If you're looking for a trendy but affordable hotel in NYC, The Thompson LES is a great choice.
Whenever I try to book luxury hotels, I usually skip the typical sites like Travelocity and Expedia and opt for companies that only choose good hotels. There are several members-only sites to choose from including Jetsetter.com, Vacationist.com, Tablethotels.com and Sniqueaway.com to name a few. For this particular trip, the plan was to stay only one night in the city to hang with friends that were flying in from Cincinnati and Chicago. After checking out a few different options on Jetsetter like the Dream Hotel, the James New York, and The Hotel on Rivington. I settled on the Thompson LES which stands for Lower East Side (in case you were wondering.) What really drew me to the Thompson LES was not only the location but also the ability to book a King Suite with a Sofabed for virtually the same price as the other regular rooms I was viewing online. Since there were three of us sharing a room, this was a win/win situation.
Details: (booked through www.jetsetter.com)
Studio King Suite - Standard (1King, 1 Sofabed)
Taxes & Fees: $54.00
Follow the Thompson Hotels on Twitter: @ThompsonHotels
On that particular day, a Wednesday, we had to arrive early into the city in order for my friend Elyse to take a jazz dance class. She is a dance teacher in the Hamptons and is always looking for some inspiration to help in her training. We called ahead and were informed that valet parking was available for $55 per night, an average rate in the city. It was fairly easy to get to the hotel from the Hamptons: we headed across the Williamsburg bridge into Manhattan, made one right turn on to Allan Street and there we were.
The bellman and staff were great; even though our room wasn't ready we had the option to go to the rooftop pool on the third floor. I was excited to look into the water to see three black and white filmstrip photos of the pop art icon Andy Warhol embedded in the floor of the pool. Several people were sunning themselves on the lounge chairs during this hot summer day in the city. The second floor lobby was absolutely amazing, I was excited to see a collection of mid-century modern furniture and soaring windows. A good place to sit and relax if your room isn't quite ready.
We decided to leave the Thompson to have lunch with friends at Spring Street and do some shopping on Broadway.
I loved the proximity of the Thompson in relation to Soho and Chinatown with more of the neighborhood feel rather than the bright lights and tourists of Times Square. The front desk said they would call our mobile to inform us when the room was ready. Although they did call us at three, we managed to get back to the hotel around six.
We were very pleased with the size of the room – fairly large for New York standards and many great accent pieces that make the room unique. Our room looked East over lower Manhattan and we had a bird's-eye view of the pool deck below. After getting ready for the evening, we had a pre-dinner toast of Champagne in the room and headed out to Chelsea for dinner at Salinas. My friend Shadia had never been to New York before so we made sure to hit up every spot we could in the city. After dinner, we walked all over town. We stopped into the Dream Hotel, did some Salsa dancing at some random corner spot and then went for some dancing at a boutique nightclub called Simyone Lounge below Abe & Arthurs. Even though it was a Wednesday night, we were in the city that never sleeps and apparently that never stops dancing. My boyfriend Joe befriended some old guy who had a table all to himself... we ended up quickly leaving that area because the man started growling at us! We could understand then why he was all by himself -- not so great with the people skills! We parked ourselves in front of the DJ booth to view the light show and had a great time people watching.
We cabbed it back to the LES and ended up stopping into the Sugar Cafe on the corner of Houston and Allan Street. Joe, Elyse and I had to stop into this lively establishment. The late night staff was hilarious and we befriended a solo traveler from San Francisco, Mac, who invited us to join him at his table. The four of us sat at the outdoor tables and chatted away. By this time it was almost 5 am. We got pictures with the staff and became Facebook friends with our unlikely dinner companion.
The next morning we managed to secure a late check out of 1pm. We stored our luggage with the front and received a brunch recommendation from the bellman. We dined at NoHo Star, just down the road and passed the BMW Guggenheim Lab along the way. After brunch, we shopped a bit more and then headed back towards the Thompson to retrieve our car and luggage. Once again, my time in NYC was a wonderful experience. I met so many friendly, welcoming people at every location, and it continues to be my absolute favorite city in the US.
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