Q: What is it? A: A In 1996 this hotel changed the SoHo hotel scene. Now it would benefit from a total makeover, (although they should keep the cast iron/glass-bottle staircase), including some incentives to motivate the staff.
Let’s just face it, shall we?
Face this: The Soho Grand is not so grand anymore. I had rather high expectations on arrival, as it is a place that has been around for twelve years and with the dignity of a grand old lady shouldn’t have much to prove. For sure, they start out in a great fashion. The doormen are both helpful and cheerful. The front desk pours up Champagne upon check in, but the rooms… what a disappointment! Where’s the glamour? Where’s the glitz? I felt like staying in a cheap motel in Arizona. Most of the furniture looks jaded and worn-out although the bathroom must have had an upgrade lately, as it features a funky wallpaper with birds.
What’s worse: The staff seem to not like their job.
An observation: With a backdrop this impressive and a lobby area looking like taken out of a movie set with its glass and cast iron stairs, then it feels very out-of-place with a concierge who is yawning in your face and just very reluctantly puts down her phone to assist you, (and that was a private conversation, ladies and gentlemen).
I also find it off-putting if the people who should help you kick-start your day at breakfast are even sleepier than you are. On top of it all, I was advised to head off to a nearby print-out facility one block away. There was only one catch: It wasn’t open. I just wanted a colour print-out. Hardly an exotic request, or maybe I’m just expecting too much?
Resting on their laurels.
I try to find an explanation to why what I once thought was a very fine hotel has now completely deteriorated. That’s what it feels like. They have the setting and the brand and they sure could ride high on their downtown location for many years to come, being the first grand dame of this neighbourhood. However, to achieve that they must start to deliver! I feel bad for having to write it, but I can not recommend this place as long as the rooms feel so… dull and the staff is performing with so much reversed enthusiasm. There was a time when I thought that the Soho Grand was the epicenter of cool, so I feel very awkward writing this lukewarm review, but they sure deserved it!
Soho Grand Hotel
310 West Broadway (at Grand Street)
New York, NY 10013