New York postcard: The Hudson Hotel

You’re familiar with the term “happy ending” are you not?

Well, I’m here today to tell you a little story about a different happy ending. And ending that indeed made us very happy but not in a “I just had a special massage” kind of way.

And that happy ending for us was the moment we set foot in the lime green-lit foyer of the Hudson Hotel, midtown in New York City. Actually, scrap that … it was from the very moment that the bell hop opened the door to our taxi on 356 West Street.

Hudson Hotel, New York City

We could breathe again.

I know, I know … I only blogged days ago about our fabulous apartment in the fabulous West Village but it turns out such fabulousness can easily come unstuck. It started with a scary knock at the door on Tuesday while I was at home with a very sick Mr 7 while Mr SY was out suit shopping at Macy’s.

The knock at the door? Oh, that was just someone serving our landlord/host with court papers for unpaid rent. Mmmmm.

The next day, while Mr SY was tag-teaming me with sick son duties, the building superintendent knocked on the door and told us that a court martial would be around in a day or two to seize the property.

Mr SY texted me this latest development while I was busy acquainting myself with Anthropologie in Soho. Umm … way to kill your shopping mojo.

In the time it took to cab it back to the apartment, I had made the decision that were getting out of there. I had visions of us heading out for a bit of sightseeing, only to come back and no longer have any access to our belongings, which included our ipads, computers etc. Not something that I wanted to experience and certainly not an ordeal I wanted to put our seven-year-old through.

So, I grabbed said computer and jumped online to booking.com and punched in a search for hotels to sleep three people somewhere midtown.

Now, having already stayed at the Hilton for the BlogHer conference, I was not keen to return to it or something like it. If you could imagine a McDonalds with guest rooms, that would come close to the lack of personality that a 2500-room hotel brings with it.

Near the top of my search flashed up the Hudson Hotel, of the Morgans Hotel Group. And this is where the power of email marketing kicked in. I receive the Morgans Hotel Group emails – have done for years as they contacted quite a few fashion bloggers in the lead up to Fashion Week a few years ago, offering special rates. This was back when a trip to New York was merely a pipe dream, a dream I wanted to make happen … I just didn’t know when.

The price was right, so I clicked “book now” and we started packing. We told Mr 7 (who slept through all of this – that’s how sick he’s been … this is a boy who never sleeps in the day) that we wanted to move closer to the toy shops. There was no need for him to take on our stress. He is someone who likes to do that at the best of times.

Within an hour and a half we were at our new “home”. And it did feel just like that.

It’s funky (I know using the word funky is probably not cool or hipster but that’s how I’m calling it ;) ).

The staff are SO friendly (thanks Xander the guest service agent who checked us in … I could have jumped the counter and kissed you, such was the relief I felt staring out through the window behind you to the hotel’s private park knowing that I’d picked a good place to end our New York visit on a high note).

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

The rooms are reasonable in size by New York standards. We have two double beds enveloped in crisp, white sheets; the entrance/alcove area fits all our luggage despite the fact I now have twice as many pairs of shoes as what I had a week ago. The bathroom has a small bath and we have a bar fridge (something strangely missing at the Hilton). Oh and we have a view of the Hudson River. Not so shabby at all.

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

Hudson Hotel, New York City

The cool factor goes up a gazillion notches at the Sky Terrace bar … we plan to check that out tonight. Last night we were exhausted by the whole shebang … I grabbed a pinot grigio from the Library Bar and sat in our room with a grin on my face.

We felt safe in this big city. And that’s pretty much as cool as it gets in my travel books.

Have you ever had things not go to plan when you’re travelling? How have you handled that?

PS. Airbnb, who we booked our apartment through, is following up our case for us and we’re hoping that we can get a refund for the three nights’ we did not use at the apartment and that we can get our security deposit back. Just because we had a bad experience, does not mean you will. Other bloggers travelling to New York for BlogHer have had great success with their bookings. If you’re planning to use this service, I would go with your gut instinct. We should have acted sooner on our’s … like when the listing for the apartment we booked turned out not to be the address we were staying at. The photos and details matched but in hindsight our host had probably not included the correct address as he didn’t want his building’s superintendent to find out he was making money off holiday rentals but not paying his actual rent. Who knows? I’m sharing my experience in the hope that it helps others who want to discover New York this way.

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  • Liz Stephens

    Hi Nikki, just read about your experience with Airb&b and thought I’d share our experience. We have an aapartment in Sydney

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Very wise warning Liz. We learned the hard way – as did you! It’s a shame because as a legitimate service it works beautifully.

