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Hotel Highlights

  • Jimmy, the see-and-be-sceney rooftop pub
  • Eco-friendly initiatives and free rides in their Lexus hybrid
  • Film screenings, croquet and cocktails in the Urban Garden


The James New York, a towering city hotel, turns heads in one of Manhattan’s most stylish neighbourhoods and it’s not just because it’s the tallest building on the block. Cool-hunters lured by art-covered walls linger over drinks at Jimmy, the rooftop bar, and the working chef’s garden used by the David Burke Kitchen adds eco-love without going full-blown granola.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The James New York with us:

Two free drinks in the Treehouse Bar (US$30 value)


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Need To Know


114, including five suites.


2:00pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Early check-ins are also based on availability.


Double rooms from $299.00, excluding tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $3.50 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude à la carte breakfast (US$18–US$25).


The James is in cahoots with SoHo pet boutique Pup Culture to ensure visiting animals are pampered with treats, beds and bowls. The chef has even fashioned menus for foodie felines and picky pups. Dog walkers are also available.

At the hotel

Gym, spa, garden and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, complimentary bottled water and Intelligent Nutrients bath products. The James Club offers complimentary light bites and beverages from neighbourhood favourites like Balthazar Bakery and La Colombe. Expect pastries and coffee in the morning, fruit in the afternoon and wine and cheese in the evening. Bikes are available to borrow during warmer months and guests can get lifts anywhere between 14th Street and Wall Street in the hotel’s Lexus Hybrid from 7am–10am and 4pm–7pm, weekdays.

Our favourite rooms

Honeymooners or diehard romantics should grab the keys to the huge penthouse, styled by Dutch designer Piet Boon. Through wide windows on three walls, you can admire the city (and Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in the distance) in one skyline sweep. Bone, cream and taupe furnishings keep it soothing without being a snoozer, and in the marble bathroom, there’s a massive egg-shaped stone tub. Bathed in natural light, the panoramic Corner King Studio is rather wow-worthy. The rain shower and heated floors don’t hurt either.


The rooftop plunge pool (currently closed for the season) is also a great spot for sipping cocktails, which are served straight to your lounger.

Packing tips

Bring your journal to jot down the names of the up-and-coming artists whose work is on show in the public spaces. If you think of anything you've forgotten, enlist house stylist Mimi Lombardo for an in-room session to fill your bags with the season's hippest clothes and accessories.


The first piece of artwork you’ll see is Sarah Frost’s Qwerty 5 on the ground floor, one in a series of installations made from recycled keyboard keys. Curator Matthew Jensen used Artists Space ( to find work by local artists to line the walls. Horticulturist Rebecca Cole’s landscape design is modern and calming in the multi-decked Urban Garden.


Little ones will be lavishly cared for with milk and cookie turndown service, plus arts and crafts activities from Seedling. Babysitting is available on request for $30 an hour for each child; 24-hour notice is appreciated.

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In rooms, you’ll find reclaimed wood, and pillows from Keetsa, a sustainable bedding brand.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Oversize gingham napkins, woven-top chairs and a tilted wooden ceiling lend the David Burke Kitchen a barn-meets-loft feel. The menu echoes the same blend of refinement and rusticity, with dishes such as duck meatballs, scallops and pork belly, bone marrow and snails, and bison tartar. This is iced-tea country: there are seven flavours in massive cloth-covered jugs.

Hotel Bar

Hotel guests have the run of Jimmy, the James' rooftop pub, until 9pm; after that, they have to enter on Thompson Street with the civilians. Fresh-from-the-chef's-garden herbs are infused in the house speciality cocktails. Mixologist Johnny Swet whips up seasonally driven drinks. Pretzel sticks, tuna tartare tacos and charcuterie platters are served, too. The Treehouse Bar above the restaurant muddles up 16 flavours of margarita, including refreshing watermelon and yuzu.


Last orders

At the David Burke Kitchen, breakfast is available until 10am; lunch from noon to 3pm; dinner from 5pm to 11pm. Snacks and drinks are served from 5pm to 1am at Jimmy. The Treehouse Bar is open from 5pm to 11pm.

Room service

Order anything from the David Burke Kitchen menu, anytime.

Smith Insider

Dress code

A crisp shirtwaist dress and wedges for Mrs Smith. Gents go clean-cut preppy with checked button-down shirts (avoid gingham so you don't match the napkins), cuffed khakis and loafers sans socks.

