From $259 including Wi-Fi.
The 213-room 11 Howard, part of the New York-City-based real estate firm RFR Holding, opened in April 2016 in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. Design and art are featured throughout the property: the prominent New York City-based architect Anda Andrei collaborated with the Danish firm Space Copenhagen on the contemporary design; sculptures, paintings and photography by established international artists such as the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto are on display throughout the public spaces. The hotel is a competitor to fashionable downtown properties such as Sixty Soho and also has a partnership with Starwood: guests who are part of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program earn 500 points for each night they stay.
11 Howard is near Chinatown and Little Italy, and within walking distance of art galleries, shopping and popular restaurants. Taxis are readily available, and several subways are within a five-minute walk including the N, R, A, C, E and 6 trains.
There are 10 room categories ranging from a 200-square-foot Howard Queen to the 3,000-square-foot Terrace Suite; all have 11-foot ceilings, light oak floors, large windows, custom-made Scandinavian-inspired minimalist furniture, 48-inch flat screen televisions and tablets from the technology company Keypr, which guests can use to order room service and make requests such as extra towels. Since the property had low occupancy on our weekend stay, the friendly front desk employee upgraded us three categories to a Howard Deluxe. The light-flooded room, with views of Howard Street, had a small sitting area, and its chic oak wood furniture, light gray bamboo area rug and dark wood night stands resembling tree trunks were a design treat. My oak wood king bed had incredibly soft white sheets that invited lingering. The one gripe– while my cellphone was recharging, I wanted to use the in-room phone to make a local call but stopped when I saw that the cost to do so was an eye-popping $1.50 a minute—really?
Small, yes, but the bathroom, with brass finishes, had an attractive marble vanity with ample counter space to spread out my toiletries. Other pluses: the oversized showerhead with strong water pressure and the hoard-able toiletries from Grown Alchemist, an organic line from Australia, in divine scents such as the rose, black pepper and sage shampoo.
The Library, a stylish but inviting all-day lounge with several comfortable seating areas and an eight-person communal table; a small gym; and a bar and nightclub, the Blond, that opens at 5 p.m. daily (it is closed on Sunday). And, instead of going the way of many hotels today by giving guests complimentary bike loans, those who stay here get to borrow longboards (similar to skateboards) instead.
There’s a limited room service menu, but who wants to order in when the French restaurant Le Coucou, run by the American chef Daniel Rose — renowned for his cuisine at the restaurant Spring, in Paris—is right downstairs? Snagging a table for dinner is nearly impossible, but guests get priority reservations. The restaurant is also open — and not nearly as coveted — for breakfast. My morning meal of French press coffee, an omelet with fresh mixed herbs and grilled bread was simple and delicious. The Library also serves breakfast starting at 7 a.m. and has a menu of small plates and drinks during the rest of the day.
The Bottom Line
With its enviable location in a fashionable part of town, efficient and personable service and eye-catching design combined with its Starwood partnership, 11 Howard is a solid choice for both leisure and business travelers.
11 Howard, 11 Howard Street, 212-235-1111, 11howard.com