The Mercer Hotel is smack in the middle of SoHo on Mercer and Prince, across from the Prada store and randomly, the American Eagle store. There's also a Marc Jacobs shop just a few feet away. Basically, it's in the heart of SoHo which is always a great place to be. Plus the blocks are super small and much easier to navigate than midtown or uptown.
When you roll up onto Mercer Street, there is no big sign pointing you to the hotel. In fact the entrance is just a normal-sized door but the luggage carts give away the hotel.
Walking into the Mercer is impressive. The place is unbelievably posh. Unlike the Bowery which was dark, musty and a little frumpy (although on purpose), the Mercer lobby is light and filled with leather chairs and a wall of books (the library) on the right.
The front desk was helpful if not a little too cool but since it was our first time in the hotel, the clerk showed us to our room rather than have the bellman escort us.
We had a room facing Mercer Street which was great. Not coincidentally, the room is classified as a Mercer room. If you want even better views, book the rooms ending in 07 as those are the corner rooms and offer views on both sides.
Despite the view and the high ceilings, we sorta felt like we were stuck in a white box. There was too much wall and not enough window. Does that make sense? It was also very bland and colorless. Obviously, the point of minimalist design. We could see how this neutrality was fetching in 1999 but it seemed cold and impersonal today. And especially coming from the Bowery Hotel which had a lot going on in its rooms, the Mercer felt boring.
That said, the bed was extremely comfortable and the shower had a super-duper body spray that hits you hard with sprays of water. We recommend using it after you have been in a warm shower for five minutes, not when you are dry or cold.
As you can see in the video, the room had a smallish flat-screen TV, and sitting area with a small vase of flowers on the table-top. In the bathroom, toiletries were located on an industrial-type cart. It reminded us of the rolling carts in hospitals where nurses place the surgical tools. It was weird. Back in the room, there were blackout shades which were remote-control operated and scored high on the cool factor for us. What we also liked was the bedtime stories for both children and adults that were available on the room phone.
As we told you last week, the minibar at the Mercer is chockfull of stuff including his and hers cigarettes or so it seemed that way to us and our "travel buddy."
Also tucked into the minibar was backgammon and chess games, an oxygen spritzer, Dean & Deluca candies but sadly no sex toys. Oddly enough, the oxygen spritzer sorta looks like a sex toy. Do with it what you will.
Upon check-in, we were asked if we were traveling with a wireless laptop. We said of course and the clerk gave us a little business card which had the passcode for the wireless internet. This was good to use for five days.
We entered the passcode and the wireless worked like a charm. But by the next morning, we had to enter the code again. We're not complaining because it's free but having just come from the Bowery Hotel where the internet was not only free but hassle-free, the Mercer's wifi policy seemed silly.
We dined at the Mercer Kitchen twice and had room service sent to the room once. And the food is better than good. The scene at Mercer Kitchen is also not to be missed as there are tons of beautiful well-dressed people flitting about.
The room was $530 a night which was crazy expensive and we doubt the rooms dip much in price during the off-season. Yet, this is a cool place without the scary factor (like GPH) and a killer location. The staff is friendly and courteous and you will probably always spot a celebrity here. If you got the dough, then blow here it.
· Inside the Bowery Hotel, Part One [HotelChatter]