Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The uber-modern Smyth opened in March 2009, and its 100 rooms and 12 floors are perched over a cobblestoned corner in TriBeCa. Muted, contemporary colors meet retro-modern decor with a 1950s twist: The lobby's wall displays vintage toy robots, alarm clocks, and radios. Pop-inspired artwork from contemporary artists John Sparagana and Santiago Rubino, along with sleek gray- and white-toned room designs, counterbalance the vintage theme.
The lobby soundtrack includes everything from Otis Redding to Lykke Li for a crowd that's just as mixed: Hungover scenesters caffeinate themselves while French businessmen parlez in the dark nooks near the bar, and families greet friends while tech geeks set up their laptops. But despite the wide-ranging melee of guests, the lobby always feels quiet and calm, and private-feeling nooks with deep chairs and low lights make it possible to have an intimate drink or a quiet breakfast.
Though Smyth's well-known neighbor the Tribeca Grand is a tough competitor for attention in the area, Smyth's luxurious-feeling rooms outshine TG's older digs. And with the opening of Plein Sud restaurant and Toro lounge, the Smyth has set itself up to compete with the Tribeca Grand's nightlife scene as well.
Yes, the Helmut Lang-uniformed staff are young, hip, and attractive, but they also provide professional service without a whiff of attitude.
The Helmut Lang-uniformed staffers here are universally young and good-looking, but unlike so many hotels where that's the case, the Smyth actually provides excellent service. The staff is friendly and casual, in keeping with the hotel's downtown vibe, but their work is also highly professional and often so subtle that you don't even know it's happening. Take my arrival: A bellhop had my bags out of the cab's trunk before I'd even paid for the ride. He asked my name and spoke into his walkie-talkie earpiece before I'd even crossed the sidewalk to the hotel entrance. When I arrived at the front desk a few seconds later, I'd practically already been checked in.
Most hours, bellhops wait around every corner of the lobby to help guests with luggage, arrange cabs, and open doors.
The hotel's website advertises a 24-hour concierge, but in fact it's only the front desk that's staffed 24 hours a day. (The concierge is available from 8 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays.)
The lobby bar serves a small menu from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The service there is great: When a friend joined me for drinks, we picked a quiet corner at the far end of the lobby opposite the bar, but the server appeared immediately and subsequently checked on us often.
Room service is currently available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and offers the same menu as in the lobby bar.
In downtown's family-friendly-but-hip TriBeCa neighborhood; a subway stop is just around the corner, and cabs are easy to find.
Smyth is on the corner of West Broadway and Chambers, in Manhattan's TriBeCa (short for "Triangle Below Canal"). The area used to be a gritty, artist-filled neighborhood but has been cleaned up and gentrified into a stroller haven, with its own Whole Foods Market and an array of high-end restaurants and boutiques.
The Chambers Street subway station is just around the corner from the entrance and is served by the 1, 2, and 3 lines, which run north-south on the west side of Manhattan. The area is safe and well trafficked during the day; at night, it's not busy, but when I left the hotel around midnight to grab a snack at a nearby convenience store, people were walking around and the area felt safe.
Luxurious-feeling rooms feature designer details and modern technology.
Nine different room types range from a modest, 260-square-foot queen superior room to the giant, 1,200-square-foot penthouse suite. The smallest of them are, well, small -- don't even think about a rollaway bed -- but still comfortable. But like all Thompson hotels, they're filled with brand-name luxury amenities: Hans Grohe bathroom fixtures, Sferra bed linens, oversize terry-cloth robes by Frette, Kiehl's bath products, Dean & Deluca minibar choices, and even Kiki de Montparnasse "intimate accessories." If these names don't mean much to you, all this may feel like marketing jargon -- but they really do add up to an overall feel of true luxury.
Pristine bathrooms are typical in size for a New York hotel, but the high-end features -- spacious stand-up showers with marble tiles and rain showerheads -- make them special. Still, this TripAdvisor review does have a point: The lack of shower doors can cause a mess. Kiehl's toiletries are provided, as are terry-cloth robes and large, high-quality towels.
Some rooms also have balconies.
A gym, $10-a-day Wi-Fi, and a bull-fighting themed lounge
Rooms are clean, comfortable, and, in some cases, spacious; the neighborhood is full of strollers and parks; very limited food options in the hotel.
I saw a couple and their toddler hanging around the lobby during my stay. The neighborhood is known for great schools, so stroller-pushing Moms and Dads are a common sight, and there are plenty of parks and playgrounds in and around the area.
Families should probably avoid the smallest rooms (Queen Superiors), which are close quarters even for a couple. But deluxe rooms or bigger would easily accommodate cribs and rollaways, which are complimentary. The rooms are also strikingly quiet thanks to soundproof windows and a surrounding neighborhood that is relatively peaceful.
The surrounding area has plenty of solid, reasonably priced eateries, including a Whole Foods Market two blocks away.
Accessible French food and country decor at Plein Sud Restaurant and Lounge
This burgeoning celebrity favorite was the temporary home of Kourtney Kardashian, boyfriend, and baby during filming of Kourtney & Kim Take New York.
Opened in 2009, the Smyth Hotel has quickly become popular amongst celebs. Jake Gyllenhaal chose to party it up in the Smyth Lobby Bar shortly after his split from Reese Witherspoon, and Jessica Alba stayed at the hotel when in town for the TriBeCa film festival -- she even set off the fire alarm when trying to make fish sticks in her room! (Maybe she should stick to acting.) In October 2010, Kourtney Kardashian moved into the penthouse for three months with her boyfriend and baby.
Built from scratch in TriBeCa and opened in March 2009, the Smyth has excellent service, lots of downtown style, and a French restaurant on-site. With brighter, newer, and cheaper rooms, the Smyth outshines its well-known neighbor, the Tribeca Grand.