New York City, USA ~ ModernHaus SoHo

December 2022

During our visits to New York City, we’ve come to love SoHo, and we have a favorite place to stay — the Crosby Street Hotel — but an Architectural Digest article on 11 new design-centric hotels in NYC described ModernHaus as “a case study in color and an homage to the postwar Bauhaus movement.” As lovers of all things concrete, we couldn’t resist.

It’s about the building…and the view

One of us grew up in a concrete house — designed by an architect dad — so modernist/brutalist/Bauhaus designs have always held an attraction. When we arrived at ModernHaus we pulled right up to the front door and didn’t get a look at the building itself. It wasn’t until an hour later when we headed out for a walk and saw the structure sitting in juxtaposition to the more classic SoHo cast iron facades and rising decidedly skyward. In fact, the front door of ModernHaus in on the intimate Grand Street, and it adjoins its neighbor on that lane, but two sides of the hotel are surrounded by small parks, big avenues (Canal Street and Sixth Avenue), and an approach to the Holland Tunnel. That makes a view of the whole building possible from the outside and the view looking out from inside just about as “storybook New York” as you can get.

Almost everything in ModernHaus is oriented vertically. The small lobby is all that occupies the first floor. Up a handful of steps in the restaurant, Veranda, and then the hotel’s lobby and bar occupy the second floor. Up top on the 18th floor, is the rooftop bar and long-time neighborhood staple, Jimmy’s. Even with its relatively small footprint, the hotel features more outdoor space per room than any other hotel in downtown Manhattan, according to a Forbes article on ModernHaus. We’ll admit that we didn’t take time to thoroughly explore these spaces, even though the New York City weather was amazingly mild for late-December.

Our room, a skyline king studio on the 11th floor, had stunning views of the financial district to the south (including the World Trade Center buildings), but also west toward the New Jersey skyline. The only thing obstructing the two walls of windows in our corner room was a TV mounted to the concrete pillar. While it did interrupt the scene, we understand that hotel guests expect a TV, and all the glass in the room really didn’t allow for another spot.

Nice touches but a few distractions

We arrived in our room to a bottle of chilled Cava, a cream puff (which was delicious even two days later when we finally got around to eating it), and a welcome note from the guest services manager. (As an aside, we’ll say that the staff was attentive and helpful and got us an on-the-spot booking at a restaurant where we could satisfy our paella craving.) When we managed to pull ourselves away from the view, we found a room that was well-designed and functional, and it offered more breathing room than many NYC hotels. The wrap-around windows, the high-ceilings and glass wall into the bathroom (with a mechanical blind) made the room airy and light-filled. We also appreciated that we could open the windows each night to allow in the fresh air; that — in combination with the Beautyrest “Black” mattress and Frette linens — made for a very good night’s sleep.

While we have much good to say about ModernHaus, there were a few misses. Perhaps because we’ve stayed in some truly exceptional properties, we were disappointed to see the wear-and-tear on the room and its furnishings, particularly considering the hotel opened as the ModernHaus fewer than two years ago (it was formerly the James Hotel but went through an extensive reimagining after being acquired by urban-development firm Thor Equities in 2017). The nicks and dings were visible reminders that many people had come and gone in the room, and then when we found both a pillowcase and a towel with stains, a sink that didn’t drain properly, and white duct tape securing something around one of the windows, the illusion of luxury faded. We know how hard it must be to keep hotels in pristine condition — and we know how carelessly guests can treat things that aren’t their own — but we’ve seen high standards maintained. Modern design leaves little room for scratches and dents; anything short of perfect detracts from the aesthetic.

All in all, the bones of ModernHaus are solid; a property with so much going for it deserves the constant attention a top-notch hotel requires.

Stay details

  • Modernhaus, Grand and Sixth in SoHo,
  • 3-night stay: December 28-31, 2022
  • Skyline King Studio, 11th floor

What we did, where we ate

Back to HOTELLING home

One thought on “New York City, USA ~ ModernHaus SoHo

  1. Everything sounded great and enjoyed the pictures until the end of your review. Hopefully, these never-ending maintenance problems will be fixed.


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