In the heart of fashionable Soho The James hotel protrudes into the skyline in all its tall and shiny glory. I stroll in past the bowls of organic dog food and water as the handsomely rugged doorman greets me ‘g’day ma’am’ from the chic stone and glass-clad lobby and directs me up to the reception a level above.
The glossy elevator slides upwards, chilled house music pumping from the speakers, and pings excitedly as I’m immersed into the tastefully decorated reception lounge with a sophisticated-beach feel. The lights look like they are made from tubes of softly-lit melting cotton wool, the gold-ish curtain panels resemble fishing net and the cushions and chairs are covered with gauze. It’s very nicely done.
I’m welcomed by the helpful and friendly receptionist who takes my Amex in return for a tan leather wallet holding my key card and informs me the lounge serves tea, coffee and fruit during the day; wine and cheese in the evening and cookies before bed.
10 minutes later I enter my home for the next few nights with a simple swish of the card wallet: its a cube of glassy elegance with a spectacular view over New York’s cityscape. I can’t see any of the main attractions from my window and I kind of like that: I’m looking down on New Yorkers go about their lives. The buildings in the distance are embellished with quotes and graffiti, the yard of the apartment opposite contains three dogs running for a ball.
I’m immediately drawn to the marsmallowy-bed, it looks good enough to eat. I dive on board (the only way to get into bed, in my opinion) and it is offensively, outrageously comfortable. I mean, I pride myself on my bed at home, and this is unreal.
I realise that this is a recurring trend: the toilet paper is impossibly soft, the towels may as well be fluffy puppies who have just been shampooed. It’s high end and beautifully modern. The bathroom is glass walled with a printed shade blind you can choose to lower should you wish for your dignity to remain in tact (the neighbours can see in), the minibar contains a selection of tempting snacks, there’s complimentary filtered water in carafes and the shampoo is gluten free. Other nice touches include free bike-hire and rooftop yoga in the mornings.
After settling in, I change and head back for the elevator to ‘The Jimmy’ – the hotel’s rooftop pool and bar. It’s like stepping into a Vegas pool party: young and attractive people cluster together clutching mojitos while financial-types drift up and down in the pool hitting on the hotties in bikinis. It’s wanky as hell. I decide to retreat and return the next day at a quieter time where I can admire the sweeping view and plunge in the pool without being accosted by some prick who think’s he’s the Wolf of Wall Street.
Back in my room, I plug my iPod into the dock and blast out some Destiny’s Child, metaphorically flicking the girl-power V to the men on the roof. I spend 10 minutes running around like a child playing with all the lamps and various dimmer-switch options before bedding down on the cloud that pretends to be a bed, asleep in seconds, dreaming only of being referred to as ‘ma’am’ again the next morning.
Details: rooms start from £170 per night. The hotel is pet friendly and contains a restaurant and rooftop bar. Room service is available, as is ordering take-away to your room from a local restaurant.