Top table

Pick a cabana on the patio for more privacy or, if the weather is chilly, sit near the carving station to watch your meal come together.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

At the James, check out the summer film series of selected flicks from the Tribeca Film Festival. Take a private yoga class in the garden or on rooftop (48 hours’ notice required, US$100 an hour). Book a facial or massage in one of the private cabanas. Take a running tour past SoHo landmarks such as the Clock Tower Building and St Patrick’s Cathedral (US$60). Head to Chelsea Market to stroll the sandwich stalls for lunch and picnic on the High Line, an elevated rail line turned leafy park on the city’s west side, just 10 minutes from the James by taxi.

Local restaurants

Tapas and pitchers of white and red sangria are served at Boqueria SoHo at 171 Spring Street. This low-lit Barcelona-inflected dining den is perfect for an after-dark rendezvous (+1 212 343 4255; Francophiles and dining duos make a beeline for Balthazar at 80 Spring Street for sultry suppers (+1 212 965 1414; Order the hamburger deluxe at Blue Ribbon Brasserie at 119 Sullivan Street (+1 212 343 0404; Blue Ribbon Sushi is known for its super-fresh sashimi and sake flights (+1 212 397 0404; Don’t be disheartened if there’s a queue at NYC’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s at 32 Spring Street – there are three different dining rooms. Wait it out with a glass of red, the margheritas are worth it (+1 212 941 7994; Check the specials on the chalkboard outside modern deli Hundred Acres at 38 MacDougal Street. When the weather warms, the doors open for fresh-air dining on oysters, Maine shrimp, hushpuppies and cured country meats (+1 212 475 7500; A neon sign spelling ‘good food’ sits in the window of Ruben’s Empanadas at 149 Church Street. It ain’t lying: beef, turkey and fruit-filled half-moon shaped pastries pack the glass case (+1 212 513 1448). Diminutive and sexy, Smith and Mills at 71 North Moore in Tribeca is a cool repurposed carriage house. Tufted tan banquettes and votive-lit tables are meant for clandestine encounters over steamed mussels, gourmet burgers and a bottle of Sancerre (+1 212 226 2515;

Local bars

Listen to live music Sunday, Monday and Wednesday at The Ear Inn – quite possibly Manhattan’s oldest bar – in the historic James Brown House, originally constructed in 1817 at 326 Spring Street. (+1 212 226 9060;

Local cafés

Get Americanos and flaky crossaints to-go at Balthazar Bakery at 80 Spring Street, right next door to the restaurant (+1 212 965 1785; Stumptown Coffee addicts should make their way to Third Rail Coffee at 240 Sullivan Street (

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Southwest SoHo

The James New York

27 Grand Street, New York 10013, United States

The James New York sits on the edge of SoHo on the corner of Grand and Thompson Streets.


International and domestic arrivals and departures can be made at LaGuardia, 18 miles away.


Penn Station on 7th Avenue and West 32nd Street is 15 minutes’ drive away and is served by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad and the subway.


There are plenty of cabs and public transport options to get you around town. Parking at the hotel is US$55 for cars and US$65 for SUVs, excluding tax.


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The James New York
The James New York 27 Grand Street New York 10013 New York United States

Anonymous review

by , Fashion fan

Rating: 10/10 stars
Fashion Week in New York is always a double-edged sword. It’s fun, it’s furiously paced, and it’s dripping with covetable style, both on and off the runway. Non-stop shows, events, meetings, dinners… It may sound amazing, but as a fashion journalist, each season I crave having somewhere cozy and welcoming to run away to. When the stilettos and non-stop air-kissing gets a b…
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The James New York

Anonymous review by Louise Roe, Fashion fan

Fashion Week in New York is always a double-edged sword. It’s fun, it’s furiously paced, and it’s dripping with covetable style, both on and off the runway. Non-stop shows, events, meetings, dinners… It may sound amazing, but as a fashion journalist, each season I crave having somewhere cozy and welcoming to run away to. When the stilettos and non-stop air-kissing gets a bit much, having a tranquil hideaway makes all the difference.

I pull up at the James hotel around 11pm after a delayed flight and a sluggish drive from JFK. It’s pouring with rain. It couldn’t be more cheering to be met by a big grin on the bellman’s face, as he magics away my bags and shelters me from the storm with an enormous umbrella. And he’s sporting the coolest hotel uniform I’ve seen.

Big burly brown leather boots, Bermuda shorts, and a white shirt rolled up to the elbows. The doorman is looking more Out of Africa than Sex & the City – how refreshing compared to some of the snooty hotel staff I’ve encountered in Lower Manhattan. Even more uplifting is the complimentary chilled glass of chardonnay he pours me five minutes later as I check in. Any journey-here dreariness is instantly forgotten.

