Sustainability expert and travel writer based in London.

Review of The Jane, NYC

Review of The Jane, NYC

Holly Tuppen visits one of New York’s more budget-friendly boutique hotels, proving that you don’t have to break to the bank to experience a historical sliver of the Big Apple
The Jane’s roof top bar boasts sweeping views across The Hudson River The Jane’s roof top bar boasts sweeping views across The Hudson River

Finding somewhere to stay in a trendy neighbourhood in Manhattan for under £100 can be an unrewarding task. Cheap hotels in New York tend to be uncomfortably sleazy or depressingly characterless. Thankfully, The Jane has changed all this.  By keeping the rooms small and giving guests the option of an en-suite or shared bathroom, The Jane has managed to keep room prices down, despite its historical charm and excellent location.

As suggested by the red brick façade, small turret and cobbled street, the building has an intriguing past. Built in 1908 as the American Seaman’s Friend Society Sailor’s Home, throughout the 20th Century it housed everyone from drunken sailors, the survivors of the Titanic, penniless immigrants and unruly bohemians until being restored as the hotel we know today in 2008.


The Jane's ballroom-turned-bar

The Jane’s nod to its past is instantly recognizable throughout the hotel – the shabby glamour of the ballroom-turned-bar, the chandelier hanging above the cracked marble floor in the lobby, turn-of-the-century bellboys on the front door and wood paneled rooms that feel distinctly cabin-like.

We stayed in a Captain’s Cabin, which is one of the more expensive rooms and has its own en-suite bathroom. Unlike our hotel of a similar price bracket in the Upper West Side, The Jane’s Captain Cabins are not unbearably small. The bed was large and comfortable, the room featured all the modcoms you would expect (iPod dock, wifi, TV) and even had enough space for a wardrobe, small desk and minibar. The bathroom’s metro tiles and steel fittings felt very ‘New York’ and the huge marble tub was much appreciated after a day stomping the hot streets. The only downside to all the character of the room was its temperature – thick carpets, old furniture and rickety pipes aren’t conducive to the coolest slumber in the city.


The Captain's Cabin

Proving The Jane’s ambition to stay ahead of the curve, the list of features and amenities continues to grow. On the ground floor the huge ballroom bar offers guests a vintage-chic setting for early evening cocktails or cozy nightcaps whilst across the lobby the light and airy French café serves up coffee and pastries to fend off hangovers.  As of August 2012 The Jane’s roof top bar has become a hit with guests and locals alike - with sweeping views across The Hudson and the bohemian décor that the owners, Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson, have become renowned for. And when it’s time to burn off some of that New York excess, bikes are free to rent and rumour has it there’s a swimming pool on the way…

Sandwiched between the tree-lined streets of the West Village and the open-all-hours Meatpacking district, The Jane’s location couldn’t be much better. With Union Square, Soho and Chelsea all within walking distance, you may find yourself avoiding the Subway altogether.

Corner Bistro’s epic burgers, Pastis’ continental brunches and Fatty Crab’s Malaysian creations are some of the many restaurants that will vie for your dollars just around the corner. For nights out there’s everything from the speak-easy vibe of Chelsea’s The Tiddler to the achingly cool rooftop club at The Standard. And when it all gets a bit too much, a peaceful stroll along the Highline is a few blocks away and the newly refurbished Hudson River Park, with a cycling path extending around Manhattan in both directions, is just across the Highway.

By Holly Tuppen

Fact box: Spread over 6 floors, rooms in The Jane vary from £80 to £230. The Standard (single) and Double (bunks) Cabins have shared bathrooms whilst the Captain Cabins have an en-suite. The Jane’s rooftop bar is only open Wednesday to Saturday. For more information

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