Have you seen the movie Her by Spike Jonze? In which Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a lonely mustachioed guy who falls in love with Samantha, his operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson?
As I enter my room at the 11 Howard hotel, I am greeted by a tablet computer that seems to be waiting for me. It knows my name, which would no doubt be flattering to many solo travelers, particularly in New York. The city can be a lonely place.
But I remember what happened in the movie and turn the tablet over, face down. Be careful, it knows your name, I think. It is about to ask how I am doing. And what do I do then? I don’t want to fall in love with a tablet. Can you tell I’m a little neurotic?
A good drink in The Blond – the bar at the 11 Howard – should help. The bar is super-stylish, just like everything else here.
Anda Andrei designed the rooms; the furniture is by Oliver Gustav and the photographic artwork by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Dan Attoe supplied the installation in the staircase, and Alexander Calder the mobile in the lobby. The frontage features a huge mural made under the guidance of Jeff Koons.
“What’s with all the name-dropping?” you might ask and you’d be right. I am normally not a fan, but when it comes to the 11 Howard – which only opened last April – I make an exception. First of all, the works form a single work of art that oozes Scandinavian elegance and SoHo gentility. Secondly, I only learn this because a charming concierge tells me at the bar. I take copious notes and thank her contentedly.
“No problem,” she replies, pointing out that I could have got all this information from the tablet in my room. I nod, smiling. Of course.
This story first appeared in Lufthansa Exclusive, the frequent traveller magazine. For more information about Lufthansa Miles & More offers, please click here.