Once, SoHo (the name is a shortened version of "south of Houston") was an industrial district. Then it became a gritty, underutilized area where starving artists flocked to set up cheap loft and studio spaces. Today, it is one of New York City's most fashionable neighborhoods -- characterized by destination shopping, fine dining, well-preserved cast-iron architecture, and cobblestoned streets. Though it has lost much of its edge since the days when only the artists appreciated its gritty beauty -- fashion-forward international boutiques like Anna Sui have in recent years been joined by more mainstream retailers like J. Crew -- it still draws the young, hip, beautiful, and moneyed in droves.
No matter where you stay in SoHo, you're guaranteed to find some of the city's best shopping, dining, and nightlife within walking distance. The most vibrant and picturesque streets, though, are at the neighborhood's heart -- packed between the arteries of 6th Avenue and Lafayette Street. Hotels here are going to range from pricey, to pricier, and they're all hip, celebrity favorites: Crosby Street, the Mercer, 60 Thompson, and the SoHo Grand. West of 6th Avenue you'll find a couple of newer, more affordable big-chain hotels such as the Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village and the Hampton-Inn Manhattan SoHo, but these grayer, still industrial-looking streets that can feel a little desolate.
New York's nightlife is world famous, and some of the hottest scenes in town are to be found in hotel bars and lounges. For guests at these hotels a night of "staying in" can be quite a party.
|Newark Liberty International|
|La Guardia Airport|
|Peak:||April - June|
|Off-Peak:||Jan. - March|
|Visa:||No, for nationalities included in the Visa Waiver Program|
|Electricity:||120 V, 60 Hz|
|Tipping:||15-20% in restaurants and cabs|