I fell for the newly rebranded SIXTY SoHo when I scoped out the titles on the small ladder bookshelf in my room: Keith Richards’ autobiography, the Steve Jobs biography, Humans of New York,Dickens’ Great Expectations, Ayn Rand and Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing.
Clearly a human being—one with a strong point of view, sense of style and sense of play—had had a hand in the details. Someone had signed off not only on the Sferra linens but also on the fun parts. (And staying in a luxury hotel should always be fun.)
That someone is Jason Pomeranc, who opened the hotel as 60 Thompson in 2001. Back then, he was a pioneer, both of the neighborhood, which had plenty of shopping and dining but few hotels, and of the “lifestyle hotel” trend. “I think we helped create the market,” he says now. “It’s wonderful to see how a few hotels, like ours, changed how the entire industry views the basic core idea of what ‘boutique’ means, what ‘lifestyle’ means, what a room is supposed to look like, what it’s supposed to feel like. I think if someone had said in 2001 that today Marriott, Hilton and Starwood would all have multiple brands of what they learned from the boutique world, people would have thought that was a radical vision statement.”
But the boutique lifestyle hotel business took off big-time in the first decade of this century. Thompson Hotels became a global brand with a large following and new partnerships. And then it was time for a change.
Pomeranc and his original partners (his brothers and another hotelier) parted ways with one of those new partners in 2013, selling them most of the hotels and the Thompson brand name. But he kept five, including the flagship, which recently relaunched as SIXTY SoHo, following a multimillion-dollar renovation. “My brothers and I saw the hotel as our baby in its original incarnation,” he says. “It’s where I learned the hotel industry.”
The new version reflects all they lessons they had along the way, and is the flagship of their new brand, SIXTY Hotels. This next mini-empire already has two more hotels in New York, one in L.A., one coming in Miami later this year, and a sixth just announced for a 2016 opening in Montreal.
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