Art is the new hotel buzzword, but displays are usually limited to some eye-catching lobby installations or forgettable in-room prints. Not so at the James, which maintains a substantial showcase of local talent. The corridor of each guest floor is dedicated to the work of an individual artist, selected by a house curator and complete with museum-style notes—which makes waiting for the elevator a lot less tedious. This is one of many thoughtful touches at the stylish Chicago import. Instead of merely replicating a successful formula, the owners have given the property a distinctly Gotham vibe—even the door staff sports rakish uniforms (designed by NYC-based Brit Andrew Buckler) that look straight out of Gangs of New York. Although compact, bedrooms make the most of the available space with high ceilings, wall-spanning windows, and glassed-off bathrooms (modesty is preserved by an artist-embellished, remote-controlled screen). Natural materials (wooden floors, linen duvet covers) warm up the clean contemporary lines, beds are piled with eco-friendly pillows, and bathroom products are courtesy of Intelligent Nutrients (the organic line created by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher). Although the attractions of Soho and Tribeca beckon, the hotel offers tempting facilities: a seasonal three-level “urban garden,” which houses an outdoor bar and eatery (one of two restaurants on site), and a rooftop bar that opens onto the (tiny) pool.
|Venue name:||The James New York||Contact:|
27 Grand St
|Cross street:||at Thompson St|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E to Canal St|
|Price:||Rates $329–$859 double. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|