  • http://twitter.com/Pretty_Fluffy Serena Faber Nelson

    I’ve stayed at the Hudson before – loved it! The foyer is so beautiful, and the staff amazing. As for their dining and drinks? Heaven!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Absolutely – I would go back there in a flash!

  • Denielle Hemsworth

    That hotel looks amazing!

  • Lisa Schofield

    Oh Nikki, I’ve only just caught up with this drama. I had my own apartment drama in Miami, lets just say, latino drug lords and a dodgy sublet tainted our stay in Miami. I wouldn’t normally do this, but my blog about it tells the story in all it’s raw detail. Our family is still healing from the trauma and my husband is still laughing at me! “Normally you get it so right”, were his words to me http://givingbackgirl.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/story-that-just-needs-to-be-told.html. Glad you’re worked out so well!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, Lisa … I’ll have a read when we get back to the hotel later. Wow!

  • BB

    Glad it ended well Nikki – a nasty situation for you all. What great blog fodder though!!

    We stayed at the Renaissance right near Times Square and were looked after like kings (it was low season which helped price-wise).
    :-)
    BB

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Good to have a recommendation for another hotel, thanks BB and yes, nothing like having a “story” to tell.

  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    Yay for happy endings! I am so impressed that you saved your son some stress, great parenting right there! Well done.
    xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, we only got away with it because he was asleep while we packed up the apartment and booked a hotel but was best option in the end.

  • Annabel Candy

    Ugh! That’s a pain in the bum and sorry to hear the little fellow was sick:( Enjoy Cali x A

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      He is fighting fit now and loving Disneyland Annabel!

  • Carly Findlay

    This hotel looks awesome! We had a similar experience to you and had to vacate our airbnb apartment quickly, amd chose the New Yorker which turned out to be fantastic – quite differemt to what The Hudson looks like – but great service and space.
    Glad your experience ended up a good one!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s good to have two hotel recommendations Carly, isn’t it? Love the look of yours!

  • Pingback: 10 things you must do in New York City | Styling You()

  • Kathryn

    We were so close to booking an apartment before we went last year, until I read the horror stories, and the fact that subletting in NYC is illegal! Decided not to take the risk. Anywhere else in the world, fine, just not new York! Glad it all worked out in the end and you found a lovely hotel.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Kathryn, you know we’ve only just found since this happening that that is the case re subletting. Really grateful for our time at this hotel.

  • http://www.ledelicieux.com Jennifer

    Sorry to hear about your problems with your AirBnb apartment. How horrible! That’s so lucky that you were able to find a hotel so quickly, and the Hudson looks fantastic! We’re heading to New York in a few weeks for our honeymoon and have booked an apartment through Airbnb, and am hoping it will be ok. Just in case I’ve bookmarked some backup hotels, but hopefully I won’t have to use them.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Jennifer you will probably be ok but if you have any warning bells ringing, contact Airbnb and make alternative arrangements.

  • Sharon O

    Hi Nikki, that’s what I love about you, nothing seems to get you down, you can turn a negative into a positive experience. You bounce right back, tiger! Grrrrr!! :-) These things happen to the best of us, it’s all about our attitude to them that makes all the difference! Now you’re wiser as well – no more New York real estate scams for you, lady!! Glad to hear Mr7 is feeling better. Have fun at Anthro and Disneyland! Love hearing about your adventures :-)))

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much Sharon … I do lose my cool ;) but really, even though this happened, we were still in NYC. Not much was going to wipe the smile off my face. Just jumped in and found a solution.

  • Erin

    Sucks to hear about your initial dodgy experience, but glad you found solace at the Hudson! I stayed there a couple of years ago when I was in New York and it was awesome – even ended up eating at the restaurant there a couple of times because the food was so delicious (crispy skin salmon, drool. Can you still order the mac ‘n’ cheese through room service? If so, I highly recommend it). Have a beer up on 15th floor Sky Terrace before you leave, very schmancy.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      They don’t seem to have room service any more and unfortunately we spent our last evening at the medical clinic for our son instead of at the Sky Terrace. Will have to come back!

  • Dotty

    I’m staying at The Hudson in September. So excited. You must check out Wholefoods at Columbus Circle.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Going there tonight Dotty for some picnic dinner food for Central Park!

  • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

    Well all I can say is that there is always a reason for this sort of thing- you end up happier! It may cost a bit more but peace of mind is so worth it.
    I have had plenty of travel plans go awry. Wrong sized hire cars (you know the ones that will only fit one suitcase not 2 per person! or require the children to sit on suitcases- not happening -and worth waiting 2 hours for a bigger car)) , tiny rooms for 6 people with one bathroom, tiny rooms that you can’t swing a cat in, to stay for 10 days.
    Unless you have stayed somewhere before, you just don’t know what you are getting. You must always have a kitty of dough to upgrade or get you out of any sort of strife!
    Our last trip involved serious upgrades, and because there were 6 of us it meant upgrading 2 rooms everywhere! Husband went clean off his head at one hotel (the 3rd hotel we stayed in and 3rd time not happy) when I went in the door, I took one look and said, “Nuh not happening,” turned on my heels and went straight to the front desk to get different rooms (at $1200 extra for 4 nights). He grumbled and nagged at me all the way to the new rooms. But when he got to the new ‘connecting’ rooms and saw how much better they and the view was he was happy- I have never heard another word about it- well after the sorry! He has never complained about my choices of accomodation since!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Ahh, we were just saying that the day it happened, it really pays to have an extra “kitty” on a credit card for just this. Unless you’ve stayed somewhere before you really don’t know what you’re getting until you open that door. And your hire car statement makes me glad we’ve paid for a bigger car on the West Coast (I’ve got a bit of extra luggage!!). x

      • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

        sooo excited for you going to the west coast, we have done it twice, Please tell me you have tickets to take your little man to Disneyland!!! That’s where we had 10 days last time. And are you going to Vegas? Best shopping in the whole world there!
        Ha we had a Ford expedition (extended cab!) it was fab and we could all fit in -7 peeps first trip and 6 peeps second time, Though the first time we did have to fly two people to LA from Vegas going home, as the suitcases we bought and filled at the outlet shopping, needed that 3 rd row of seat space!

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          We’ve got two days at Disneyland Jodie – my brother lives in Santa Clarita with his family and I haven’t seen him since he moved two years ago so we’re really excited to catch up with them tomorrow! Las Vegas will have to wait till next year’s trip ;)

  • Donna @ NappyDaze

    Oh Nikki, what an ordeal! After its all over its something you get to reflect on and recount as a special “holiday story” – every trip has to include a dodgy experience :) Looks like you landed on your feet though, The Hudson looks amazing!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yep, it’s a story with a good ending. My favourite kind!

  • Paula

    That’s one of those holiday experiences you’ll never forget…. Not in the same way as the sailing though! Hope your little man is on the mend.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      No, not the same as the sailing but really lovely now we’ve been here all the same.

  • Denny

    What an adventure you have had but thankfully a happy ending! We have never had any problems with our o/seas internet apartment bookings until our last trip to Italy for our honeymoon (2nd marriage). Hubby booked an apartment in an ancient military castle dated 1100 AD outside Siena – the blurb sounded fantastic “sit in our ancient tranquil gardens enjoying a wine whilst on wi-fi etc etc”. When we arrived it was indeed a ‘military castle’ complete with dirt floors, prison cells, straw ceilings and dust from the 1100’s, oily water from the well, over run with cats dangling rats in their mouths, wi-fi was down (??? we think their bill was unpaid) no heating and absolutely dark and depressing after the wonderful apartment we had just left in Venice. The owners of the castle were obviously broke. I was so disappointed and broke into sobbing tears. My wonderful husband gave me the option – (a) either we stay and go out every day at the crack of dawn and spend heaps of money shopping on whatever I wanted or – (b) we spend that money on an expensive hotel to tide us over until the next leg of our journey. I pondered our situation and took option (a) and now have some wonderful Italian clothes, shoes, and handbags I would not have been able to con out of my husband! I think I took the smart option.
    We still laugh about our military castle and the filth and rats but have become very philosophical about the fact that the internet ad DID stipulate it WAS a military castle used by the army of Siena so they could see the advancing army from Florence!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, that is hilarious! I would have cried too and probably taken option a) … I think travelling with a child made us sieze the option b) quicker than we would have otherwise done.

