Looking for somewhere to stay on a shopping trip to New York? Whiz hoteliers Thompson Hotels kicked off with 60 Thompson seven years ago, and 6 Columbus is their newbie, a boutique townhouse that opened early this year, replacing a tired old pile called the West Park Hotel.
In NY it's notable because it's helping drag Columbus Circle locale back to life, bringing "downtown industrial" style to midtown. Outside is generic Manhattan; inside is a dark, retro "Blue Velvet" atmosphere. Check-in is NY efficient; the lobby boasts a 12- foot leather sofa, lifts have fetishistic fur walls and dark blue hallways lead to 88 intimate rooms.
Not enormous – then again, this is central New York. A modish film-noir style prevails, featuring mid-century modern furniture, Bauhaus prints and fashion snaps. Reading matter is Thompson's own 'Boom100' magazine. In my suite, a cowskin rug sat beneath a checked Knole-type sofa, setting a mood both arty and cosy. Smart storage, like drawers beneath beds, mitigates modest room sizes.
The food and drink
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill is the 115-cover restaurant. It makes up for a lack of natural light with black pillars and sauna-like wooden furniture. There's a sushi counter, and a lengthy fusion menu of 100 cold and hot dishes: "Japanese with an American accent," they say. Try fried chicken made with matzo meal; steak with sake, miso and onion tempura; wash down with wine and sake. It's opens from noon until 2 am, doesn't take bookings, but the bar is next door. A pleasant setting – although my breakfast poached egg was watery. About $55 (£37) per person for three courses, without alcohol.
Free Wi-Fi, a condom in the minibar and a turn-down brownie are friendly touches. No exercise facilities, but Central Park is over the road if you must jog – after which you can wash with cosmetics by cool US brand Fresh. Helpful staff are dressed in what is called a "British prep school aesthetic" – but probably won't do corporal punishment. The Lincoln Center and Upper East Side are close; the Time Warner Center is across the road, and major shops – FAO Schwarz, Macy's – are a few blocks away. For more ideas visit nycgo.com.
It's a tall 1920s property, and space is a bit tight in corridors, so while three rooms are wheelchair-accessible, it might not be a first choice for guests with restricted mobility. Children fine, although the hotel has a cool, adult persona. No pets are allowed.
Standard room rates start at $225.
6 Columbus hotel, 308 West 58th Street, New York, US (001 212 204 3000; www.sixcolumbus.com).Reuse content