Hotel We Love: Duane Street Hotel, New York City

A boutique hotel in the heart of Tribeca, it’s the right mix of residential meets modern.

The exterior of the Duane Street Hotel.

First timers to the Big Apple often choose to stay midtown and who can blame them? But for those of you who want to stay off the tourist path and feel more like a local resident, we suggest directing your cabbie downtown to the charming neighbourhood of Tribeca.

Put on the map thanks to the Tribeca Film Festival, which launched in 2002, young families with strollers, trendy restaurants, and some of the most expensive housing in Manhattan can be found here. When it comes to accommodations there are no short of luxury options, but for those of you who are looking for a sweet sleep, with money left over to do some shopping (you’re in New York, you need it!), we found the perfect option.

A suite at the Duane Street Hotel.

With a total of 43 loft-style rooms and suites, the boutique Duane Street Hotel is the right mix of charming, cool and cozy. From the outside it’s a hotel you could easily pass for a loft entrance, as a single door is your entryway, however you probably will notice the black awning and floor-to-ceiling windows that line their on-site restaurant Mehtaphor.

Upon arriving we were received with a warm welcome from Mike at the front desk. He checked us in quickly, gave us the rundown of some of the hotel’s amenities, which included complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, complimentary access to the nearby Equinox gym, and the option to borrow an iPad.

The lobby bar.

The entrance/lobby of the hotel kind of blend into one, with the on-site restaurant and bar to the left as soon as you enter. It’s not a large space, but since it’s a boutique hotel, you’re never running into more than a few guests at one time.

We arrived later than expected, so by this time the restaurant was already buzzing with groups of diners and yummy smells wafting into the lobby. The hotel also only has one elevator for the six floors it services, which was never an issue for us, although sometimes you did have to wait a couple minutes for it to arrive.

The spacious Living Room.

Our room for the weekend was their Junior Suite located on the top floor of the hotel. Our first impression was how spacious it was. Not only did it have a king size bed, but there was a also a large couch that doubled as a pull-out, which we thought would be just the right amount of space for a girlfriend getaway if you had anywhere from 2 to 4 people. The Living Room space where the pull-out was, was the perfect sitting area for us. In the morning we chilled out there making plans for the day (sipping a Nespresso!) and when we got back after a long day of walking around the city, it was a cozy spot to sit and have a sip of wine before heading out for the evening.

The tub in the Corner Suite.

Another major bonus for us were the two bathrooms. The main bathroom contained a gorgeous spa shower, full size mirror, and plenty of extra towels tucked into the vanity below the sink (though we tend to be the type of eco-conscious travellers who use towels more than once, it’s nice to have an extra one handy). The second bathroom was a powder room, but perfect when both of us wanted to get ready or when one of us needed to blow-dry our hair while main bathroom was occupied. Great for saving time and also a real luxury to have so much space!

Other in-room amenities which we really appreciated were the eco-friendly REN bath products from London, the in-room Nespresso machine, iPod docking station and plush bath robes. There was a mini-bar, and also a microwave, which we thought was a nice addition especially if you wanted to nuke up a quick oatmeal breakfast or were travelling with an infant.

Decor-wise the palette was primarily black and white, with the bookshelf filled with vintage books adding a touch of colour and coziness. Everything felt clean and modern, but more like we were staying in an apartment versus a hotel — a definite advantage of staying in a boutique hotel.

The bed itself was totally plush, making for a very comfortable sleep. The walls could have been a tad thicker, although we didn’t hear anything at night, early one evening we could definitely hear some chatter from the next door room while we decompressed from a busy day.

Overall we felt this hotel had the right balance of modern and hip, mixed with a residential feel, which is not always the case when you stay at a larger property. It was nice to walk into the hotel after a long day and be greeted with a familiar face. It definitely felt like coming home. If you’re looking to stay in Tribeca for the film festival or otherwise (and you should!) we highly suggest you check out this hidden gem.

Standard rooms start a $250/night, while suites start at $500/night.

Where to Find:
130 Duane Street
New York, NY 10013
212-964-4600
duanestreethotel.com