I knew I was going to like The Smyth Tribeca on Manhattan from the moment my cab pulled up to the curb. Smiling, helpful bellboys, for whom nothing was too much trouble (in direct contrast to being generally ignored at the over-rated midtown tourist trap I had stayed in the night before), and then a wall full of KidRobots behind the reception desk. I do like a hotel with a sense of humour.
In the four years I was based out of New York, I lived in the East Village, the West Village, SoHo, and the bottom bit of Chelsea, but never in Tribeca, although I had a hankering after one of those gorgeous open plan Tribeca lofts that you see in the movies where assistants & their room mates live in some kind of housing fantasy-land. (In reality they’d be huddling around a cast iron radiator in a roach-ridden 6th floor walk up in Alphabet City or the far reaches of Williamsburg).
When I was on big style magazine, I worked down by Battery Park in the World Financial Center, so I biked through there almost daily, and had the odd breakfast meeting at The Greenwich, but it remained the one area of Manhattan that I never got to know well.
So I was thrilled when my lovely friends at Mr & Mrs Smith hotels (whom I know well from my days at Conde Nast Traveller) arranged for me to stay a night at the Smyth Tribeca. I do love Thompson Hotels: from 60Thompson, one of the first boutique hotels I visited in New York, to the Hollywood Roosevelt, they just intrinsically get how a boutique hotel should operate. (No design touches for the sake of it, immaculate but always cheery service, no price gouging on extras, fabulous, sceney-but-not-full-of-wankers restaurants, and always a great bar.)
Of all the hotels I stayed in last year, I think the Smyth Tribeca was one of my favourites. It wasn’t just the staff, who were hands down the best of any of those hotels, but my really comfortable room which was exceptionally well thought out, and the feeling that I was in a hotel that was part of real New York, but just separate enough from the madding crowd to feel like an escape when I got back at the end of the day.
Granted, if your New York plans are based around Central Park, the Rockefeller Center & the UES museums, there are more convenient hotels to stay in (although there is a subway bang outside the front door), but if you are like me, and you spend most of your time below 14th street, I can’t think of a better place in which to base yourself. It’s also stunningly convenient if you are heading across to Brooklyn (the afore-mentioned subway stop is only a few stops from some of Brooklyn’s most interesting parts), intending to explore Wall Street, visit the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry, pay your respects at Ground Zero, shop in SoHo or explore Tribeca and its really excellent plethora of generally tourist-free great bars & restaurants. I can guarantee that if you stay at the Smyth Tribeca you really will feel like a local, not a tourist.
AND — the Smyth Tribeca has pillow chocolates. I mean really. What’s not to like?!
And here’s the video tour of my room. (If you are reading this post in my daily email, you’ll need to click through to the blog to watch it:)
LLG was a guest of The Smyth Tribeca, organised by Mr & Mrs Smith — THE chic hotel experts — but if she didn’t like it, she’d say so…