GEM Hotel SoHoLower East Side, Manhattan, New York City
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On the border between the Lower East Side and the East Village, within walking distance of the neighborhoods' vibrant nightlife
On East Houston Street, the northern border of the Lower East Side and the East Village -- definitely not SoHo. Its drab-looking building is positioned amid bustling street and foot traffic and a few storefronts; little else. While noisy and not immediately adjacent to dining or entertainment, the GEM is just three blocks west of the famous Katz's Delicatessen (New York's go-to place for a big pastrami on rye), four blocks from two popular music venues, and minutes from the galleries, boutiques, and nightlife that distinguish "the LES."
Across Houston, to the north, the East Village has been, and still is, a neighborhood that attracts artists, writers, and musicians (or, more recently, NYU students). Tompkins Square Park, at the neighborhood's center, is a gathering place for green-market shoppers, street performers, and people just hanging out. Surrounding the park are restaurants, vintage shops, bars, trendy nightclubs, and "alternative" businesses offering everything from vegan food to drug paraphernalia.
- One block from the F, V subway lines; five blocks from the J, M lines; and six blocks from the B, D and 6 lines -- easy access to anywhere in the city
- 30-minute subway ride to Park
- 20-minute subway ride to Times Square
- 15-minute subway ride to the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center
- 20-minute subway ride to the ferry terminal to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- 25-minute subway ride to the American Museum of Natural History
- 35-minute subway ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the "Met") and a 20-minute subway ride to the Museum of Modern Art (the "MoMA")
Modern and comfortable, but very cramped (like so many East Village apartments)
- Double Rooms are 130 square feet (with only a single, double-size bed) and significantly smaller than the average hotel room in New York (that's small!)
- Queen and Two Double Rooms are smaller than the norm: 145 and 160 to 175 square feet, respectively
- Executive or Business rooms have a fridge and microwave.
- Flat-screen TV in all rooms
- Free Wi-Fi; also hard-wired connections
- iHome alarm-clock with an iPod hook-up
- Electronic safe, large enough for a laptop
- Cheap furnishings (showing some wear)
- Cordless phones
- Gilchrist & Soames bath products
- Bathrobes; rare, for a hotel of this price
- Coffeemaker; Wolfgang Puck coffee
- Some mold and mildew in the shower
About 30 to 90 minutes from three airports
New York has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than getting there from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate of $45 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan costs about $40 and can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 (plus tolls) and can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.
Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. Public transit is also available for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.
For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.
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Things You Should Know About GEM Hotel SoHo
Address135 East Houston Street, New York City, New York 10002, United States
Also Known As
- Howard Johnson New York City
- New York City Clarion
- The Gem Hotel
- The Gem Hotel Soho
- The GEM Hotel - SoHo
- Standard Room
- Standard Room, Park View