More about Thompson LES
Manhatten Hotel Lower East Side Highly recommend
I have just returned from overseas and when booking accommodation, I used trip advisor to get feedback from other travellers which I greatly appreciated. I am now returning the favour.
I just came back from New York where I spent four days at the Thompson LES. The hotel is new and I would certainly recommed it to other travellers who are wanting a very well appointed upscale hotel. The service was great and I especially liked the rain shower in the bathroom. This hotel is on the Lower East Sde of Manhatten and if all you want to see is Times Square this is not the place for you. The Lower East Side is a bit grittier and I loved the area. There is a great Italian resturant next door who has wonderful pizzas. The subway is across the road.
I booked on the hotel website and reviewed it a couple of times prior to travelling. Not paying upfront allowed me keep an eye on the price for the room. Fortunately the price came down so I was able to cancel and rebook at a cheaper price.
Great hotel in great location
I really enjoyed my stay at the LES for 3 nights. We stayed in a King Studio which was very spacious, particularly by New York room standards. As expected from the hotel website, the decor is quite industrial and modern but not in a cold way. The bed was very comfy with great bed linen and the decent sized Kiehls toiletries in the bathroom are a nice touch. The large windows have blackout curtains and our room was very quiet with no street/traffic noise - we overlooked the pool at the back so we were not on the Allan Street side. The pool was filled with water whilst we were there but it is still not open to guests - however, given the freezing November temperatures, a swim in an outdoor pool was not all that appealing!
The Thompson LES is still not finished as previous reviewers have pointed out and the bar and restaurant have yet to open. However, this did not affect our stay in any way, given that there are so many amazing restaurants and bars in the LES to choose from. The hotel is very well located (there is a subway stop across the street) and within easy walking distance of bars, restaurants and shopping in the LES and Soho.
They are still sorting out some communication wrinkles in the hotel - we had to call a few times to get some wine glasses sent up to our room but aside from this, the staff were very pleasant and helpful. We got a great rate on the room - I suspect the actual rate for the room we stayed in will double once the hotel is finished, so go now if you can live without all of the hotel facilities!
We booked the Thompson LES for its proximity to the Slipper Room where we had a photo shoot the next day. We were greeted by very courteous doormen and being early were told we could leave and they'd call us around 3. It was about 2:30 and we were told that their system was down and they proceeded to check us in using paper and pen. I guess we should have started worrying then. We never got the call and returned to the hotel around 3:30.
Our room wasn't ready and we were told to go to the 15th floor hospitality suite where we could use wifi. Our shoot was meant to be monitored on the web and we were disappointed to get up there and find no way to connect. Calling the desk produced seemingly stunned clerks who promised to send tech support to check the issue. This never happened.
After repeated calls to the front desk, we got our room at 5. Two hours late. There we were told we could plug in and get internet. Again, we could not. And again we were told that a technician would investigate and call us. After waiting bewildered and getting more and more annoyed I went to the desk and asked for the manager.
Finally, she explained that their entire system was down and she had no idea when it would be restored. While not the hotel's fault, their staff was completely unaware, untrained or totally lying when they answered our earlier queries. They were nice but clueless. If they had told us initially we could have gone to an internet cafe and gotten 2 or 3 hours of work done, especially given we were checked in 2 hours late.
Later that evening, we stopped at the desk again and asked if progress had been made. A man was also asking questions at the desk. We again complained about being checked in late, about no one having a clue what was going on, about trying to conduct business in a hotel with no internet. This man overheard everything we said and then got on the phone with the hotel's service provider. He asked some questions, nodded, hung up and left. We asked if he was also an annoyed guest and were shocked to find he was the owner! He had heard all we had to say and never even offered a remedy or some sort of recompense. If the owner doesn't care about his guests issues why then would the staff care.
Indeed at around 7PM a maid walked into our room, no one heard her knock, said turn down and proceeded to draw the curtains and place brownies on our pillows. I do believe upon entering a room with guests in it, she should have asked if we wanted her there or not. We could have been in any state of dress or undress. This was just completely inappropriate.
