Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A charming hotel with a popular upscale tea room
This charming, cozy inn is a hidden gem -- quite literally. There is no hotel sign at all, and from the street, the two 19th century red-brick townhouses that make up the property could be mistaken for residential homes. (Tip: Look for the small plaque next to the door that says "Lady Mendl’s," which is the hotel’s gorgeous tea room.)
The brown wooden door at the top of the exterior stairs opens onto a small hall. A door on the right leads to a cozy lobby with elegant, old-world-style decor. There’s a tiny front desk and several couches where guests can relax or play chess. This space is shared in the afternoon with non-guests waiting to be shown to their seats in the tea room, but the vibe here is generally hushed. There are two other two doors off the entrance hall, one leading to the rooms and the other to the tea salon.
Most people know this place because of its famous tea salon, Lady Mendl’s, which can also be rented for events. The three rooms that make up the tea room have decadent embroidered silks on the walls, china with golden edges, upholstered chairs in dark pinks and gold, and fireplaces. While popular with couples, Lady Mendl’s is also a favorite for mothers and daughters and groups of friends.
The inn’s 12 rooms are distributed among the two adjacent townhouses. Narrow, steep stairs lead to hallways with three rooms each. Antiques and old black-and-white photos line the walls, and rugs muffle the sound of steps on the wooden floors. This is probably not a place for kids, but it's a great pick for a romantic getaway. Its intimacy makes it feel removed from the hustle and bustle of New York City, but it's still within walking distance of attractions.
On a quiet street a block from bustling Union Square
The Inn at Irving Place is located on a relatively quiet street lined with restaurants. It is a two-minute walk to Union Square, site of the city's premier farmers market and a major subway hub. A few minutes beyond that is Washington Square and all of Greenwich Village. Major attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park are just a short subway ride away.
Spacious rooms full of old-world charm
If there is one word to describe the 12 rooms at The Inn, it's charming. They have all been individually decorated with antiques and one-of-a-kind furniture, and most rooms have special touches such as wet bars, non-working fireplaces, and window seats. All three room types (Superior, Deluxe, and Junior Suite) are fairly spacious -- with at least a small sitting area -- and have large windows, either overlooking a community courtyard or the street. Bathrooms are of varying sizes, but all feature black and white tiling, pedestal sinks, and upscale toiletries.
A beautiful tea salon and a martini lounge, but no full restaurant on-site
New York City's first upscale raw vegan restaurant is in the same building as the hotel, but it is unaffiliated with the property. Next door, Chef Mario Batali whips up Spanish tapas at Casa Mono, and many other restaurants can be found across the street. Union Square offers a wide array of dining options, too.
A few luxury services
Thorough attention to detail and old-world charm set this quaint boutique hotel apart. Its 12 rooms have been individually decorated with period antiques and fireplaces, and feature modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. The property lacks most of the amenities of larger hotels, including a fitness center and a full restaurant -- but it does offer an elegant tea salon, a central location a block from Union Square, and an intimate feel that's hard to come by in New York.