's true to say that if several people are checking in at the same time it could get quite cramped however you can always wait for a few moments the other side of the lobby divide in the bar (see 'Food and Drink') or tuck into the little treats left opposite the reception desk prepared throughout the day by the restaurant's chef.

    The hotel does not have an on-site wellness of fitness facility but it does offer complimentary passes to Tribeca Fitness near to the hotel which you can get hold of every day of your stay should you so wish. Other nice touches are the availability of iPads (to be kept on the hotel premises) and wifi throughout the hotel, both of which are free-of-charge. The general upkeep of the property is excellent and it is clean, quiet and private. We found the staff to be most courteous and friendly, often taking the time to chat about this that and the other.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    Arguably the biggest gun in Duane Street's arsenal is it restaurant and bar Mehtaphor. Named after its owner, Jehangir Mehta, it offers a titillating menu inspired by Ayurvedic principles offering a range of dishes to be shared, making the whole experience even more enjoyable. Although Mumbai-born Jehangir has been in this game for around 15 years, after having trained and worked at some of the top spots in New York, including Jean Georges' Mercer Kitchen, he shot to fame when finishing as runner-up in the 2009 series of the Next Iron Chef on US television. He also owns the tiny but ever-popular Graffiti restaurant in the East Village.

    For a couple dining out at Mehtaphor, four dishes should suffice however we pigged out and got through six, each offering throwing us into a deeper and deeper frenzy. Although we enjoyed it all, we particularly recommend the truffle goats cheese and crab pizza, the graffiti burgers with garlic fries and chipotle mayo and the pork dumplings. For dessert you must have a go at the sundae and/or the hazelnut soufflé with vanilla rum and raisin ice cream. And as if the food itself wasn't enough to wax lyrical about, serving it up is a team of young, good-looking, well turned out and extremely well-drilled waiters and waitresses who give an explanation of each dish and are ready to make recommendations (for both food and wine) and comprehensively answer any questions you may have. You'll often catch Jehangir himself walking around the intimate restaurant ? take the opportunity to chat with him as he is an absolute delight. A vegetarian menu is available at dinner.

    We mustn't forget thought that Mehtaphor also serves a mean cooked breakfast as well as a continental option and has a bar attached to the restaurant which serves cocktails, a few wines and soft drinks. Make sure you reserve at weekends as it gets booked up in advance.

    To know

    The hotel opened back in 2007 but looks very good on it not showing much wear and tear at all. The site that the hotel now occupies used to be a parking lot but was pulled down to make way for Duane Street. A little accommodation tip: the rooms on the second floor are the only ones which don't have high ceilings so if this bothers make this known upon making your reservation.

    Equipment

    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning

    advantage

    • Great Downtown location
    • Staff
    • Restaurant
    • Décor/design

    disadvantages

    • Distance from traditional tourist attractions
    • No on-site wellness/fitness facilities

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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