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The Gatsby Hotel 2.5

Lower East Side, New York City, New York

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Review Summary

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  • On bustling Houston Street by the trendy Lower East Side
  • Walking distance to SoHo, the East Village, and Chinatown
  • A short two-minute walk to the F train subway stop
  • Clean, modern wood-floored rooms for two to four guests
  • Fresh white subway tiled bathrooms with combo showers/tubs
  • HDTVs with Showtime, coffeemakers, and toiletries in all rooms
  • Deluxe Rooms add mini-fridges and microwaves
  • Free coffee and tea in the reception area
  • 24-hour front desk and helpful staff
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout


  • Rooms are small, even for Manhattan
  • Not near Midtown's blockbuster sights
  • No real common spaces or extra property features
  • No breakfast or on-site dining
  • Occasional noise complaints

Bottom Line

With modern decor, clean private rooms, and friendly staff, The Gatsby Hotel is a fresh budget property for guests who want to avoid hostels. Situated on bustling East Houston Street, this vibrant Lower East Side location is accessible to trendy neighborhood hotspots and is right across the street from a subway station. The hotel’s 45 rooms, which sleep two to four, are tiny, even for Manhattan. However, thanks to renovations in mid-2016, they’re also clean and contemporary with wood floors, modern bathrooms, and comfy beds, as well as amenities like flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms add mini-fridges and microwaves. There’s a small reception area, but otherwise no extra property features. Travelers looking for just a dash more common space might consider the nearby Hotel East Houston, which has a lobby lounge and seating on an outdoor deck.

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Clean, modern budget hotel with private rooms but few frills

The Gatsby Hotel is situated in a narrow, six-story beige walk-up right on Houston Street, a main drag that cuts across lower Manhattan. This block of Houston marks the border of the trendy Lower East Side. Like much of Manhattan, the hotel is compact but stylish -- the latter thanks to a big renovation in mid-2016. The hotel has no real extra property features -- the lobby is mostly a reception desk, but it sets a nice tone with free tea and coffee and a little sitting area with a gray shag carpet and small couch. From tourists to business guests, the hotel attracts a range of travelers who are looking for a central location, clean digs, and private rooms at a price that won’t break the bank. 


On Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side near restaurants, bars, and shops 

Map of The Gatsby Hotel

The Gatsby Hotel is situated right along Houston Street, a main drag that defines the upper-boundary of the Lower East Side (LES), a once-gritty, now trendy Manhattan neighborhood that abuts the uber-cool East Village. It’s not as tourist-packed as other neighborhoods, and the area has a great restaurant, bar, and nightlife scene that attracts locals along with a few savvy travelers. The hotel is a few minute’s walk from the vibrant Bowery area, and about a 15-minute walk from popular neighborhoods like Chinatown and SoHo. Nearby sights include the Tenement Museum, Katz’s Deli, and the New Museum. But blockbuster Midtown sights, such as the Empire State Building or Times Square, will require a subway ride. Thankfully, the F train stops just a block away.

  • One-minute walk to F train subway stop
  • Four-minute walk to Katz's Deli
  • Five-minute walk to the Tenement Museum
  • Five-minute walk to the New Museum
  • 17 minutes to Madison Square Garden via subway
  • 20 minutes to Battery Park via subway
  • 20 minutes to the Empire State Building via subway
  • 20 minutes to Times Square via subway
  • 22 minutes to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) via subway
  • 35 minutes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) via subway
  • 55 minutes to LaGuardia Airport via public transit
  • 90 minutes to JFK International Airport via public transit


Tiny contemporary rooms outfitted with HDTVs and coffeemakers

There’s no getting around it: Rooms here are tiny, but they do the job with a dash of style. Renovated in mid-2016, rooms are clean, pleasant, and streamlined, if a little sterile. White and sky-blue walls and nice wood floors give a backdrop for the white-washed laminate furnishings, including wardrobes, tiny desks, and side tables next to beds. Windows face either Houston Street or a side street and mirrors create the illusion of a little more space. Beds are comfy with pillow-top mattresses and down pillows. As with the rooms, bathrooms are small but modern with stylish white subway tiling, square sinks, and nice combination showers and tubs in all rooms. 

All rooms have air-conditioning units, free Wi-Fi, and 40-inch HDTVs with premium channels like Showtime. Rooms are also stocked with a couple of free bottled waters, irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers, and safes, though the latter costs a small extra fee to use. Bathrooms come stocked with hairdryers, towels, and individual toiletries. Rooms are available that can sleep two to four guests, and upgraded Deluxe Rooms add mini-fridges and microwaves. Note that guests occasionally complain about noise, either from the street or from within the hotel, so light sleepers might consider packing earplugs.


Free coffee near reception, but little else

Like many budget hotels, this one has few extra features. The reception area has little in the way of lounge space, but there’s a small couch, a few NYC-focused magazines, and -- most importantly -- a Keurig with capsules for coffee and tea, free of charge for guests. Wi-Fi throughout is free as well. Reception is open 24 hours, and guests often note the helpful, friendly staff. There’s no on-site dining, breakfast, or parking, though laundry service can be arranged. 

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135 East Houston Street, New York City, New York 10002-1018, United States


(212) 358-8844

Also Known As

  • GEM Hotel SoHo
  • Howard Johnson New York City
  • New York City Clarion
  • The Gem Hotel
  • The Gem Hotel Soho
  • The GEM Hotel - SoHo

Room Types

  • Standard Room
  • Standard Room, Park View

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