The exterior of the Hudson is typically Starck (by name and nature), featuring a low-rise grey stone edifice wedged into the space left between two towers by the receding tower behind them. A band of green glass across the centre of the façade gives a small clue as to what lays inside, as do the eight small windows with their single shutters a little higher. The lobby is reached by ascending a fluorescent yellow escalator starting from a small entrance hall at street level. At the summit of the escalator one finds oneself in a green house-like hall, with a glass roof coming to a summit in the centre, covered in false ivory. From the ceiling hangs a chandelier, which, you'll notice if you look carefully, actually has no bulbs! The light apparently emanating from brilliant piece is in fact the reflection of the spot lights surrounding it. Running the entire length of the hall of the hand-carved wooden reception desk behind which are huge arched windows and tall leafy branches propped up against the bare brick wall. Dotted around are trade mark Starck seats, although not enough to avoid crowds or people milling around on busy check in/out days. Another of Starck's leitmotivs is to be found in the doorways off the lobby, namely the guardian angels which we also find at The Paramount. To the left of reception is the concierge desk while also on the same level is the Library Bar. This relaxed lounge bar features a smart polished hardwood floor as well as beautiful wooden paneling upon the walls giving the feel of an old reading room; a feeling heightened by the presence of a fireplace, rugs under cosy seating and of course the many books piled up on the shelves up in the gallery. You'll notice that the pattern of vertically placed books is disturbed now and again by rebellious, horizontally posed ones. These are the favourite titles of those who helped to create the space-a kind of lasting reminder of their creativity. To one side of the room is a meticulously carved pool table upholstered in purple cloth, above which hangs a large dome-shaped lamp, while on the other side is a chess table whose surface lifts up to reveal a backgammon board. Adorning the walls are a number of portraits of Beth, the hotel's pet cow, in each of which she sports a different hat by Coco Channel. If there weather allows, you should spend at least some time in the Private Park which recalls a scene straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Regular sized garden furniture is made to look miniscule by giant watering cans and plants pots while scattered around the paved area are wheelbarrows, vases and lanterns which are lit at night. Under a huge metal framed arch, dominated by a creeper, are tables kept warm in colder weather by heaters. The hotel has both a gym and limited spa services by Brownings. The fitness centre is well equipped with both cardio machines (individual screens) and weight apparatus and offers personal training sessions starting at $85. Also available are pilates and yoga sessions, as well as several types of massage. As is usual with any hotel involving Starck or Schrager, there is always something a little quirky around every corner. In this case, each floor, directly outside the elevator, you'll find a tall marble table (some with PCs free for guests' use) with silver stools and in front are vending machines behind cupboard doors. Not only is the hotel well maintained, but the staff is up to the challenge too. We saw one of the receptionists deal calmly with a very difficult guest during our visit. Hats off.