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Hotel Thompson LES Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
190 Allen St New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The LES is another great little hotel from the Thompson group and follows the same successful formula of their other properties: understated, uncluttered unpretentious design, a laid back atmosphere projected in large part by the staff and good facilities including a beautiful Asian restaurant. Why change it if it ain't broke? Perhaps not as attractive as some of the other properties in the group from the point of view of location, there are nonetheless some points of interest close to the hotel, as well as some great views to be had, especially from the rooftop pool. If you're looking for an alternative perspective on the city but still value quality and innovative, raw design then, head for the LES.

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    • Hotel Thompson LES

      Thompson LES   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

    • Hotel Thompson LES

      Thompson LES   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

       
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    Location 5.19 /10

    Situated on the Lower East Side on Allen Street, there is little of interest in terms of tourist attractions in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, although it is a great place to hang out in evenings at weekends. You'll find plenty of really trendy, independent bars, cafés and clubs in which to while away the time and have fun. The LES is also very close to several of New York's most vibrant districts: Chinatown, NoLita, SoHo and the East Village. A few blocks away on Bowery is the New Museum while the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a couple of block to the south. There are a few subway stations within walking distance of the hotel, although not many lines run through them so you may have to change depending on where you're headed with Brooklyn easily accessible by both subway and road (Williamsburg Bridge). JFK is 17 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 14.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    A good range of accommodations are on offer at the LES. They are all appointed along the same lines but differ in size, views and amenities. The standard room, which is of a relatively generous surface area, looks out, through its floor-to-ceiling windows, onto Allen Street and has as its most notable feature (like all the rooms) a black hardwood floor. The low queen bed, which is dressed in custom 400-count SFERRA linens, is crowned by a Lee Friedlander light box depicting a black and white image of a forest. The furniture is made from a wood with a very heavy grain and comprises a desk, wardrobe and shelf/storage unit fixed to the wall. Other fixtures include a desk chair, round bedside tables and reading lights suspended from wires running from the floor to the ceiling. On the technology side there is a flatscreen television, iPod docking station and telephone while you'll also find a minibar and snacks, umbrella, safe and bathrobes in your room. The WC is a little on the small side but its vanity is in the same wood as the room's furniture and features a slate monsoon shower cubicle, Kiehl's toiletries and a hairdryer. The size of the windows ensures that the room is bathed in light while the simple colour scheme ensures that it stays zen. For a little more space you could go for the king superior, the same room with both a larger bed and surface area, or the studio king suite, which has a living area with corner couch and coffee table (separated by a bead curtain) and toilet with separate loos all in the same style. The larger rooms have terraces and balconies as well as both showers and bathtubs in the bathrooms. The Thompson suite enjoys sweeping views of the city in addition to the dining area and gas fireplace while the Thompson loft, the largest room, is spread over the top two floors and boasts a glass corner lobby.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The exterior of the LES is very much a reflection of its interior: dark coloured, sleek and different from its neighbours. The tall (by the district's standards) black-grey tower promises much and duly delivers, starting from the entrance. Like in the company's other properties the lobby is pint-size and in this case just comprises the reception desk and a few seats, the real gathering place you'd expect to find in the entrance hall being located upstairs. The advantage of this set up is that check in is done efficiently in calm with no one milling around in the background and you can go straight up to you room via the lifts at the back. The intricately crafted stone walls, the high backed, wide armchairs and bulbous glass installation behind the welcome desk are typical of the refreshing Thompson décor. Upstairs in the light-infused seating area is a U-shaped arrangement of various black couches with a contemporary coffee table in the middle to the backdrop of the rising glass columns that start from the entrance. When the hotel's rooftop bar (see 'Food and Drink') is closed, this is where the DJ is found mixing at his decks. Much else of the common space is appointed in somber colours and features glass, brilliant metals and driftwood. Other features of the hotel include the rooftop outdoor pool which has a photolithograph of Andy Warhol by Gerard Malanga on its floor. It is surrounded by orange-cushioned loungers and armchairs and snacks and drinks are served by its side. Back inside the property there is a top-of-the-range fitness room, complete with free to use sauna, television and water. Its entrance is rather swish for a gym with a mustard coloured designer couch and a shiny pebbled floor ? something you'd expect to see in a spa. Although there are no wellness facilities it is possible for the hotel to call in a masseuse for in-room treatments (just ask at reception). The hotel is equipped with wifi throughout, however there is a $10 charge for this for a period of 24h. Alternatively there is a laptop at reception where you can check your emails and print boarding

    Food and drink 8.20 /10

    As with all the Thompson hotels, there is an excellent restaurant attached to the LES. This time it takes the form of Shang (meaning upwards and above) and is presided over by well-known chef Susur Lee. The seating comprises wooden, leather padded banquettes around the outside walls with round banquettes and tables at the centre of the room. From the middle of this arrangement stick out painted white and gold branches while from the ceiling hang giant, what look to be paper, lanterns. Traditional Chinese cuisine is served at both lunch and dinner times, while in the winter breakfast is also taken here. During the day the Shang bar outside the restaurant becomes a sushi bar where fresh Japanese cuisine is prepared before your very eyes. At night however, together with the first floor lobby, it serves as a place to have a glass of wine or a cocktail. Alternatively, if the weather permits, you can enjoy a drink either on the Shang terrace (where breakfast is usually served), with its bright yellow furniture, or at the poolside. On Thursday to Saturday nights the hotel's main bar and lounge, Above Allen, is one of the trendiest places to be on the Lower East Side with its glass walls and ceiling, unobstructed city views and DJ set. As well as a full list of beverages, it is also possible to order snacks from the Shang menu.

    To know

    The LES, which opened in 2008, is part of the Thompson group of hotels with four other properties in New York as well as elsewhere in the US and Canada. There are plans for two other hotels in Seoul and London. The interior design of the hotel was realised by Jim Walrod (Standard LA) and the building's architect Ed Rawlings, while the artwork includes pieces by well known photographer Lee Friedlander.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, sauna, keep fit, spa, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, golf, fitness

    • Safe
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Design/décor
    • Rooftop pool
    • Shang restaurant

    disadvantages

    • Distance from main tourist attractions
    • No wellness facilities

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score -/10
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