Hotel Soho House Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
35 9th Avenue, New York 10014 New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Soho House couldn't be anywhere else in New York but the Meatpacking District?it just wouldn't work. One of two American members of the Soho House family, this is above all, just like its relatives, a private members club with rooms. It therefore remains exclusive in a way that very few cities can achieve which arguably detracts from hotel element of the Soho House experience. That said, it offers a glimpse into this selective world without the commitment of paying a membership fee. The rooms are some of the most outlandish in the city and may not be to everybody's taste, but we loved them for their sheer audacity and first class amenities. Having access to the private members club is a real bonus as is the roof top pool and the hotel's sought after location. Couples, families and friends alike will enjoy Soho House and its facilities (at a price) as long as they remember that this is principally a private members club which happens to have a few rooms.

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    • Hotel Soho House

      Soho House   -   © Patrice HAUSER / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Soho House

      Soho House   -   © Patrice HAUSER / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    • Location

      4.33 /10
    • Accommodation

      9.45 /10
    • Overview

      8.95 /10
    • Food and drink

      9.20 /10
    • To know

    • Soho House is situated on 9th Avenue, between 13th and 14th Streets in the once to be avoided but now trendy Meatpacking District. While the city's main attractions are some way off, the area is perfect for more independent restaurants, cafés and bars as well as alternative shopping and mixing with thirty-somethings working in the arts. The recently opened Highline is perhaps the major highlight of the area, with Chelsea Market and Chelsea Piers also very much worth a poke around. To get up north towards the star turns of the city you can take the metro at either 8th Avenue-14th Street or 14th Street. JFK is 19 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 14.

