Once a tenement-filled haven for immigrants, the Lower East Side has, in recent years, transformed into a trendy shop-, restaurant-, and bar-filled haven for young urban professionals who like a little grit in their neighborhood.
Since it opened in October 2004, the 110-room Hotel on Rivington has played host to a wealthy clientele who consider the Lower East Side their after-hours playground. Guests include a mix of celebrities, hedge-fund types, European thrill-seekers, and elite members of the creative class who expect their hotels to be as cool as their careers. The hotel's public areas certainly live up to those expectations with unusual design elements like the a full-size pool table in the lobby, and the igloo-like entryway. The hotel's three-level rooftop Penthouse is a popular event space and wedding venue, complete with a hot tub and panoramic views of New York City. The guest rooms are appropriately swank and luxurious. Highlights include fantastic beds with form-contouring mattresses, Frette linens, huge steam showers, and superb city views through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls in rooms on the 7th floor and up.
The Sago Hotel fits right into the Lower East Side with a rustic-industrial vibe that's still fresh from its late 2015 opening. Its 20 rooms reflect a boutique aesthetic with wood floors, concrete accent walls, and windows overlooking city views, plus fairly roomy bathrooms with walk-in showers. Amenities and space are limited in entry-level rooms, though Studios, Suites, and the two-story Penthouse add square footage and high-end extras, like marble tubs, chic kitchens or kitchenettes, and furnished terraces. Guests are a range of fashion-conscious travelers who prefer the trendy LES ambiance to more tourist-trodden Midtown locations.
This 141-room boutique joined other high-end hotels and restaurants to help revitalized the once-gritty Lower East Side neighborhood, which is known for its raucous late-night activity. For hipsters looking for downtown action, SIXTY LES' chic design, perennially cool restaurant (Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya), and minimalist rooms and suits combine to make this a very fine place to crash after a night out.
The 22-room Blue Moon Hotel is a decent mid-range option with undeniable charm and authenticity that matches the surrounding neighborhood. Features are limited to a cafe and a simple free breakfast, and the rooms have decent amenities like free Wi-Fi, microwaves, and minibars. The highlight of the Blue Moon is its downtown location, perfect for exploring the hip restaurant and nightlife scene in Chinatown and the LES. Those who look for the reliability and efficiency of a chain hotel might be less than thrilled with quirks, like uncontrollable heating in rooms, worn furnishings, a sparse breakfast, and rickety elevator.