Stylist’s features director Lucy Foster checks into a Manhattan townhouse hotel perfectly placed for Uptown girls
If only all my landings in NYC were this comfortable, plonking me onto a snug sofa, sipping steaming coffee and eating homemade cookies 23 floors above the icy Manhattan streets. “I’m on a roof terrace!” I say to my mum via Skype. “I’m also in New York!” And just to prove I’m not lying, I treat her to a view of skyscrapers and the Hudson River.
The terrace sits atop WestHouse New York, a chic art deco-inspired hotel designed to feel like your very own swish Uptown apartment. At five blocks from Central Park, it’s eminently walkable to MOMA (housing the much-lauded Jackson Pollock retrospective until May), the Met and Carnegie Hall – even in winter. I’m here on a swift city jaunt, so being perfectly positioned for both culture and shopping was my top priority. I venture down Seventh Avenue in search of the Pennsy (thepennsy.nyc), the newly opened, much-Instagrammed food court at Penn Station, and tuck gratefully into BBQ Thai Tempeh (£7) at the first permanent site for cult food truck Cinnamon Snail (cinnamonsnail.com). After, I pop into Tanner Smith’s speakeasy (tannersmiths.com) for a Winona (£10), their take on an Old Fashioned, the classic Manhattan tipple. See, you can tick a couple of Big Apple boxes in a few short hours.
Given the weather when I step outside, I’m intensely appreciative of my cosy pied-à-terre. My one-bedroom suite is extravagantly spacious (575 sq ft) for New York, and I adore the understated luxe: walnut wood, velvet easy chairs and grey marbled bathrooms. Feminine it is not – think Twenties clubhouse rather than romantic bedroom – but this suits me fine. Plus, this is New York. I want to stay in a place I can order another Old Fashioned and stare moodily out at the traffic as rain trickles down the vast window.
I head back up on the roof to bid adieu to the world’s most iconic skyline, and decide that the terrace alone puts WestHouse top of my list for future visits. Because New York is a city best viewed from a height. Whether or not you order that Old Fashioned is entirely up to you.
Rooms at WestHouse Hotel New York start from £320; westhousehotelnewyork.com
Save your pennies
Book into The Jane NYC for bohemian-chic decor on a budget
This hotel sure has history: survivors of the Titanic stayed here in 1912 while awaiting the results of the inquest. Today this chic boutique hostel houses a much more fortunate crowd in dinky but well- designed rooms that vary from bunk-like pods to the rather lovely Captain’s Cabins (picture a vintage first-class rail carriage rather than nautical-twee). Glitterballs, taxidermy and palms in ceramic pots jazz up the public spaces, and the leafy West Village neighbourhood puts you bang in the middle of things – with a lot more bucks to spend.