Classic New York hotel The Jane is full of character and will please anyone who harbours romantic notions of seafaring
If you harbour romantic notions of the golden age of ship and train travel, often feeling let down by charmless modern hotel chains, then could be right up your gas-lit street.
Housed in a landmark building on the Hudson River, it was originally run by the American Seaman's Friend Society. It accommodated and attempted to civilise sailors and, perhaps most famously, put up survivors of the Titanic.
Seamen were allocated rooms according to rank, with the sailors taking tiny berth-like rooms and officers and captains being set up with rather more spacious surroundings. This is exactly how it works today. From $99 a night, you can have your own tiny but charming cabin for one, or bunk bed for two complete with wood paneling, brass fittings and - something the sailors didn't have - all important super-speedy wifi. For the smaller rooms, bathrooms are shared, but there is no compromise on style - they are classic in design with marble countertops, black and white tiles and chrome fittings.
I splashed out on a Captain Cabin, which includes a queen-sized bed and private bathroom. I loved the peacock feather design on the fabric-covered walls and brass bed with vintage cotton quilt; it was the best kind of old-fashioned cosy. The bathroom also had a proper deep bathtub, although some Captains Cabins are shower-only.
The Jane also has the simple and lovely Cafe Gitane, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ballroom bar is a huge space, filled with velvet sofas and chandeliers, while the terrific roof terrace offers the best view of the river.
As areas go, it's hard to beat the Meatpacking District. Bars and cafes can be found within a stone's throw of the hotel, as can The Whitney Museum of American Art and the beginning of the brilliant High Line.
Rooms at The Jane Hotel start at $99 a night.
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