GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Stay: Hotel Hugo SoHo
The brand new Hotel Hugo SoHo peers over the Hudson from between two classic red brick buildings, a West Coast-style respite from the urban hustle designed by Beverly Hills-based architect Macello Pozzi. The hotel’s 17-foot wood-and-glass facade hides cleverly space-efficient accommodations; in the lobby, a blue marble floor leads to a reception desk overshadowed by a tall vertical garden; 122 guest rooms are distributed over its 20 stories, atop of which sits two top-floor suites and a rooftop bar offering magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building.
Most New York hotels face a problem: how do you build a warm and aesthetically pleasing room that’s the size of a Midwesterner’s walk-in closet? Hotel Hugo SoHo’s solution is to use a collage of custom-made Italian furniture, butter-smooth Egyptian cotton sheets (on the most comfortable bed we’ve experienced in a long time) and space-saving shelf-drawers that house the Keurig and glassware. Refueling on caffeine is simple: slide out the top shelf, start the machine and slide it back. A wall-mounted valet stand and perfectly sized vanity add at least a little floor space. We were impressed with the dark wood accents, unique wall art and beautifully modern desk chairs — as well as the minibar, which was stocked with Macallan 12, Patron Silver and an “intimacy kit”.
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After a few speciality drinks at Bar Hugo, the newly opened rooftop bar with stunning views, removable walls and wooden slat floors, guests can take the elevator down 20 stories to Il Principe. The offerings there are indulgent — traditional Italian meals like lasagna and ravioli — but the lobby-level restaurant’s decor is as functional as the rest of the building, with a mix of modern, urban and formal accents: the mood is set by a large posterior vertical garden, leather chairs and wooden wall slats.
When you stay in New York it’s half about the hotel and half about the neighborhood you find yourself in. The SoHo spot doesn’t disappoint. Hotel Hugo SoHo is within walking distance of Washington Square Park, and attractions as varied as the New York City Fire Museum and the Comedy Cellar (as seen in Louie) are just a short walk away, in addition to plenty of SoHo galleries and Greenwich Village theaters (The Public, New York Theater Workshop, and so on). The hotel’s namesake neighborhood is home to an abundance of eateries: Back Forty West, a farm-to-table restaurant situated on Crosby Street, a truncated stretch littered with bookstores and boutiques; Aquagrill, a seafood spot featuring both a wine bar and a raw oyster bar; The Dutch, a well-loved and sought-after New American hotspot (reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance) — which is just a short walk from Le Poisson Rouge, a (literally) underground “multimedia art cabaret”. Additionally, well-known gastropubs like the Spotted Pig are just a brief walk up Greenwich Street.
Perhaps the one downside of the Hotel Hugo’s location is that hailing a cab can be near impossible. But luckily it’s a short walk from the Spring Street subway stop with access to the A, C and E lines, which made our commutes to Brooklyn and elsewhere essentially painless. Overall, it’s a great place to call home for 48 hours of city living: comfortable rooms with smart design in an area that’s quiet and secluded, but just a stone’s throw away from a proper nightlife.