    • The 24 rooms at Soho House are subdivided into the following four categories (in ascending size order): Playpen, Playroom, Playhouse and Playground. The brickwork and beams of the original building have been left exposed in the rooms as a homage to its history and to add an extra dimension to the design. The queen bed is dressed in Egyptian cotton linen while red lamp shades together with the walnut floor and red brick give a warm feeling to the room. Against one wall is a bright red desk and next to this is a corner sofa upholstered in a banana leaf print fabric. There is of course a flatscreen television in the room as well as a DVD player. But the highlight of the room is the sideboard (found in all rooms) which contains the well-stocked minibar and snacks as well as a whole host of extras that include sunglasses, disposable camera, bracelet, perfume, adapter, travel candles, information and guides, the dustbin, press, safe and one 'play' draw with cords, lubricant and a copy of the Karma Sutra. The Boffi-fitted bathroom is smartly tiled brick-like in brown-grey and features a walk in shower and a range of funky Cowshed toiletries in full size bottles. In all, a very fun room indeed. The Playroom is another 100ft² larger at 425ft² and more playful yet with a velvet turquoise bed frame, Paul Smith-esque rug, a low wooden coffee table with a couple of arm chairs and best of all a squared moulded soaking tub in the bedroom itself. Behind a frosted glass panel next to the wash basin in the room is the walk in shower with same full range of Cowshed products. The Playhouse, which is double the square footage of the Playpen, is a large open plan studio-like room with a living space, but with an electrically operated curtain which can be used to separate them. The seating here includes a rusty orange corner couch and a superb design leather armchair with matching foot rest, beneath all of which is a brown rug with white motif. The king bed is made by La Maison, the Shoreditch-based interiors company, as is the wardrobe standing in the corner of the room, while the desk beneath the window has a designer's lamp which also features on the bedside tables. Extra touches in this room include the alarm clock, chandelier, fan, hand-painted wallpaper and excellent lamp which swoops over from behind the sofa and ends up hovering over the coffee table. The Playhouse too has a bathtub in the room itself, this time though it is egg-shaped and has a huge round mirror just above it. The bathroom boasts a steam shower with bench and pipe-like shower, slippers, two monachrobe.com bathrobes and a makeup mirror which folds out in an accordion-like fashion. The hotel's biggest room, at 950ft², is the Playground and has all the above features plus a dressing table, a round marble table and chairs and a sofa bed for guests. The four poster bed is draped in peach fabric and a flatscreen television hangs from the ceiling in front of it. The bathroom has a double moulded vanity and steam shower.
    • It is perhaps precisely because this is a private members club that there is very little evidence from the outside of the modern luxury that awaits inside. Sitting on the corner of 9th Avenue and 13th Street, the building is a sand coloured cube with various outlets unrelated to the hotel at its base. The lobby is a long, narrow affair with the reception immediately to your right as climb a few steps. When we arrived there were three chirpy, down to earth, attractive young girls at the desk with whom we chatted for a long while before being shown around by one of them (who was English). Again, the lack of space and few seats is due to the fact that this is essentially the entrance to the club whose reception desk is shared by hotel guests. All this though is very much secondary to the hotel's facilities. On the third floor is Cowshed, the hotel's spa, who equally supply all the room's toiletries. Complete with eucalyptus steam rooms and chill out room, the centre offers a full range of treatments for body, face, hands and feet, as well as waxing and personal training sessions. The products used are rich in pure essential oils, suitable for vegetarians and are not tested on animals. You can purchase products either in the spa or by taking them from your room. The fourth floor is home to the screening room which shows new releases in an intimate setting and which has a top of the range projection room compatible with every kind of format. Weekend afternoons are given over to children's films and the kids club. Both on this floor and the floor above are room available to hire for private functions while the real core of Soho House is to be found on the sixth floor the other side of the Club Reception. The Drawing Room is the place to retire for calm and contemplation to read or to work on one of the Apple PCs or with your own laptop (there is wifi throughout the hotel). There's plenty of comfortable designer seating in which to slump and read the paper or chat over a drink or light meal. Next door is the games room where you'll find a pool table, babyfoot and card and board games. The rest of the space is given over to the bar and restaurant (see 'Food and Drink'). The Rooftop Pool offers magnificent views of the West Village and the Hudson River and during the summer all three meals can be taken up here on one of two large tables on a first come first served basis (again, see 'Food and Drink'). Given the fact that most people pay a large amount of money to be able to spend time at Soho House, it is no surprise that great care is taken to keep the place in order and that the public areas are stylishly appointed (carpet in the middle of the parquet floored corridors, Chesterfield cushioning inside the lifts). We found the staff to be very pleasant and unpretentious while our brief encounter with the general manager (a cool, young Frenchman) was as informal as anywhere we visited.
    • The restaurant and bar are located on the sixth floor in the Club. The space is a rustic one, with an untreated wooden floor, large windows bringing in floods of light and tables and chairs of different colours, shapes and sizes. The bar itself is decked out in turquoise with velvet Chesterfield armchairs across from their leather couch cousins and green designer stools around a bar with a glass cabinet at its centre display a great number of bottles. As far as possible, chef Neil Ferguson uses locally grown East Coast produce and changes the menu regularly. There are several menus to choose from depending on where you are in the hotel. The house menu, available in the drawing room and bar area has a selection of shared plates (dips, fritters and wings) as well as soups, salads, sandwiches and more sturdy fare like mac and cheese, grilled salmon and NY strip steak. The restaurant menu, available in the main restaurant only, features appetizers including Cornish cross chicken terrine and gravlax, which can be followed by Long Island fluke, mokum carrots, parsley and Yukon gold mash or sage gnocchi, parmesan and kabocha squash. The lunch and dinner menus are identical and offer dishes such as sea scallops, parsnip cream and maple sherry vinaigrette and honey soused mackerel with marinated vegetables as starters. Mains include chicken paillard with market vegetable salad and Berkshire pork chop, cavalo nero and pear puree. There is a large choice of cheese for dessert as well as options for a sweeter tooth including sticky toffee pudding and pear and quince crisp with a walnut financier. The wine list is well-informed and favours US and French drops. Breakfast is also available in the club and is the regular continental and hot dishes. Up on the roof around the pool you can also enjoy food all day with sharing platters available in addition to salads, sandwiches and grilled meat and fish. The rooftop and restaurant each propose their own brunch menu.
    • Soho House New York is part of the Soho House group which started in London and now has seven branches in the UK and US with a German member opening in May 2010 in Berlin. Some of the properties are pure private members clubs, while others also have hotel rooms. Each one has its own restaurant while several have a Cowshed Spa and others a private cinema. This particular branch, which opened its doors in 2003, is housed in a former meatpacking plant. Hotel guests automatically become temporary members of the club for the duration of their stay and have full access to all facilities just as a fully fledged due-paying member would.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      spa, beauty salon, massage, wellness, hammam, Turkish bath, keep fit

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness, mountain bike

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Decoration
    • Cowshed spa
    • Roof-top pool
    • Screening room
    • In-room amenities
    • Private members club

    disadvantages

    • Exclusivity can be off-putting
    • Members club is the priority

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