The Marlton, New York: Feel the bohemian Beat of the Big Apple

Room Service

Stepping into the lobby of The Marlton, it takes a while for your eyes to adjust. The walls are panelled in rich oak, the furniture is dark and distressed, the lighting so low, it is hard to pick out the reception desk. It feels like stepping back in time, or into somewhere a bit illicit, which is kind of the point.

Marlton House was built in 1900 and is soaked in New York history. If its walls could talk, they would probably recite Beat poetry. By the middle of the century the original hotel had become an affordable home-from-home for Greenwich Village's counter-cultural heroes.

It was here that Jack Kerouac worked on his novellas The Subterraneans and Tristessa in the 1950s. Lenny Bruce holed up here for the duration of his obscenity trial in 1964. Valerie Solanas was living in Room 214 when she walked into Chelsea one day and shot Andy Warhol.

In 1987, the building became a dorm for students at The New School of Design. But a couple of years ago BD Hotels and Sean MacPherson bought it up. MacPherson is the co-owner of hot New York hotels The Bowery, The Jane and The Maritime, plus the ever-fashionable Waverley Inn restaurant – just a few of his many pies.

MacPherson has a knack for making his hotels, often styled around a knowingly ersatz theme, not just places where tourists want to sleep but where people want to hang out, drifting from espresso bar to martini bar.

The hotel calls its 107 rooms 'chic petite' and they are certainly both of those things The hotel calls its 107 rooms 'chic petite' and they are certainly both of those things For The Marlton, he has eschewed any obvious beatnik stylings in favour of what he calls "baby grand", inspired by the Paris Ritz and the desperate decadence of F Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. The "baby", apparently, refers to both its size and prices. It is luxurious but louche, boutique for bohos.

The lobby is a shadowy space of shabby leather armchairs, fireplaces, velvet banquettes and mismatched tables. Bracingly strong Ferndell coffee is served from a hatch next to reception. A bar with covetable red booths serves $13 cocktails with names like Eeyore's Tail and The Bearcat Sour.

An airy 98-seat restaurant, Margaux, offering a French-Mediterranean menu, is the latest addition to the ensemble. It serves breakfast – organic scrambled eggs with kale, avocado and chilli on toast – and dinner: rotisserie chicken, home-made pasta and rustic vegetable dishes.

Location

The Marlton is in Greenwich Village, one block from Washington Park. As such it is the perfect spot for those who want the buzz of Manhattan but are not too worried about being near the tourist hotspots.

West 8th Street itself is a jumble of cheap shoe boutiques and frozen yoghurt shops but there are already signs of the MacPherson effect. Stumptown Coffee has just opened opposite the hotel; craft beer and artisan popcorn shops are on the way. The shops and nightlife of Bleecker Street and bijou restaurants of Greenwich Avenue are within walking distance, as are cultural spots like the Comedy Cellar and the Players Theatre. The nearest subway is West 4th Street, five minutes' walk from the hotel, which takes you straight to Midtown in four stops.

Comfort

There are 107 rooms, which range from penthouses with terraces to small doubles. The hotel calls its rooms "chic petite" and they are certainly both of those things. They range from 100 to 120sq ft and, crammed in on top of each other dorm-style, there is some noise from the stairwell and the street. But this is The Village; if you want leafy peace, stay on the Upper East Side. My mid-sized Queen room felt roomy enough, thanks to a giant mirror, a wall of lofty windows and minimal furnishing. There's a wardrobe, a plump bed, a flat-screen television, and that's it. The stylish detail is in the odd design flourish here and there – a brass hand holds a bedside lamp, a silvery faux-fur throw on an all-white bed, a ceiling light that looks like a Caro sculpture.

Bathrooms are where the squeeze really hits but once you manage to shut the door, they are very chic with black-and-white tiled floors, marble sinks and antique taps.

There is free Wi-Fi and a mini-bar stocked with all manner of hipster treats, from chocolate figs to moonshine. The only thing missing was a chair. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but sometimes it is nice to have a sit down.

The Marlton, 5 West 8th Street, New York, US (001 212 321 0100; marltonhotel.com)

Rooms ***

Value ****

Service ****

Doubles start at $200 (£133), room only.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?