Now, you’re talking here to a turndown freak. The housekeeping equivalent of being tucked in with a cup of cocoa, it’s the first service I ask about when I book a hotel. Upstairs, my corner room has had the curtains drawn, lighting softening and the bed covers peeled back invitingly. The space is contemporary, but not clinical: I’m just not into that whole all-white walls and floor, might-as-well-be-in-a-hospital feel to so many modern hotels. Luckily the James strikes a chic balance between being arty, and edgy, but elegant and warm. Dark wood floors, a lacquered table and chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom with a moveable Oriental panel to separate it from the rest of the room; yup, this is a well thought-out space.

Starving, I call up room service and order off-menu. Residing in LA, waiters look at you strangely if you don’t put your own spin on dishes when you order, they’re so used to food allergy this, intolerance that. But New York is a different ballgame. Sounding a tiny bit peeved, the chap on the phone goes to check with the chef. Thankfully, dispelling any uh-oh-what-will-they-do-to-my-food worries, the answer comes back that yes of course I can have the breakfast menu of scrambled eggs with rye toast and a glass of sancerre, perfectly chilled.

Mr Smith flies in early the next day to join me in Manhattan, and we take advantage of complimentary coffee and pastries in the lobby, before snooping around Soho’s chic shops. That’s another brilliant aspect of this hotel – its location. Nestled into in my favourite New York neighbourhood, right in Downtown’s beating heart, we’re a short walk or a five-minute cab ride from the most interesting and intriguing boutiques and bars… Although in the end we discover the most eye-popping views and zingy cocktails are just upstairs: at rooftop bar, Jimmy.

An outside deck, a swimming pool, 360º skyline vistas and super-accomplished mixologist, Johnny Swet, all await on the top floor of the James. I’ve been coming to New York for years, and this wins a prize as one of the most awesome watering holes: if only for the Mexican Beehive. A sweet glass of silver tequila, honey, lavender syrup, lime juice and a chunk of amber honeycomb. It’s so good we try this inspired concoction again. And again. I convince myself that since every ingredient is plundered from the hotel’s cute little organic garden, then it must be healthy.

Downstairs, the David Burke kitchen is a world away from this city-slicker cocktailery. Modern loft space meets rustic barn – oxymoron? – no, somehow this is how it feels as we sit down for supper. The menu is interesting to read, though I wonder if it’s trying a bit hard (‘ants on a log’: bone marrow, snails, parsley and garlic) and it’s heavier than what I’d usually go for (pork chop with bacon and onion rings). Mr Smith gets excited though and pounces on duck-meatball lasagna, followed by scallops and pork belly. For me, lobster dumpling and coconut soup is delicious, if a tad rich after all those honey cocktails.

What stands out most from our stay at the James? Meeting some of this town’s friendliest staff. It is as though the James plucked smart, smiling guys and girls from a small town in the South or Midwest: everyone has the time to care if you’re alright, whether you’ve found everything OK, and if you’re truly enjoying your stay. For a place that, outside and in, looks so fashion-forward and finger on the pulse, this proves a big, and very welcome, surprise. So be assured: we’ll be back in a heartbeat.



The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members have to say about The James New York in the Guestbook below…


Stayed on

We loved

The fit out of the rooms and the feeling of minimalist and also spacious decor; the views of Manhattan; the gym which also has authentic city views; the rooftop bar; the cool tone of the place.

Don’t expect

...the Hotel's rooftop bar to just be reserved for hotel patrons - it's very popular and people from both inside and outside the hotel frequent it - but hey, it had a great and vibrant atmosphere and it was fun!

Rating: 9/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Location, location, location! Great hotel, really contemporary, with really friendly and professional staff, and great food (especially the breakfasts!) were great – the corner rooms had fab views across the city with floor-to-ceiling windows. Jimmy's, the rooftop bar, was brilliant, and the rooftop pool must be amazing in summer – too chilly in December!

Don’t expect

There was no mention of the Smith extra, and the extras promised for the kids never appeared – the hotel needs to be more family-friendly if they want families to stay there.

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

I liked the free wi-fi, 2pm check-out, complimentary lobby snacks, relaxed but efficient approach.

Don’t expect

Pre-arranged cab to airport wasn't great, I had to add enquire about my Smith Extra.

Rating: 9/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Great location. Friendly staff. Cool vibe. Nice touches I.e cookies, coffee, wine etc in lobby.

Don’t expect

Small room. It didn't seem too clean in public areas to me.

Rating: 9/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

In my opinion, everything was fine; there was nothing wrong with the hotel (but nothing great either). We had a Corner King – I thought the room was fine but nothing special. That being said, the staff were very friendly.

Don’t expect

For me, value wise, it wasn't comparable to others in the area.

Rating: 7/10 stars