Located on the corner on 26th Street and Broadway, off the beaten tourist path, Flatiron Hotel is an easy walk to Times Square or Chelsea. Or you can plan to simply hunker down in this luxury boutique hotel. Featuring oversized windows, the hotel’s 65 rooms are spacious, bright, and luxurious, with 600-thread count linens, Wifi, an LCD TV, and an iPod charger/dock. But the pièce de résistance is the bathroom with amenities like Swiss rainfall showers or Jacuzzi bathtubs and televisions in the bathroom mirror.
When you can tear yourself away from the room for dinner, head down to Toshi’s Living Room, a fabulous venue for cocktails and dinner with a floor-to-ceiling fish tank as its centerpiece. Live music starts as early as 6 pm every night. The menu features moderately priced comfort food, the music is loud, and the crowd is lively —but not too much so. The night we checked it out there was an eclectic mix of tourist couples, a bachelorette party, families of the performers, and servicemen. Just as much fun was watching the passers-by on the street, stopping to gape into the floor-to-ceiling glass windows to see what the heck was going on in this quiet neighborhood so early in the evening.
Robert “Toshi” Chan himself, the majority shareholder in the hotel, is usually on-hand for the festivities. Super-suave and enthusiastic, he darts around, making sure dinner guests are happy, shining a spotlight on the entertainers, chatting with patrons at the bar, and checking in on his canine friends in the dog seating area outside. Oh, and if you think he looks familiar, it’s because he played a triad boss in the DiCaprio/Nicholson film The Departed.
For those looking to host an event or a private party, inquire about Toshi’s Penthouse. This 4,000 square-foot rooftop bar has a spectacular view of the Empire State Building to the north, and is a perfect spot to hang with friends above the fray, while enjoying a signature cocktail (aka Glasses of Happiness).
Dine: The menu at Toshi’s Living Room is almost as entertaining as the music, with dishes such as Tiger Eat Mango Salad, Shut Up & Beef, and Veg Out Bitch! If you are looking for a quieter place to dine (and a menu with fewer exclamation points) there are numerous choices in the Flatiron district, including Gramercy Tavern (grammercytavern.com), Craft New York (craftrestaurant.com), and Eleven Madison Park (elevenmadisonpark.com). As far as breakfast or brunch, you can’t beat Sarabeth’s Central Park South (sarabeth.com), which is just a quick walk across the top of Madison Square Park.
Explore: If you are into galleries, head west to Chelsea; for history buffs, check out the nearby homes of Teddy Roosevelt and Edith Wharton; for architecture fans there is, of course, the Flatiron Building itself, as well as The MetLife and Empire State Buildings. For a friskier adventure, the Museum of Sex (museumofsex.com) is just a block uptown.
Insider Tip: The Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art installation by Giuseppe Pedone is on display from September 26 through early February of next year. Entitled Ideas of Stone, the artist’s work features three 40-foot-tall bronze trees as a meditation on the relationship between man, sculpture, and nature. Check out the Conservancy’s website for more events: madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar.
9 West 26th St
New York, NY
Details: Rates start at $309 for standard Queen rooms.