The Mercer Hotel, New York
by Harry / May 22, 2011

Wish I was a regular guest at the Mercer Hotel. Last week for NY Design Week I was a guest of The Mercer Hotel in Soho and as is often said in the hotel world, but not necessarily done, it's the people who made my stay sublime. For a city that is in constant overdrive, Kern and Angelina's calm and happy demeanor (above) succeeded in making me calm and happy.

And that's the goal according to hotel manager Priscilla Walsham, to make the Mercer the East coast happy home away from home for guests. The Mercer is the sister hotel to Hollywood's Chateau Marmont (same owner), which provides similar home away from home-like stays on the West coast.

In the 13 years since the hotel opened the public and private spaces haven't changed very much and neither has the recipe. Spacious rooms with large bathrooms with equally large soaking tubs and a separate shower. "Key-ful" entry, not keyless - you get a real metal key for the room.

And quiet. Weekends in Soho are notoriously busy and noisy, yet my street facing room was exquisitely quiet.

So what's new at the Mercer? To the untrained eye, not much, but for regular guests (and there are many), there is new, and they notice. All the changes are incremental and based on observation and feedback from guests...


More healthful breakfast drinks, like this one made with Organic Avenue juices seen here in the lobby.


New intimate areas in the lobby for guests to sit and share. The Mercer lobby has several large comfortable couches but staff noticed that guests were pulling up chairs to get closer to one another. Two "intimate islands" were thus recently created with chairs and a small table, added to the library area so that guests can huddle.


And new books. Every few months hotel owner Andre Balazs sends a list of new books to add the lobby library. The books are made available to guests and can be borrowed from the library for the duration of their stay.


On the surface these additions aren't substantial, but they do illustrate something that came through in my interactions with the Mercer staff during my stay. That they were thinking of ways of not just making my stay pleasant, but making it better. Which, for the marathon that is ICFF and New York Design Week, was very much appreciated thank you.


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