Thompson LES (Lower East Side), a Thompson Hotel
190 Allen St., New York City, NY 10002
Reservations 877 460 8888 | T 212 460 5300 | F 212 542 8685
The signature mark of this hotel is the unique outdoor pool deck on the third floor. It really isn’t a large functional pool more than it is a small lap pool and conversation piece. It’s more for art show than anything. There is a photomural of Andy Warhol on the bottom of pool, although hard to see through murky waters. Adjacent is a also a small gym, a guest only bar on the second floor overlooking Allen St., and a restaurant as well as 24-hour concierge service.
The Lower East Side of New York offers a great area to walk that is non-commercial and extremely diverse sandwiched bwetween SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Just three blocks away across Delancey St. is Chinatown, but you are right in the heart of the rock’n’roll club and lounge scene as well as near Clinton St., New York’s Restaurant Row. Just a note. This is truly a local’s neighborhood. If you don’t cab it, you will have to valet park your car or risk your car on the street.
Located just south of Houston St. and north of Delancey. It is conveniently located near numerous restaurants and stores within walking distance. As I mentioned, this is not commercial Manhattan. You won’t find a Starbucks or an Abercrombie here but they are instead replaced by tattoo parlors and head shops. Check-in was quick and friendly. I felt a bit out of place coming from a conference as everyone else checking in seemed to have instruments with them. There’s something about seeing people checking into luxury hotels with holey jeans and CBGB rock’n’roll t-shirts. There was a rock band checking out as we checked in. Sandwiched in between the niche boutiques and eateries are some of New York’s best late night music clubs like the Living Room and the Mercury Lounge, featured in the 2008 movie, Nick and Nora’s Endless Playlist.
Just a year old, this hotel is on the upper end of the Thompson Hotels cost range and its chic style has bands and celebrities staying here frequently. If you book through Quikbook.com, you can get one of their lower end rooms for $175, but prices for the bigger rooms go for $450 and the biggest suites will be in the $800 range. I have to thank my wife for the stay at this hotel for my birthday. It was a perfect date night out after a long year. Rooms with balconies are not available online. you have to call reservations to specifically ask for those rates.
The hotel has an outdoor covered bar for guests only and was perfect for a nice drink or breakfast in the humid New York air. There is also an indoor restaurant dining area which I did not use. You can get to the third floor pool deck via the elevators or up the stairs from the restaurant. I was excited to see this feature but found the water to be a little cloudy and the Andy Warhol photo mural was difficult to see at the bottom of the pool. The spa and workout room area all located on the third floor as well.
Before I get to the room, just a couple notes, the wireless internet ($10/nt), similar to other Thompson Hotels is a little slow. I’m not sure why they even bother charging you for it. The bathrooms in this hotel do have hairdryers, but once again do not have irons or ironing boards. How gauche that you should want to iron your own clothes! LOL! Seriously, you can order the board from the concierge
My king deluxe corner suite was quite spacious. In fact I might say my bathroom was larger that a King Deluxe room at the sister hotel, 6 Columbus. I was told however that I would not like the King Superrior room and find it to be a little cramped for more than one night’s stay. The bathroom is enclosed in frosted glass walls. When walking into our room the bathroom was on the right and we slid open the frosted wall to reveal a single raised sink bathroom with a very Japanese feel and lavender bath products by C.O. Bigelow that impressed my wife. The walls were not stone but a very smooth gray cold concrete. Behind the frosted glass door on the right was the toilet. Behind the glass door on the left was a separate shower and tub. The shower has a waterfall spout suspended overhead as you enter the room and drains into the floor.
The sitting room has two flatscreen televisions back to back. One for watcing in bed and the other when sitting in the living area. I think they could have just prchased a nice swivel tabble instead. The predicatment is that if both TVs are on (yes I tried it) you would change the channel on both TVs. There was a nice leather couch sitting area with a wet bar.
In case you are wondering, the sitting room does allow you to look into the shower area. So if you are staying with someone in the room, they would be able to see a vague silhouette when bathing, but you really can’t see anything. The sitting area does open onto a balcony where you can see up and down Manhattan. A couple notes here are that the balconies are all on the west side side of the building and all rooms with even numbers (we had room 600) have those balconies and look over Allen St. on the noiser side of the building. I was told that you have to call and request a balcony room as they are not specified when making reservations. The balconies are contiguous so you must lock your doors when you leave the room as people can walk over to the balcony area outside of your room.Outside bar overlooking Allen St.
The centerpiece of the room is the bed. A kingsize bed with a large photobox of a winter black and white photo as a headboard. The one quirk about this hotel is the light switches. They are black on black walls and are hard to find and it took us several minutes to turn off the headboard.
Additionally the light switches have these small levers on the side which brighten and darken the lights. It confused us for a while why the lights weren’t working properly. There are small built in closets as well as a desk work area, although I don’t think much work gets done at the desk. The firm bed featured Italian sheets soft feather down pillows, a large duvet cover, yet no topsheet. There were only side bed mats on the floor and since we were at the hotel in the middle of the summer on the black painted wood floors, that was oka,y but I would guess those floors get cold in the winter.
Overall a wonderfully beautiful hotel that is pretty pricey. We ate on Rivington St. at Schiller’s Liquor Bar for dinner and had breakfast once again at the Clinton St. Bakery, a favorite of Martha Stewart! There are lots of great places to eat in the area from vegan to sushi. My wife and I noted that we felt like we were in another country as we heard all kinds of languages except English as we walked the streets at night. If you are looking for a great hotel with a young nightlife, this hotel is one you must try. I’d go soon though as it is only a year old and I could see it getting old and worn down in some areas already. I’d highly recommend but I am not sure I’d come back to this hotel only because of the price and I have so many more to check out!