The West Village & Soho Guide
Every individual neighborhood in NYC has its charm, but there’s arguably a super-cluster of neighborhoods below 14th street that stretches from the west side into the center of the Manhattan, roughly encompassing: Meatpacking, West Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Nolita, and Little Italy. Old school West Village is the kind of neighborhood, despite its small size, that you want to get lost wandering around all day, admiring its quintessentially compact, ivy-clad apartment buildings, with plenty of cafe- and wine bar-pit stops along the way. Attached to the northwest corner of the West Village, the Meatpacking District is home to the end of the Highline and the new Whitney, and is still a buzz-y night-life destination for a younger set. Heading east, there’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s territory, and the oft-photographed Washington Square Park. South of Houston Street can admittedly get a little touristy, but you’ll still find some of the best shopping in Soho; Little Italy, decorated in strings of lights, is unapologetically festive; and tiny Nolita complements them both. Below, some of the essential places to see and things to do in this super-cluster area of NYC.
Crosby Street Hotel79 Crosby St., Soho | 212.226.6400
This exuberant Firmdale Hotels offering is sort of the perfect mix of over-the-top design flourishes and straight-up excellent hospitality, which makes it an instant hit for kids. Dotted with dog statues and bright colors, the rooms are fun, rather than stuffy, and there are lots of considerations for little ones: Adjoining rooms, cots, pint-sized bathrobes, a kid’s menu (and 24-hour room service), plus babysitting service. There's also an on-site screening room.
The James27 Grand St., Soho | 212.465.2000
The rooms at this Soho hotel are decorated minimally and elegantly. People flock here for the splashy features like a glass elevator on the side of the building, the scene-y rooftop pool, and great views of Manhattan from the gym, the sky bar, and many of the rooms.
The Jane113 Jane St., West Village | 212.924.6700
Designed to look like an old-fashioned luxury European hotel, this is a great (and affordable) place to stay. The rooms, like the Bunk Bed Cabins, are small, but they have everything you need (TV, Wifi, a DVD player, an iPod)—minus a huge price tag. Don’t expect a quiet stay: The lounge gets plenty of foot traffic when the bar opens, though you can always seek refuge at Café Gitane, the hotel’s popular restaurant.
The Mercer Hotel147 Mercer St., Soho | 212.966.6060
André Balazs hotels are known for their practical, yet elegant spin on comfort: Homey amenities include a library of books and movies, while the rooms are modern and simple, with special attention given to good bedding and spacious bathrooms. The Mercer Kitchen is a great plus—it's one of the best restaurants in the area, and a great spot for lunch while shopping.
The Marlton5 W. 8th St., Greenwich Village | 212.321.0100
We almost don’t want to put any more of a spotlight on this hotel, as its lobby lounge is one of our favorite places to get work done outside the office: It’s hardly ever crowded, and there are always tables and couches available—some near a log fire—for meetings, lunches (we’re partial to the smoked trout salad), and laptop time. Located right near Washington Square Park, The Marlton’s dark, artful interiors, elegantly outfitted rooms, and snappy Margaux restaurant, bar and lounge area, makes it a pretty great spot.
The Standard Highline848 Washington St., Meatpacking District | 212.645.4646
Between its penthouse bar, the Boom Boom Room, its dance club, Le Bain, The Standard Grill, and the Biergarten, it seems that this is where everyone wants to see and be seen on any given night in New York. The ultra modern interiors are worth checking out, as is the architecture: The building straddles the High Line and boasts incredible views of the Hudson.