A spot on the terrace at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York’s stylish resto and bar, Mr. Purple, isn’t easy to come by—but is worth it for the view.
HOLIDAY INN VOGUE
Most Holiday Inns aren’t destination properties—they’re places you stop on the way to somewhere else, whether for an overnight layover near airports or for a business conference. But not the $80 million Brooklyn outpost with interiors by Andres Escobar that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
The Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown has 245 contemporary guest rooms, plus the Brasserie Séoul lobby restaurant, where guests nosh on the signature surf and turf—a traditional Korean marinated short ribs and spicy King crab with kimchi salad. Rates from $200 per night, holidayinn.com, @holidayinn
When I lived in New York’s Alphabet City less than a decade ago, there were few hotels that anyone wanted to stay in—much less walk near—on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Today, the LES and its hospitality game has changed so much that the once-seedy neighborhood now attracts sleek brands such as Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York that are uniquely cool and authentically fit in. Beyond simply overnighting, this is lodging with a destination restaurant/bar like Mr. Purple that 20- and 30-something scenesters are lining up like ants to march into every night.
A lobby on the ground floor is too provincial for this 294-room hotel, and guests ride an elevator to the 14th floor to check in—complete with stunning floor-to-ceiling glass views of the lower half of the city. What a welcome. Exposed brick walls are standard issue throughout the building, and the lobby, with its colorful Lee Quiñones Polaroid-esque mural on the ceiling and laptop-wielding millennials lounging around, looks more like a chic co-working space than a place to check in. Another ride back up (or down) the elevator brings you to guest rooms more akin to walking into your Big Apple apartment than a staid standard-issue room. Chic decor (wall-size portraits of a 1980s Debbie Harry, crazy colorful bathroom tile, hardwood floors) gives you the feeling of an Airbnb visit—as if you’re snooping around in someone else’s digs. If the goal at Hotel Indigo LES NY is to make you feel like a local, it’s working.
So act like one. Throw down your stuff on the cozy, plush bed and head to the 15th floor’s heated pool and bar, where neighborhood elite are clamoring to get a spot on a stool or chaise lounge to sip regional craft beers. And if you can’t snag a reservation to try Mr. Purple’s gooey grilled cheese or buttermilk-fried chicken sandwich with a signature bottled sparkling Odeon (spiked with Ketel One Citroen vodka, of course), you’re within walking distance to some of the hottest bars and restaurants downtown. No worries. Come back late-night and try again. Be sure to order the Coffee Old-Fashioned specialty cocktail made with Knob Creek bourbon, coffee bitters and espresso Demerara—it will help you stay up in the city that never sleeps to enjoy it all. Rates from $189 per night, @hotelindigoles