The first SoHo loft hotel is still the definitive entry in the genre. This 19th-century Romanesque Revival building was filled with artists’ lofts during the neighborhood’s postwar heyday, and its late-’90s renovation at the hands of superstar interior designer Christian Liaigre transformed it into one of the best of the first generation of boutique hotels. And while the competition has multiplied, the Mercer’s never lost its sheen — it’s perennially on the radar of some of the world’s most style-conscious travelers.
Guest rooms put their loft-style oversized windows and hardwood floors to good use, and the fixtures and furnishings are custom pieces, designed by Liaigre to convey a unique sense of place. Its elegance comes from its restraint and its confident minimalism, while its materials and textures keep it from coming off cold. And while the rooms aren’t enormous — this is New York, after all — the suites quickly expand into haute-luxury territory.
Just outside, of course, is some of the most famous shopping in New York, and by extension the world — but inside the Mercer there’s a sense that everything you’d need is already within these walls. This includes a modern Italian restaurant by restaurateur Scott Sartiano and the James Beard Award–winning chef Alfred Portale, where guests dine either in the lobby or in an atmospheric brick-clad subterranean dining room.