  • Bianca Wordley

    So shit, but so friggin cool in the end. What a groovy place. I hope Mr 7 is feeling better xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Very friggin cool in the end Bianca … Mr 7 showed some bright signs (ie ate food … you know a kid is sick when they knock back a donut!) so will see how today pans out. x

  • Julie

    Glad to read of your happy endings Nikki – especially that your boy is on the mend. Well done you for saving him the stress – glossing over some of the details is easier said than done around perceptive little 7yo’s isn’t it! Hotel looks FAB. I hope you get back to Anthro! Yes, we’ve had a few accom headaches over the years – definately more stressful when the kids have been in tow! But nothing that has put our merry band of explorers off travelling xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think we only got away with it because he was asleep from sickness. Anthro is on the list today!

  • http://www.lipglossmumma.com.au/ Lipgloss Mumma

    Not something you need when travelling! So glad you found the Hudson Hotel though, it looks very funky indeed. Will have to bookmark that one. I’ve heard of the Sky Terrace bar, supposedly very hip indeed. Enjoy the rest of your stay Nikki x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, we’re aiming to show our un-hip selves there tonight!

  • http://twitter.com/ShesSonic Sonia // She’s Sonic

    I’m so glad it has all worked out for you in the end. The Hudson looks like one amazing place to end your holiday on a high. xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It is amazing Sonia and we’d definitely come back. We’re off to the West Coast tomorrow … so holiday continues!

  • http://silverhuang.com/ Silver Huang

    Wow Nikki what a shock! I saw your Instagram & was confused for a while there as to what happened (because of the auto spelling correct function of the iPhone I’ll bet!)

    I just booked my own accommodation for the upcoming TEDxMelbourne through airbnb for the first time, was a bit nervous but needed to watch the budget.

    I’m glad things worked out though and here’s hoping Mr. 7 gets well soon!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Silver … it’s not Airbnb as such … just some of the stuff that can happen with landlords etc. If something sounds suss, it’s probably worth acting on your gut instinct.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johanne-Taylor/100000780773879 Johanne Taylor

    Its terrible that your experience was negative, but great that you found what looks like a fabulous hotel to move to (definitely my kind of place) . I always say there’s nothing that goes wrong on holidays that you can’t fix-or at least make tolerable- with a credit card.
    We’ve stayed at The Thompson LES (Lower East Side) and I’d describe it as funky, too. So we’re probably equally un-hip!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, I’ll look that one up. And yes, it pays to have money on a credit card as “insurance” … made the decision making all the easier.

  • sarah

    oh that was me Mrs Beach Cottage, disqus acting weird for me xxxx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Mrs BC. I worked that out x

  • Janelle@AWhiteFarm

    Glad to hear your boy is on the mend. And youre feeling safe and happy in your new ‘home’. On the plus side of things you’ve been wearing some fab dresses and your feet look lovely in their sandals even if theyre hurting like heck!! Enjoy the rest of your trip..x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Janelle … and the feet thing is my fault … just want to wear my nice, normal sandals but you underestimate the walking you do in this city! Everyone told me but I did not want to listen!

  • sarah

    what a nightmare! sorry to hear but the new hotel looks about a trillion times better than that awful place we roomed!

    great post

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Sarah … oh, this is what a New York hotel should look like. Something with character. You made the Hilton good, though x

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Sorry you had that bad experience,and glad you didn’t involve Flynn,he would have been upset,and being sick in NY that’s horrible,I hope he is better now.That Hotel looks stunning,Love the views ,it looks beautiful,so very chic,Hope you get your money back and everything turns out ok.Loving your “postcards” they are great…More please…..

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The hotel is great and Flynn has been better this afternoon. We’ve just made the most of it the best way we can Lisa … stay tuned for more postcards and info. x

  • http://twitter.com/peaches_candy Peaches and Candy

    Oh no thats not good at all but great find with the Hudson Hotel it looks amazing will have to check it out hopefully on my next trip to NYC that i am dreaming about.
    Its been fun following your adventure to this amazing city, enjoy the rest of your time there xNatelle

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      We would definitely come back and stay here. Love everything about it.

  • Vanessa

    Sounds like a good ‘escape’ – best to lose some cash than your belongings :) Hope it all works out for a refund. And the Hudson Hotel looks amazing!! Great find!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      My thoughts exactly Vanessa … and peace of mind is priceless!

  • Catherine

    Oh Nikki – I’m sorry you had such an experience, but that new hotel is amazing! That foyer shot is gorgeous, and the outdoors… well! I’m glad it’s better, and you’re ending on a high note. Your posts about NY ahave been wonderful; thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Catherine

      Oh, and I hope you’re going to do a shopping round up soon!

      • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

        Thanks Catherine … yes, I have my shopping post brewing … just wanted to soak as much in as possible before writing. Thanks for following along!