TRIED AND TESTED HOTELS
Arlo Soho, New York
BACKGROUND Opened in September 2016, this was the first hotel launched under the Arlo brand by investment firm Quadrum Global. The brand was created by Brand Bureau and, boy, do they know how to dream up a hotel concept that captures New York cool.
Located in a new-build property, Arlo Soho is one of a new breed of “micro boutique” hotel; translation, rooms are on the small side but are designed to the Nth degree to utilize space and evoke a luxury feel. The brand has partnered with local businesses to provide everything from uniforms to toiletries.
Brace yourself – as soon as you enter Arlo SoHo you are among the cool kids
WHERE IS IT? Set in Lower Manhattan, near the ultra-hip areas of SoHo, Tribeca and the West Village, and not far from the financial district.
W H AT ’ S IT LIKE? Brace yourself – as soon as you enter
Arlo SoHo you are among the cool kids. On the left is the “Soho Bodega” selling juices, coffee, snacks and on the right is another which features on-trend knickknacks, from cards to soaps to jewelry.
Reception is between the two and is attended by a chipper and accommodating staff in the hotel uniform of dressed-down smart created by neighboring tailor Miller’s Oath. The industrial/warehouse look rules, with open spaces divided by screens and sliding doors, bare brick, mismatching modern furniture, and gray upholstery that is illuminated via large floor to ceiling windows.
While rooms are small, communal space is plentiful with several distinct work/play areas, including large tables for Mac-using hipsters, comfortable sofas and chairs for relaxing, and a central courtyard filled with outdoor seating and quirky objects.
ROOMS There are 325 rooms – Kings or Queens with courtyard or city views, Two Twin rooms, and the Bunk room with twin bunk beds. I’m in a Courtyard King room, which is finished in white paint and tiles and warm walnut.
The space is exceptionally well thought-out. The bed is at the end of the long, relatively narrow room in a window alcove. Instead of a closet there’s a pegboard, beneath which is a mini fridge (there’s no mini bar). USB ports are located on each side of the bed, which is very comfortable with crisp white linens. And the two sets of blinds, lighter ones for privacy and blackout blinds, are both controlled by handy switches.
The bathroom, which is sectioned off with frosted glass, features a good rain shower and handmade ceramic tiles, with bespoke toiletries from Blind Barber.
All in all, it’s totally comfortable, stylishly hip and ergonomically designed to be a pleasure to use. FOOD AND DRINK Other choices besides SoHo Bodega is the Arlo Liquor Bar for cocktails and more. The main food offering is Harold’s Meat +Three at the back of the property. A continental style breakfast buffet (not included) is also served here. Then there’s also A.R.T. (Arlo Roof Top) which, as the name implies, purveys drinks and small plates with skyline views.
MEETINGS The communal spaces in the hotel can be divided off with sliding doors to provide private meeting areas. In addition there are three Studio spaces on the second floor that can be screened off, or combined to provide more room.
LEISURE Several events take place in the hotel throughout the week, including live music, exercise classes and movie nights. Guests may use the hotel’s bicycles for free.
VERDICT A beautifully designed space, with everything in its place, in a great location for both business and pleasure. Rooms are comfortable and pleasant despite their wee proportions, and there’s a buzzing atmosphere that makes a stay here fun but equally appropriate for business.