Visiting NYC is a little like being plugged into an electric current but, the Jane’s in-house hotel manager (a laid-back Australian) brings a chilled vibe to this hipster haven with a budget price-tag and salty seadog roots. Wedged between the Chelsea art district the Highline and the revamped cycle path along the Hudson, The Jane hotel once housed survivors from the Titanic before morphing into a flophouse. Today it provides shelter to both hotel visitors and long-term residents and is pitched at those with short pockets and a tolerance of eccentricity.
The wood-panelled rooms are reached via a maze of rambling corridors, ‘Standard Cabins’ are tiny with wall hooks to hang your clothes and a small sleeping platform that facilitates lying down, but probably not turning over. Some of them are weirdly shaped and best suited to those without feet. Anyone taller than Tin Tin should upgrade. (Unless you’re planning to just pass out on the floor.)
Next up, the Bunk Bed Cabin – designed for close, rather than intimate friends. When reception says there’s only room for one person to dress at a time, they’re not exaggerating. Bathroom facilities are communal – but are cleaned every half an hour.
The Captain’s Cabin (double rooms) are totally spacious with ample bathrooms and the odd bath-tub, however, for us these rooms veer from cute whimsy into grandma territory – if you’re in town for some serious romancin’ it might be worth checking out deals elsewhere.
What We Love
What we love about the Jane is its democratic spirit, yes, most of the rooms are small and many have less than salubrious views – but for NY, they come at a low price, what they lack in size they compensate with atmosphere. The smaller rooms are really too small to hang out in, and this is where The Jane’s communal spaces come into their own. The reasonably priced in-house restaurant, Cafe Gitane, is a whimsical take on Havana-style chic meets Moroccan flavours – I can think of few places I’d rather start the day, or while away an hour drinking coffee and penning postcards over a plate of avocado toast. Fellow guests tend to be interesting folk and the ambiance is friendly enough to strike up a conversation with, say, an artist from out-of-town, a documentary film maker, or a young curator from London. (Be warned that loitering may be curtailed on a weekend when brunch goes through the roof.)
The Jane’s in-house bar ‘The Ballroom’ – a sort of Agatha Christie-style extravaganza of overstuffed couches and palm trees – was so damn popular it had to be closed down due to noise complaints, but last time we were in town it was back in operation. (If you’re planning on sleeping, pack ear plugs just in case.)
The Jane lists complimentary bicycles and ‘killer neighbourhood’ under its amenities – that kind of sums it up.
The Jane Hotel
113 Jane Street
New York, NY 10014-1797