Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back to the Hudson

New York.  The Sunday Times has booked me into the Hudson Hotel! This was the place that, in 2002, I decided was the worst hotel in the world and wrote two pages in Style magazine to justify my decision. Well, the power of the press seems to have had little effect. I still had to queue to check in, a process that at any other American hotel takes 30 seconds but at the Hudson takes twenty minutes. The staff still give the general impression that their jobs are beneath them. Nothing has been done to alleviate the nastiness of Phillipe Starck's design. Starck always tends to sacrifice useability to looks; at the Hudson he gave up on useability entirely. Perhaps he was depressed. His design not only makes you feel bad about the world - many if not most hotels do that effortlessly - but also bad about yourself. The music in the shocking acoutistics of the lobby is still frightening; I am not being an old fart here, I've checked with the grooviest New Yorkers I know and they also think it's horrible. Anyway, I am here for another 24 hours. I can take it.


  1. After a review like that, I hope you're eating out and not drinking their water.

  2. i hope you have a Hunter S Thompson style tab and can ring room service to demand: "wenches, buxom wenches! And rum! And I'm going to need some grapefruit and ether."

  3. I agree, Elberry. It sounds all very sixties. Even now I'm humming my favourite Leonard Cohen song.

    Hudson Hotel #2

    I remember you well in the Hudson Hotel,
    You were complaining so brave and so sweet,
    Writing your blog on an unmade bed,
    While Elberry leaves comments.
    Acoustics were the reason and that was New York,
    You were on assignment for the Sunday Times without Nige.
    And that was called blogging for the workers in blogs,
    Probably still is for those of us left.

  4. Wasn't there a documentary proving that Bryan is really Leonard Cohen? Or did i imagine that? As i recall there were many striking parallels: 10 years spent in a shed in Norfolk, a love of Calvados & Apple technology, propensity to meet beautiful women and perhaps commit sex crimes, the list goes on.

  5. The grapefruit and the ether would be supplied by the Hudson at the drop of a hat, breakfast is more problematic. I think, Dick, the Hudson wants to be th Chelsea Hotel but can't quite bring itself to do it. And, Elberry, it may be something to do with my famous blue raincoat.

  6. But the big thing is to travel, Bryan, isn't it? :)

  7. Welshcakes.....to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. Clearly true in Bryan's case

  8. Oh, I've stayed there! I felt like I was in a wooden box, with one clear aperture: the glass wall into the bathroom, where you could watch whomever you were staying with shower or...whatever.

    A very bizarre hotel, indeed. Instead of "boutique," it's a "boxique" hotel. It's only advantage is proximity to the subway at Columbus Circle.

  9. I don't get it. Why didn't you say I don't want to stay at the Hudson?
    There are thousands of hotels in New York. Are you taking the piss?