The lowdown: The James New York, a towering organic-inspired hotel, turns heads in one of Manhattan’s most stylish neighbourhoods and it’s not just because it’s the tallest building on the block. Although the attractions of Soho and Tribeca beckon, the hotel boasts distinctive facilities including a lush, seasonal urban garden, a curated corridor art collection and a stunning rooftop pool deck and bar, complete with clear 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline.
The artwork throughout the hotel, by prominent and up-and-coming local artists, is selected by an in house curator and comes complete with museum-style notes, which makes waiting for the elevator a lot less tedious. The artwork also reflects the culturally rich neighbourhood the hotel has the good fortune to reside in. The James is also environmentally thoughtful with reclaimed wood floorings throughout and all-nature fibre rugs.
The rooms: Boasting plenty of natural light and space, the aesthetic at The James New York is distinctly modern, from the third-floor Sky lobby to the 114 guest rooms, all of which feature reclaimed wood flooring, eco-friendly bedding, well-spanning windows and spacious guest bathrooms complete with huge standing showers and under floor heating. The bathrooms are separated from the living area by a floor-to-ceiling glass wall protected by a remote-controlled privacy screen. The screen, commissioned by Dutch artist Nienke Sybrandy, blends art and function and provides an additional piece of moveable, nature-inspired artwork to the décor.
In keeping with the hotel’s interest in environmental sustainability and responsibility, the hotel has partnered with Harmonic by Intelligent Nutrients, a certified organic and natural beauty line to provide all in-room amenities. Each guest room also includes reading lights embedded in the headboards, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, Sony alarm clocks with iPod docking stations and free Wi-Fi.
Dining: Blending the cool, industrial simplicity of an airy loft with the rustic warmth of a country barn, enjoy an aperitif before dinner in the Treehouse Bar, serving an array of pizzas, flatbreads, spreads and pâtés as well as homemade sweet and savoury “pop tarts,” courtesy of a "toast bar.”
For gourmet dining, look no further than the hotel’s own restaurant, run by celebrity chef David Burke. The restaurant focuses on wholesome, unique and modern American food, locally sourced and presented in the whimsical style that is Burke’s trademark. Woven-top chairs, oversize gingham napkins and a tilted wooden ceiling lend the David Burke Kitchen a barn-meets-loft feel. The menu echoes the same blend of refinement and rusticity, with dishes such as duck meatballs, scallops and pork belly, and bison tartar.
The ultimate praise is often saved for the hotel's stunning rooftop lounge, the Jimmy, which serves strongly crafted cocktails, and where even the ladies' loo has great views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
What to do: The James features a fully equipped fitness centre, which is open to guests twenty-four hours a day and looks out over stunning clear views of Manhattan.
Guests can also get their physical fitness in by exploring the hotel’s SoHo neighborhood, a feat made easier via the free use of iPads loaded with customised local shopping and dining guides. And getting around in style, while remaining environmentally conscious, is easy as a guest of The James, with complimentary bicycles. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary car service for travel within Manhattan’s downtown area.
The hotel’s commitment to guests also extends to four-legged companions. The pet-friendly hotel is in cahoots with SoHo pet boutique Pup Culture to ensure visiting animals are pampered with treats, beds and bowls. The chef has even fashioned menus for foodie felines and picky pups. Dog walkers are also available.
The details: The James New York, 27 Grand Street, New York, 10013, +1 212 465 2000, www.jameshotels.com. Rates from $379 per night.
By Megan McCluskie