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Escape Routes: Mondrian Soho, New York

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New York. It’s hard to find something new to rave about in a city that claims it already has it all, but in the heart of Soho is a hotel that’s generating a loud buzz. And, ever willing for a jaunt to our favourite spending spot, Stylist went to see what all the fuss was about.

An ivy-clad tunnel dotted with fairy lights and lined with glass lanterns leads you to the painfully chic Mondrian Soho Hotel (its older sister hotel, The Mondrian in LA and its poolside cocktail spot, The Sky Bar, have been attracting everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Beyoncé and Jay-Z for years). This brand new East Coast outpost takes French fairytales as its inspiration, so guests enter a world of plush royal blue carpets, blue and white floral wallpaper and grand antique mirrors. But with floor-to-ceiling windows, an iPad in every room, Malin+Goetz toiletries and the marble bathroom hidden behind jewel-toned doors, this Benjamin Noriega Ortiz creation (the interiors genius behind the homes of Lenny Kravitz and P-Diddy) is firmly rooted in the 21st century.

Why it’s hot

Positioned on Crosby Street, bang in the middle of Soho, you’re perfectly placed to explore the independent boutiques that have made this slice of the city so cool. Start at the Opening Ceremony boutique – the first thing you see as you step out of the hotel – then explore Legacy, a vintage store just a stone’s throw away. Spend some time browsing the eclectic collection of curios at De Vera (18th century religious relics sit alongside Japanese lacquered homeware and Georgian jewellery) then, for a slice of culture, visit contemporary art gallery The New Museum. Even the exterior is worth the walk, resembling a stack of white boxes sandwiched between typical New York apartment blocks.

Eating and drinking

The hotel’s 150-seat restaurant Imperial No. Nine has opulent chandeliers hanging above the room’s centrepiece, a long table reaching from one end to the other with a collection of large apothecary type jugs and jars towering above the clientele. Seated among these wonderfully theatrical surroundings, the food was the best we tasted during our six-night stay. Nine offers a “share” style of eating, where everyone at the table dips into each dish. Needing no extra encouragement we ordered the slow-cooked octopus, jalapeño sofrito, seared scallops with little neck clams, and the Gloucester cod, all seriously good. And chef Sam Talbot’s speciality pudding, salted caramel ice cream with sweet popcorn powder, was divine.

If you’re after a midnight cocktail, stay in and order Imperial No. Nine’s No1 cocktail – a blend of elderflower, champagne and cucumber foam – or head to nearby The Backroom, one of New York’s best speakeasy bars. With all the hushed excitement of hidden staircases and secret knocks, it’s disguised as the Lower East Side Toy Company on Norfolk Street. The cocktails come in teacups and the Twenties-style chandeliers, flock wallpaper and tin ceilings make this the perfect hangout for Manhattan socialites.

Photo opportunity

Borrow bicycles free of charge from the hotel and explore downtown Manhattan – the perfect place to capture the city at its best. But for the classic skyline shot, simply pull open your blinds; rooms offer breathtaking panoramas.

Rates start at £190 per night for a superior room, and are based on availability. To book call (+1) 212-389 100 or visit mondriansoho.com

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