Last week, TPG Managing Editor Eric Rosen flew out to New York (hey, even my employees need their miles!) to meet with me while I was in town between trips and stayed at the Soho House New York. Soho House is a private club originally founded in London but with locations in other cities such as Berlin – where I stayed over the summer – Los Angeles and Miami, among others. Nonmembers like Eric can also stay here, just as long as they agree to abide by the “house rules.” Here’s his review.
In addition to a swanky bar and restaurant, private meeting rooms, a small spa and a rooftop pool and restaurant, Soho House New York offers 24 rooms that come in Small, Medium or Large categories. I happened to be in New York the week of the UN meeting, so rooms were scarce. However, Brian was able to book a Small room for me the rate of $350 per night, which included his member 25% discount, otherwise the same room would have cost about $470. Any other hotel that would have given points would have been at least $100 more expensive per night, so it didn’t make sense to pay a lot more to stay in a less nice hotel and I at least got 2.14x points per dollar for paying for my stay on my Sapphire Preferred.
Here are the house rules, which were included along with my confirmation email:
Hotel residents (if not members) are only allowed to invite one guest into the club at any given time – please provide guest names in advance. Cameras are not permitted to be used in the club. Mobile phones are allowed in certain areas of the club only at specific times – if you are unsure where and when, please check with Reception. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas. Finally, we foster a non-corporate atmosphere. To preserve this casual environment, hotel residents should refrain from wearing corporate attire and are also responsible for ensuring their guests abide by this rule.
Eating & Drinking
As a guest of the hotel, you will have full access to our private members’ club, restaurant and bar located on the Sixth Floor of the building. The Restaurant and Drawing Room are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am-1am Monday to Saturday and from 7am-12am on Sunday, serving an all day menu throughout the day and an a la carte menu in the evening. The Bar is open for drinks and food daily from 11am offering an all day dining menu and is located next to the Restaurant and Drawing Room. Seating in the Main Bar and Drawing Room is on a first come, first served basis.
During your stay with us, we invite you to attend our Member Events and Films. Screenings are scheduled weekly Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays in our Cinema. Family films for children are scheduled Saturdays and Sundays. Seats in the Cinema must be reserved through Club Reception.
Rooftop & Pool
The swimming pool is open year round from 9am on Monday to Friday and 8am on Saturday and Sunday. Again, please note that hotel residents are permitted one guest with them around the pool. Children are welcome to use the pool from 9am – 5pm Monday to Wednesday, from 9am – 2pm on Thursday to Friday, and from 8am – 11:30am on weekends and holidays.
During the summer months, tables are available daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a first come, first served basis. Full waiter service is available on lounges, chairs, and couches on the Roof as well.
Please be sure to mention at the time of booking if you intend to bring children with you. This is to ensure that you are placed in a room suitable for accommodating children. Do also enquire about our children’s programs and special Roof hours.
So as you can see – there are a lot of house rules. However, I was just traveling alone and wasn’t going to be around much because of work, so most of them didn’t affect me too much.The club and hotel are located in the Meatpacking district on Manhattan’s west side between the West Village (or rather, sort of part of it) and Chelsea so it’s one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods with tons of international brand-name fashion boutiques, celebrity chef restaurants, cute leafy West Village streets, and the High Line park that runs along the island’s Westside here.
Like most hotels, check-in time is 3pm onwards and check out is at noon so I showed up at about 5pm when my flight from LA got in.
Everyone at reception was, as usual, extremely well-coiffed (I think they must contact modeling agencies when hiring!) and two of the three people on duty had exotic accents. I was immediately shown up to my room on the fourth floor (the building has 6 altogether plus the rooftop pool), which was right off the elevator and to the left overlooking 9th Avenue, but the room smelled of smoke so I went back downstairs to see if they had any others.
The manager was able to switch me to the exact same room just one floor up, which was thankfully smoke-free.
My Small room was about 300 square feet. When you walked in the door there was a small bleached-wood-paneled dressing area with a tall chest of drawers to the left and then a small closet with a hanging bar and cubbies for shoes as well as a safe, umbrellas and an ironing board on the right. It was separated from the main room by a heavy brown velvet curtain, which was a bit Victorian for my tastes, but was actually a nice touch since it made the room feel a bit more private from the hallway and front door and muffled the sounds outside.
The main room also had bleached wood paneling and flooring and then white-washed brick along the outer wall and held a queen-size bed dressed with white-on-white Egyptian cotton sheets, with an artfully weathered-looking tufted leather headboard, a wall-mounted nightstand holding an old-fashioned alarm clock and two wall-mounted metal reading lamps. It also had a custom-made wooden work desk with a small lamp and an old-fashioned rotary phone (though there were actually buttons by the numbers) and a cute little silver-blue velour chair.
Along the outside wall were two windows with sunshades and curtains and a small wooden shelf that ran the whole length of the room and held a coffeemaker and electric tea kettle, glassware and complimentary bottles of sparkling and flat water.
Next to the desk, there was also a mini bar cart with wine, half-size bottles of premium spirits like Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin and a glass ice bucket and cocktail shaker. In the far corner was a plush antique-rose-colored armchair with matching ottoman and a floor lamp making the perfect cozy spot to read or work while looking out over the street.
On the wall opposite the bed was another wooden chest containing the rest of the mini bar including high-end candies and savories like Pop chips with a large Samsung HD television on top.
The bathroom was actually quite spacious – narrow, but running the length of the bedroom with a toilet at one end, a heated towel rack, a single free-standing sink and a walk-in shower tiled in a muted blue-green color with a wall-mounted handheld shower head and an overhead rainfall one. It was stocked with a full range of Soho House’s signature Cowshed line of bath and beauty products, which all smell really fresh and clean – not to spicy and masculine or floral and feminine, so I enjoyed testing all of them out during my stay.
The bathroom was also stocked with complimentary toiletries including a toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, razor, shaving cream and more, which was a nice touch, especially for frequent travelers who might run out of one thing or another while on the road.
In terms of the room, I had a really nice stay here – it was actually quite quiet considering it overlooked the street and was right next to the elevators, and ambient noise didn’t bother me once during my stay. The one issue I had was that the WiFi only worked sporadically and it turns out that the whole side of the building my room was on needed new routers, which supposedly were coming in later that week, so hopefully that is fixed now.
I spent a little time upstairs in the restaurant to have breakfast (bagel and lox one day and scrambled eggs the other) as well as to get a glass of wine before dinner one night and as usual, there was fun people-watching since there’s always a lively, varied crowd there. There’s also a 44-seat screening room on the 4th floor.
The weather was also gorgeous during my stay (about 75 degrees and sunny!) so I spent one afternoon working on my computer out by the pool on one of the striped lounge chairs they have surrounding it. There is also a shaded dining area on the far side of the pool where light lunch and dinner are served, and a bustling bar area with a few lounge seating arrangements and plenty of standing room.
The spa was on the third floor and had just a couple treatment rooms, a quiet waiting lounge (where another guest was actually talking quite loudly on his cell phone) and small men’s and women’s locker rooms, though the eucalyptus steam room in the men’s was out of order during my stay.
I don’t have my own photos of the public areas because photography is against house rules, but the facilities are nice and well kept and the restaurant especially reminds me of a hipster-ified London gentlemen’s club, so staying at Soho House is a good way to incorporate a fun social scene into your New York stay – even if they don’t offer they own loyalty program!