My recent stay at The Hudson Hotel in Manhattan was pretty good I have to say. The hotel is über cool in a way that you can barely even find it. The front entrance looks like a square opening cut into a giant slab of concrete.
Once inside though, visitors are greeted by an awesome lobby with an impressively high ivy covered brick wall with giant arched windows looking out onto the courtyard bar.
The common areas of the hotel are quite impressive. The lounge in the lobby feels like an imitation Roman bath meets 70's disco club. The crowd is an eclectic blend of tastes and people of all sorts from douchebag to typical american tourist dance the night away on the backlit floors.
While I've enjoyed my stays here I’d have to say that I would prefer to be staying in The Lower East Side or Greenwich Village. The area around Central Park/58th is very tourist and shopping focused and I much prefer the vibe in Lower Manhattan where there are lots of smaller eateries and bars. There isn't too much around The Hudson for late night eats & drinks. I've also found check-in times to be a bit slow the few times I've stayed here.
Also, The Hudson is so trendy that at night you can barely find your way around because the hallways and lobby are so dark. Very sexy, but be careful not to smack into a wall or another person. That is not so sexy.
The rooms themselves are fairly small even by New York standards. I stayed in a double one night and a queen the next, and both were pretty tiny. Typical New York fare, and as long as you don't plan on spending loads of time in your room you should be alright. The Phillipe Starck designed decor is cool, but overall feels a bit cheap for some reason. I think they sunk most of the money into the cool lobby and common areas and not really into the rooms. Food in the restaurant is quite good and not overly expensive ($20-$35 entrees). I do enjoy the library bar off the lobby and they actually serve decent wine in The Hudson Bar — which is part lounge, part dance floor. In the Summer months the 15th floor Sky Terrace patio has been a nice place to hang out as well as The Private Park courtyard.
I have stayed at this hotel several times and overall it is enjoyable, but I find that it is a bit far away from the things that I really like to do in Manhattan. For a first time New York trip, for the avid shopper, or if you're looking to party close to your bed this can be a great spot. One good feature is close proximity to the Columbus Circle subway station. From here you're about 20-25 minutes from Lower Manhattan (West Greenwich Village, SoHo, Lower East Side). It's also reasonable walking distance to 5th Avenue shopping, Madison Avenue, Times Square, and Manhattan Central Park. At times The Hudson can be quite expensive ($329-$399USD) at the lower end of the scale, but depending on the season and what's going on in the city at the time you may be able to get a decent rate here. The building used to be a YMCA so there are plenty of rooms to fill. I have stayed here for as low as about $165USD per night in the Spring.
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.