“Urban adventure, daredevil design, and true affordability meet in Hudson, the ultimate lifestyle hotel for the 21st century. Located in midtown, just steps from Central Park, Columbus Circle and the theater district, Hudson is a brilliant reflection of the boldness and diversity of the city, while simultaneously representing the next generation of Cheap Chic – stylish, democratic, young at heart and utterly cool.”
My mother and I stayed at the Hudson Hotel in New York City during fashion week in February, thanks to the Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair Camera-Ready Style Contest. The discreet entrance at 356 West 58th Street understated the escalator illuminated in chartreuse just inside leading to the dramatic lobby. Ivy climbed its forty-foot brick walls shading the blue glow of the ceiling from which hung a great crystal chandelier with images of colorful light bulbs. The outdoor private park appeared inviting with oversized greenery and garden furniture but was unfortunately closed for winter. Around the corner by the elevators was the famed ‘Semi-automatic” vending machine which dispenses sunglasses, bracelets, condoms and other accessories for a good time.
At night the lobby hosted good times enjoyed by small groups who overflowed from the Hudson Bar; library, aka bar at night; and hall, aka dining area/bar. Essentially, in the evenings the whole floor turned into a swanky, dimly lit hangout for the young, or young at heart, who could endure the $18 glasses of wine. Mom and I sat down there one night on a leather couch while I typed and enjoyed just one glass of wine and she read and glimpsed at the passersby. She noted a person who seemed to be a man dressed as a woman, who she recognized the next day at Lincoln Center outside of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wearing the exact same clothing. He/she must have had a late night at the Hudson.
The fashionable continued to visit the Hudson throughout fashion week. One day I saw Kellan Lutz, famous for portraying Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga, walk past me into my hotel. After finagling our friendly doorman we discovered that he was there to attend the Loden Dager fashion show in the basement, called Good Units. Another time there was a photo shoot going on in Hudson Bar. Later I learned that the hotspot has been featured on such chic and shoepornographic shows as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.
For my trip’s itinerary the hotel was in the perfect location. Just a few blocks from the Ailey Studios, where the NOLCHA Fashion Week took stage and four from Lincoln Center and the Met, where I had the photo shoot with Vanity Fair. It was also two blocks from Central Park and a very short subway ride to the newest Century 21 location, my favorite designer discount haven.
My stay there was pretty perfect too although it really didn’t matter where I stayed. Just being in Manhattan is thrilling enough. Being in Midtown was the cherry on top. The Hudson’s website describes our double room as “A generous space perfect for double accommodation, this room offers the finest amenities and exotic accents that evoke the romance of transatlantic travel. Every detail reflects the brilliant vision of Philippe Starck, including his reinterpretation of a classic U.S. Navy ship chair, found only at the Hudson. Colorful bedside lamps hand-painted by renowned artist Francesco Clemente lend a mystical air.” I agree.
But if I were being particular I would mention that I could not call out on the room phone, I couldn’t open the door the first few times every time I tried and I could not see very well in the rooms, especially at night. I get that dim lighting works in the bar areas but not so much when you’re trying to apply makeup or pair clothing. I read reviews that the rooms were small but we thought ours was adequate. We didn’t spend much time in the room anyway. However, I wondered how comfortable my 6’4″ boyfriend would be on the European-style mattresses. I’d also like to note the fantastic mini bath products by Malin + Goetz, the Manhattan-based apothecary. My mom loved them so much she asked room service (by cell phone) to bring more, then swiped even more off the housekeeping cart. They smelled so fresh and clean. I still carry the vitamin B5 body moisturizer in my purse and I’m looking to reorder online for someone special’s birthday. (No, not you, mom! Just keep reading…)
Thankfully, the hotel is currently undergoing a major renovation, which would resolve all of my complaints. New phones, mattresses, a smart card lock system, upgraded room lighting and illuminated mirrors will be available this fall. I do hope to stay at the chic “cheap” hotel again. I’d like to visit the bar and mingle with the New York socialites. But I may refill my wine glass in my room. Until then, New York…