Vibrant and ever so different, Hotel Indigo Lower East Side was made for travellers wanting to ditch the Manhattan you see in the movies for a more hyperlocal and genuine New York City experience.
With its infectious vibe, views for days and laid back attitude, Hotel Indigo is easily IHG's coolest offering yet.
Where is it?
On Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Oodles of indie cafes, restaurants, clubs and boutiques reign supreme in this part of town and it's just half a block away from the infamously good Katz's Deli - a bonus if you want to get there early and avoid those massive lines for a pastrami sub. Fancy foodie hangouts Beauty and Essex, Stanton Social and Verlaine are minutes away. Walk 10 minutes east and you'll land in the madness of the East Village. For boho chic vibes head west for the trendy shopping haven that is SoHo.
Transport-wise it's very well connected, too. The F and M, J, Z subways are within five blocks and the B and D trains are a zig zag 15-minute walk down Houston Street. In a nutshell, the hotel is perfectly situated for anyone who wants to explore Downtown by foot and avoid Midtown at all costs.
Look around the neighbourhood, and you'll instantly notice that street art is at the heart and soul of Ludlow's identity - something Hotel Indigo designers Tim Horn and Amanda Sullivan wanted to celebrate in all of its public spaces and guest rooms. Their styling is totally industrial, with bare red brick walls, stained concrete floors, reclaimed wood and diamond pattern metallics strewn about the place. The major design sell, however, is the art dotted around each floor, which include politically motivated pieces and an unbeatable collection of objects from the modern era.The lobby at Hotel Indigo Dramatic works from French artist Mr. Brainwash, including the stand-out Life is Beautiful Sculpture on loan from the artist's pop-up gallery, as well as a set of bicycle wheels that suspend near the hotel concierge desk on the ground floor, also infuse the hotel with that extra bit of hipster creative charm. The 14th floor sky mural by celebrated New York City street and graffiti artist Lee Quininones, with its detailed snapshots of significant moments in the Lower East Side vernacular, is also worthy of a spot on your Instagram, too. Make no mistake, this Hotel Indigo was designed for the cool arty kid trapped inside you. Facilities Relaxed, down-to-earth and unpretentious service is king. Staff greet you with beaming smiles and expert knowledge of their city and can't do enough to make you feel welcome as soon as you get through the door. Their ethos is simple: to make you feel calm and comfortable throughout the duration of your stay. Unlike many other hotels in the city, dining options are far from traditional. Instead, you'll find an all day dining bar/restaurant/nightclub hybrid, which offers everything from flatbreads to light salads and bagels. For breakfast, Balthazar mini croissants, egg sarnies, and steel-cut oatmeal are on the menu. The rooftop pool at Mr. Purple Aside from free and very fast complimentary Wi-Fi, on-site valet parking and a fitness centre, the star of the amenity show is ultimately the heated lap pool crowning the outdoor space on the 15th floor. Set parallel to the beautiful bar spot that is Mr Purple, sip Manhattans, dirty martinis and, of course, the Mr. Purple (a tequila, cranberry, apple and lemon punch mash-up) poolside in the inspiring shadow of the Empire State Building. The only space that might just rival it is the stylish lobby. If you're in the city on business, it's the perfect spot to meet, greet and work in and is ideal for a quick cup of coffee or light bite (go for the Russ & Daughters bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and a garnish of capers, pickled onions, and sliced tomatoes) before you start exploring the town. Which room? We stayed in a 14th floor city view king overlooking the grand cityscape of Manhattan. Think unobscured panoramas of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. If you're lucky, your rain shower will come with a view of the city, too. For what you pay, all rooms are generously sized and feature a host of amenities including luxe C.O. Bigelow toiletries, Frette linens, the use of a safe, minibar and a Keurig coffeemaker. Other thoughtful additions include a make your own cocktail graffiti shaker, coffee table books, bluetooth docking stations, scented linens,a sofa conveniently placed by the floor-to-ceiling windows, free copies of local and city magazines and the use of an iron and ironing board. City view king with Downtown Manhattan cityscape For those of you who get your hands on a luxury suite, expect plump terry cloth bathrobes, bouncy slippers and fancy terraces donning private and exclusive city views. Our only criticism is that some parts of our room were a little tired. There were several scuffs on the couch and furniture, and the walls could do with a fresh lick of paint, too. What to Instagram? If you haven't already managed to fill your phone memory with countless snaps of the rooftop pool or the view from your room (pictured above), then we suggest you start simple with a sunrise shot of your bed overlooking the glorious sight of the Manhattan. The hotel's beautiful collection of art and dining areas (especially the bar at Mr. Purple) also deserves prime spot on your feed. Best for? Arty hipster types, business travellers and those looking to experience a slice of the real New York City. Details Double rooms start from $220 (£167) in low season; and from $420 (£318) in high. Breakfast comes at an additional cost of around $20 to $30 (£15 to £23) per person. Hotel handling fees are also applicable. For a two night stay, expect a $150 refundable hold for incidentals, although this charge depends on the daily rate of your room. For more information, contact the Hotel Indigo reservations department. 171 Ludlow Street, NY, 1002, USA. 0012122371776