Cosmopolitans Are For Girls

If they’re drinks. If you’re talking about the hotel, I’d have guessed at first blush that it was for me. I’m rethinking that. Two nights in the old hotel in Tribecca and it didn’t surprise me that they wished me a nice morning when I checked out, instead of inviting me back. The latter sentiment probably doesn’t get a lot of results. I keep thinking of Robin Williams from Good Morning, Vietnam saying “Don’t go there. Don’t go near there.”

I booked in Tribecca because the regular places I stay were booked up, but I dug the place when I showed up. It’s only one hop from Rector Street on the 1 Line, so access is simple. It had a close, historical feel to the lobby, and they were polite to me when I checked in without seeming overly solicitous (which always feels smarmy to me).

The negative column started getting tallies when I went to find my room. I tagged the button to call the building’s lone elevator and waited. And waited. And … waited. I think realistically it was a 3-4 minute wait, but I had gear and didn’t feel like humping up to the sixth floor via the stairs. The car moved ridiculously slowly, and between its speed and general backed up traffic, it was a pretty good bet that it planned to stop at every floor. I never took it down while I was there, arriving faster at ground level ambling down the stairs.

Odd characters haunted the halls, too. Considering that the place charges $300 a night, I have to at least doubt that it doubles as a flophouse, but there were ***plenty of people wandering around that made me wonder. There were no cups, no ice buckets, no refrigerator in the rooms. My alarm clock was broken.

I never did see Porn Guy wandering the hallway, but was fortunate enough to room right next to him. I don’t believe I’ve ever actually dialed up hotel pay-per-view, but he was certainly getting busy with his television set. And friends, the volume was way up. A friend asked me whether he might actually just have been getting busy, period — let’s just say that the cast of the movie he had on would not have fit in one of the Cosmopolitan’s luxurious closets – I mean, rooms. It wasn’t until this morning that I wondered what he was even watching and dialed up the menu, and it turns out that this hotel doesn’t even sell porn. The dude brought his own.

I guess the point is that the walls and doors are paper thin. That’s a strike against.

When I stay in a hotel, I only look for three things. I want a quiet room, I want a decent bed, and I want a decent bathroom. In the Cosmo, you absorb noise from the hallway and from your neighbors. The beds are old and poorly engineered. The bathroom is so small that the door has to open outward, which is different from most of the places I stay, and the bathtub is half-size (making you wonder why there’s a tub at all).

Honestly, the part I disliked the most was the apparently-invisible Do Not Disturb sign I hung on the door. Twice in two days, a hotel staff knocked on my door asking me if I’d called for ice. They were trying to be helpful, but I’d rather be left alone. When I spend two or three nights in a hotel, I don’t want anyone in my room – it’s better to remove the temptation presented by the expensive technology items I leave lying around.

Ultimately, the Cosmopolitan was a passable experience amid a great business trip, but for your money you could do far better. I appreciated the dose of realism that kept them from inviting me back.

Cosmopolitan Hotel
125 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007

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