Arrival/Check-In: “Discreet” best describes the entrance to The James hotel. Located in SoHo on the corner of Grand and Thompson streets, the signage is so subtle my cab driver missed it the first go-round. We circled back and found the entrance, but I was surprised when I realized the gentleman I thought was waiting for my cab turned out to be the hotel valet — his understated uniform did nothing to give away his occupation. I paid the cab driver and followed the valet into a small entrance to an elevator for a short ride to the lobby. While I was checking in, the front desk attendant mentioned I had been assigned a room on the 17th floor, right under the bar. She suggested it might be noisy and offered to find an alternative, but with nothing immediately available, I opted to take my chances with the original room and didn’t regret it for a minute.
Guest Quarters: My corner room featured two walls of floor-toceiling toceiling windows offering sweeping views of the neighborhood and the Hudson River. The minimalist décor featured dark flooring offset by white walls. A small round table with one cafeteria-esque chair was tucked into the corner under a television mounted on a concrete column I assume must have been original to the building. Instead of a bureau or chest of drawers, a leather-topped bench did double duty as seating and storage space. Small nightstands and wallmounted reading lights bookended the king-sized bed. A hotpot for in-room tea and coffee service was tucked into the minibar cabinet. The bathroom was a bit on the dark side, even when I opened the privacy screen to let in natural light from the bedroom windows. A large walk-in shower featured a rainfall showerhead. In a nod to the green movement, the hotel stocks bath amenities by Intelligent Nutrients in large wall-mounted containers, but personal-sized bottles are available upon request. I was a bit surprised to discover body lotion was not in the mix that included shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
Services/Amenities: My one-night stay was too short to experience all The James offers. The hotel serves up complimentary beverages and snacks (coffee and pastry in the morning, fruit and water in the afternoon, wine and cheese in the early evening and freshly baked cookies at night) in the James Club Sky Lobby. The David Burke Kitchen offers locally sourced “modern American” cuisine with seasonal alfresco service in the David Burke Garden. The Treehouse Bar serves artisanal cocktails and light snacks, while the JIMMY rooftop bar is a “classic pub with a 1970s New York twist” that opens to a rooftop pool deck during warm-weather months.
The Experience: The James New York bills itself as a “luxury boutique hotel,” but I’d say it’s more “trendy” and “friendly” than “luxury.”
- Reasonable arrival-to-room time
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Complimentary WiFi
- Ample lighting
- Quality bed linens
- Choice of pillows
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Easy-to-set alarm clock
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- Coffeemaker in room
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
The James New York
27 Grand St.
New York, NY 10013
tel 212 465 2000
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
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