The hotel is just south of Houston Street, in Manhattan’s hip Lower East Side neighbourhood. Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy and the East Village are all within a few minutes’ walk.
Manhattan is too packed with skyscraper-sardines to squeeze in an airport, but there are four to choose from in NYC’s other boroughs. LaGuardia is the closest (25 minutes by taxi), JFK is the largest (50 minutes by taxi), and Newark (45 minutes by taxi) is over the water in New Jersey, so at least you can tick off an extra state while you’re at it. An honorary mention goes to Stewart airport, which is a 90-minute drive away, but has direct flights to the cities around the UK; to get to Manhattan, take the shuttle bus or Amtrak train. For a helping hand with flights or transfers, call the Smith24 team at any time of day or night.
The nearest Subway station is Second Avenue, with F-line trains north through the spine of Manhattan and south to Brooklyn. For intercity travel, head to Pennsylvania or Grand Central; they’re both around 25 minutes away by taxi or Subway.
Driving here is best left to the professionals, but if you insist on your own wheels, the best deals on car hire are usually at the airports; call Smith24 and we’ll arrange it for you. There’s a car park two blocks from the hotel which charges $38 a night.
Transatlantic cruise ships dock at the terminal in Brooklyn, just across the harbour from Lady Liberty herself. From there, it’s around 20 minutes in a taxi to the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Shops, shops, shops – and we’re talking independent designers and vintage fashion here, although all the big-name brands are just down the road in Soho. Assembly stocks a mighty collection of boutique labels and own-brand items, while Claw & Co has graphic tees and throwback treasures curated by local graffiti artist, Claw Money. For your art fix, hit up the building-block-shaped New Museum, or exhibition-hop around the Lower East Side’s 30 or so private galleries – a couple of favourites are the ever-provocative Invisible-Exports (89 Eldridge Street) and the artist-run 47 Canal (291 Grand Street). Take a trip to the 19th-century New York with a guided tour of the preserved Tenement Museum, or just explore the city that never sleeps, snoozes or even pauses for breath, with a walk around Chinatown and Little Italy.
Of all the noodles in New York, some of the very best are found paddling in the cockle-warming broths at Ivan Ramen (25 Clinton Street). Jack’s Wife Freda (224 Lafayette Street) whips up simple Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes in an upbeat café atmosphere, while classic bistro Dirty French has all the answers when it comes to hanger steak, suckling pig and duck à l’orange – it’s at the Ludlow Hotel (180 Ludlow Street), where the digs are none too shabby either, by the way. For superfoods and sharing boards, look no further than the meat-free Butcher’s Daughter (19 Kenmare Street).
Whatever you do, don’t leave without a helping of lox, latkes and pickled herring at timeless Jewish kitchen Russ and Daughters Café (127 Orchard Street). Harry met Sally at Katz Delicatessen (205 E Houston St), so have what she had, or failing that, the signature reuben sandwich, packed with 30-day-cured pastrami. There are three huge, fluffy, pancake-shaped reasons you can’t beat brunch at Clinton Street Baking Company (4 Clinton Street) – they come stacked in a maple syrup-soaked tower and topped with a ladle of jammy blueberries or chunks of banana and walnut.
Outside the four walls and four bars at the hotel itself, pair small-batch organic wines with East Coast oysters at the intimate Ten Bells (247 Broome Street). For cocktails, push open the plain grey door at 134 Eldridge Street and pull up a stool at speakeasy Attaboy, or head to the slightly-unhinged cocktail lounge Please Don’t Tell (113 St Marks Place). Next door is Crif Dogs, for a late-night sausage-in-a-bun sensation.