After The Conrad New York, way down in Battery Park City, the gal moved – slightly – North, to SoHo, to Spring Street, to be exact, to have a last look at Trump SoHo New York. This has similarly stunning views over the Hudson, partly because the building soars to 46 floors high and also because the owners, CIM Group from Los Angeles, cleverly have all the airspace around too. From two-bedroomed suite 4303, therefore, there were sensational vistas across to New Jersey, though sadly neither sunset nor sunrise was spectacular during this stay. This is a luxury condo hotel, which means all 391 rooms and suites are owned, by people who get 28 days free a year although many of them prefer to take their share of sales.
I wanted to see what has happened since I was last here over two years ago. For a start the restaurant has changed. What was then a new-look Japanese is now an all-purpose American casual restaurant, simply called Spring & Varick, after the corner the hotel is on – Varick is the south extension of 7th Avenue. The operation is leased out, to events and all-purpose organizers Type Social, headed by Rema Jacobs and Shaun Rose (Type Social, which can do mega-gatherings, already handles Trump Soho’s bar, and such freestanding places as Gold Bar and Sweetwater Social). Here, Spring&Varick serves very enjoyable all-American food – and I mean ALL-Americas, because there is a big likeness of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo on one wall. At dinner, for instance, you can start with an arugula salad with Parmesan-truffle balsamic, and go on to a hanger steak, enlivened with pickled red onion chimichurri and a bordelaise sauce spiced up with Szechuan peppercorns (it is becoming very difficult to get any food in the great US of A that is not highlighted with something – Brussels sprouts here come with a Thai chili caramel).
But, bliss, it was possible to have a simple glass of Pinot, from Carpe Diem Anderson Valley 2013. And later, up in suite 4303, I was able to make a simple cup of coffee in an easy-use Nespresso machine. (I learned long ago that making your own coffee in the room is often not possible in unionized hotels as union powers-that-be prevent not only coffee makers being put into existing hotels but also having coffee stands in lobbies before breakfast starts, or at least until restaurant busboys arrive as only they are allowed to set up coffee stands.) It was bliss, too, to wake up, open my all-wall blinds, quickly activated by a wall-set switch, and check the view, even though the sunrise was missing.
Another change since my last visit to this luxury hotel is that Suzie Mills, the Brit who oversees the two Trump hotels in New York, has temporarily moved her base here. We had such a good talk and she was enthusing about last night’s Big Apple Stars hotel awards, a New York hotels’ initiative that honours line staff, such a reward for them – she had been to the awards’ presentation with some of her 331-strong team, which of course is augmented by those working Spring&Varick. This is another hotel that is strong on weekend staycation business, but every day it attracts fashionistas as Spring Street, to the east of the hotel, has numerous art galleries and restaurants, plus such brands as Cos, at 129 Spring Street; Burberry at 131 and Chanel at 139. Anyway, Trump moves out on December 31st, 2017, and now the big question who will next attempt to make this place a really successful hotel? Meanwhile, SEE SUITE 4303