Thompson LES

This review may be slightly biased as I am writing it as I lie on the hotel’s oh so comfy bed while staring out my wall of floor to ceiling windows at the stunning NYC skyline. Whatever potential negatives I may feel about the hotel are slowly slipping in to the distance and being replaced by dreamy views of what is shaping up to be a gorgeous Fall day in New York City. With that disclaimer, let me begin.

Thompson LES (Lower East side) is the latest in the series of Thompson Hotels which have popped up everywhere from Toronto and LA, to DC and Sonoma. Thompson may be becoming a chain but let me tell you, these hotels are no Holiday Inn. I have had the pleasure of staying in many of their places over the years and while they all possess a classy sophistication, each is unique in their design and aesthetic. Sure, there are certain hallmarks that I might call signature-dimly lit rooms, modern and slightly Asian inspired decor-but each possess certain attributes that prohibit the guest from ever feeling like they are staying in a chain hotel. There is always something fresh and exciting about each one.

The signature feature of Thompson LES is the stunning view of Manhattan from many of it’s guest rooms. Since I am here during their soft opening, I was able to afford what I now know is one of the nicer rooms. It is a 12th floor corner room with a balcony and 180 degree views stretching from Wall Street all the way Uptown. (Room 1200) No matter how many times I come to  New York, seeing the Empire State Building all lit up never fails to make me swoon. I intend to enjoy this view as I know it may be a long time before I ever return to Room 1200.  

The rooms themselves are actually rather spacious- a growing anomaly in NYC. I have a king bed and despite this, there is still plenty of room to situate yourself. There is even a chair in which you can recline and enjoy the view, make phone calls or work on your laptop using the FREE wireless provided by the hotel. Thank God someone is listening and making Wi-Fi free to its guests. As I mentioned in other posts, not providing Wi-Fi is a serious hotel faux pas. If McDonalds can provide it in their restaurants (highest price point 6.99) then so can a luxury hotel. Anyway – I digress.

There is a ginormous flat screen and an IPOD dock so that should satisfy all the gadget people out there. For the ladies, there are Kiels products in the bathroom as well as fluffy robes for some after shower comfort. My only critique would be the bathroom design, which is slightly small and really dark.  It feels even more dark because the room is so bright thanks to those floor to ceiling windows flanking one wall of the room. It’s a little hard to see in there when trying to apply makeup. There is rain shower though, which I do like.

The rest of the room is well apointed and comfortable – it  is decorted in dark woods with classic crisp white linens on the bed. The mattress is perfectly firm and I had a fantastic nights sleep. If I were going to quibble with the design, I might only take issue with the lighted picture of a snowy tree on the wall. It makes the room, which on all other fronts feels quite warm, semi-cold.  All in all, Thompson LES is a winner. The staff are pretty up to speed for only having opened two months ago. They were friendly and helpful. In the coming months, there will be a restaurant and bar coming in as well as room service for their guests. For now, I will settle in, enjoy the view and relax.

PS. Since my unfortunate run in with Barcelona thieves, I have not had a chance to replace my digital camera. The best I can do for now is my camera phone! I think it does the view from my room semi-justice!


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