Bathrobes, L'Occitane toiletries and rain showerheads
Double-paned windows to keep street noise out
Higher category rooms have Nespresso machines
Free wine and snacks in the lobby weekday evenings
iPads on loan from the front desk
Passes to a nearby fitness center at no charge
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Rooms feel smallish (common in NYC)
Walk-in showers in most (no bathtubs)
Closets tend to be narrow with little space to unpack
The rooftop deck that boasts great views is currently unused
Not all rooms have coffeemakers
Limited options in the restaurant
This smart boutique hotel with reasonable rates is located in TriBeCa, close to upscale shops and restaurants. It was renovated in 2013 and has 43 rooms as well as a restaurant serving breakfast and evening tapas — though food options are limited. The real highlight is the free wine, beer and snacks served Monday through Thursday. Chic but small rooms have black-and-white decor, high ceilings, hardwood floors, plush bathrobes, and L’Occitane amenities. Duane Street Hotel mostly appeals to couples, but business types will likely appreciate the working areas and free Wi-Fi.
An upscale boutique hotel attracting many European couples
Located on a busy corner, the Duane Street Hotel announces its presence with steel signage above the door and a welcome mat displaying the hotel’s logo in large block lettering. Just inside the front door is a small front desk area, where staff members check guests in and assist with luggage, special requests, and local suggestions. The hotel draws a mix of couples from all over — especially from Europe — as well as business travelers who prefer to be close to downtown offices.
The lobby, though small, opens up to a cozy seating area with wooden furnishings, orange tones, and paisley patterns. This area might hold guests having business meetings — perhaps a group of producers making plans — or a romantic couple drinking coffee and reading the Wall Street Journal (lobby copies are free). This lounge area leads to the restaurant with low tables set against a long cushioned banquette and one long wooden high-top communal table — overall, it's a great use of space.
Drinking water and cookies are typically set out for guests in the afternoons. In the evenings, Monday through Thursday, this area turns into a happy hour reception where guests are offered a glass of wine or beer to be enjoyed with staff. For those who want to stick around, tapas and cocktails are served at the restaurant, but most tend to hit the town for dinner.
The small but memorable staff members are a bit part of what makes the experience, and they make extra effort to make everyone feel at home. Guests returning to the hotel are often greeted with a cheerful, “Welcome Back!”
A TriBeCa address close to landmarks, restaurants, and the subway
Duane Street Hotel is in a prime area of TriBeCa between West Broadway and Church Street with a number of convenience stores nearby. For those not familiar with the area, TriBeCa is a popular neighborhood for wealthy residents — many who work downtown on Wall Street. Architect lovers will have plenty of gawking opportunities as they explore nearby streets, for the area is full of historic cast-iron buildings holding art galleries, pop-up shops, and expensive restaurants and cafes.
Guest are within walking distance of key downtown neighborhoods for more choice in dining and shopping, including SoHo, the West and East Villages, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. Key landmarks like the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center (OWTC) can also be reached by foot. Transportation to other parts of the city is easy either by taxi, or walking to the nearby Chambers Street subway station for the 1, 2 and 3 trains.
Sleek room decor, work desks, and stocked minibars
This corner boutique hotel has only 43 rooms that are accessed from an elevator in the lobby. All rooms have tall 11-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, and large windows, which help make up for the smaller floor space. Renovated in 2013, rooms have a sleek black-and-white color palette and leather headboards -- a sharp contrast to the white Bellino bedding tucked neatly into the bed bases. Other furnishings and amenities include work desks, flat-screen TVs, Phillips iPod/iPad docks, and minibars stocked with vodka, wines, tequila, gin, whiskey, juices, sodas, nuts, and cookies. Bathrooms have walk-in showers with gray slate tiling, rain showerheads, raised sinks with counter space, and L’Occitane bath products. Stylish touches such as the shiny framed photos next to the bed, sculpture art, vintage books, and the occasional pop of color add to the chic vibe. Built-in closets have items for sale with proceeds that go toward charity. They can be extra narrow in some rooms with little or no room to set the suitcase.
Types include a Handicap Accessible King, Superior King, Superior Queen, Superior Double (two queen beds) and the larger Deluxe Queen and Executive King. Two top-floor suites include a Junior Suite -- a 400-square-foot space with a king bed, sofa bed, and one and a half baths. The Corner Suite is the largest in the hotel with a king bed, separate living room, and freestanding antique tub.
Great service, wine receptions almost every night, and access to a fitness center
Staff are available 24 hours a day to help with luggage, airport transfers, special requests, and local advice. There is an adjacent lounge for working, meeting, or reading equipped with drinking water, cookies, and free copies of the Wall Street Journal. The lobby space has plenty of windows for street views of TriBeCa.
The small restaurant in the back part of the lobby is called Metaphor — a take on the chef’s name, Chef Jehangir Mehta, a former Iron Chef America contestant and owner of Graffiti restaurant in East Village. This space is narrow but offers a mix of high-top seating (great for working over coffee or cocktails) and cushioned banquette seating. The tapas menu in the evenings has Asian and Indian influences, but options are limited. Breakfast is also served from here or via room service with a selection of egg dishes, pastries, and coffee.
Every Monday through Thursday in the lobby, the staff puts on an evening reception with free wine, beer, and snacks from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Occasionally, the hotel arranges for a jazz trio or other musicians to play.
On the top floor of the hotel is a rooftop deck that has an excellent view of the One World Trade Center and surrounding streets. Currently the space is used for storage and the hotel hasn’t quite figured out what to do with this valuable area yet (they are working on ideas as of late 2014).
Guests are able to use the nearby Equinox Gym in Tribeca upon request, for no additional fee. Spa or massage services can also be arranged.
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