Tucked away in the heart of the “TRIangle BElow CAnal is an inauspicious luxury hotel. The entrance is not gaudy or overblown, but subtle, almost hidden, with a simple plaque noting “Smyth” (pronounced “Smith”). Walk through the door and you step into a world of hipsters. I could easily imagine Twiggy hanging out at the bar in all her mod glory; or Redford and Newman, circa 1969, sitting in the round cushy papa san chairs in the lobby sipping drinks and chatting up Steve McQueen with Ali McGraw on his knee. The hotel definitely fits right in to the trendy and artistic TriBeCa neighborhood. A Thompson hotel, Smyth is one of five located in Manhattan, each uniquely suited to its surroundings.
The doormen are all tall, thin pretty boys, identically dressed in crisp white shirts and dark skinny leg jeans, with the obligatory black cord hanging from the ear…the better to communicate with one another and advise of an imminent guest arrival. The front desk personnel are equally hip, but with a slight air of cool superiority. As if they know secrets and might possibly let you in on them . Unexpectedly, at the front desk, a touch of whimsy in keeping with the slightly avant-garde theme – shelves behind the desk filled with toys – Rock Em Sock Em figures and various other multicolored trinkets. Continuing to the elevators, vintage alarm clocks adorn the wall.
Definitely, get the corner Studio King. The floor to ceiling windows offer an unparalleled view of the streets. Directly across from my room were upscale apartments…sitting on the couch and watching the residents (who apparently have no concern about window shades!) was like being part of a living soap opera. In keeping with our neighbors, we slept with the drapes open and let the sounds and sights of the area lull us into a peaceful sleep in the ultra comfy king size bed. 400 count sheets further added to the slumber experience. The bathroom offered a walk in shower with separate tub and heat lamps built into the mirrored wall. The room was not overfurnished, but understated with a monochromatic scheme – cool whites, grays and blacks. The art on the wall offered touches of color with mosaic prints making up female faces. The décor offers a restful, peaceful feeling, nothing to over-stimulate your brain, especially helpful after an activity filled day in Manhattan.
The concierge was always able to help me with questions, be it subway schedules, dinner recommendations, or directions to The Magnolia Bakery in the West Village (another must do!) And they point you in the direction of quality, recommending places where you can get a feel for the real TriBeCa of locals, and not just the too crowded touristy “destination” places. Or, if would rather not travel out, the hotel offers a full bar and dining right on site.
Smyth Hotel, the first on my New York trip definitely set the bar high for expectations. If you are looking for a luxury hotel offering all the expected amenities but without the pretentious trappings of a New York “place” – make sure and check her out on your next visit!
Smyth Hotel – TriBeCa
85 W. Broadway
New York, New York 10007