I hope this place gets better but it isn't cheap, it isn't finished and the staff needs a lot of training.
Good location, disappointing hotel
The place isn't finished yet, and lacks basic amenities like a gym, restaurant, bar and pool. The bathrooms don't even have towel racks. The pay-per-view movie system is iffy, and the picture quality on the flat-screen TVs is below average. Every room has an identical picture of a tree with an ugly fluorescent light behind it. I was hassled needlessly about an incidental deposit, and the tendency of the doormen to rush ahead of you in order to hold the front doors open is annoying. I stayed on a business trip, so my costs were covered, but if I'd had to pay to stay here I'd be really unhappy. Great neighborhood, though, once you leave the hotel.
Vermin Infested and worst customer service of any hotel I've ever stayed at
Where do I start? The mouse running around my room at 2am or the complete indifference of the hotel staff regarding this incident. I booked 5 rooms at this hotel for my company. During my first night's stay, I awoke to the sound of a mouse rummaging through my belongings. I immediately called the front desk and their response was "We'll call you back." The bellman came to my room and helped me move rooms. He proceeded to move me to a smaller room, with a smaller bed. Due to the poor customer service over the phone, I decided to walk to the front desk in my pajamas. I asked to be moved to a similar or better room than my original one. Reluctantly, they moved me to a bigger room that reeked of smoke. They informed me I was in a non smoking room but the bellman agreed that the room stunk. I was then moved to a better room and the only problem was the filthy sheets. I dealt with the filthy sheets.
My colleagues didn't have much luck either. One of my colleagues was seriously injured when his bathroom counter collapsed to the floor. Since there were missing bolts in the counter, he decided to photograph this blatant safety violation. Being a professional photographer I think his photos will come out great and can only hope he uses them to file suit against this establishment. He was more upset with this ordeal than the 2 mice that were frolicking in his room.
Eventually, I spoke with the manager and he did little to assuage me. He informed me that there was no record of the mouse incident and attempted to charge me the full rates. Although the manager was fairly cordial and completely unaware of the incident, after an hour of explaining my story he decided to cover only the first of my 3 night stay.
I'm not sure if it was because I'm a very young-looking woman that they treated me like a nuisance, but one would think they'd be more accommodating to someone booking a bloc of rooms for a very successful event corporation.
Needless to say, I will never stay at this establishment ever again. Since we represent myriad high-end clients in the Manhattan area, I'm not likely to recommend a vermin infested hotel with abhorrent customer service to anyone.
This review is specifically for this location and I am in no way writing off other Thompson hotels. I have had much better experiences at the Los Angeles-area Thompson hotels.
Very nice and great design
stayed for 5 nights, one of 3 hotels that we stayed in NY - the other being the Sheraton Towers and 70 Park Avenue. (will post rev on 70 Park Ave as the sheraton is the sheraton) i moved due to the getting good rates at each location.
I would consider this to be the best in terms of design, decor (very minimalist and chic), room size, room ameneties, great size bathroom and love the rainshower.
subway stop across the street, good eateries near by and walking distance to Soho. I could not ask for more. Concierge was great, I lost my purse in madison square, was found by a nice gentleman who called the hotel to inform them that he had found it (my hotel key was in there) and conceirge arranged for the delivery back to the hotel. Vanessa was very helpful, and sincere in her attitude.
and thank you to for the lovely bottle of champagne in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary, if i get a chance to come back to NY and can afford the room rates they are charging once they are fully completed, i would definitely stay again as I am sure that the rates will be in the $400 to $500 plus per night category. Not having a restaurant/pool did not bother us at all as we were out from lunch to midnight every day so I would say stay while you can!
Could do better, and may yet
Stay: November 1st thru 8th
This place is still a work in progress, so I'll try to separate where the hotel is NOW from where I think it may be in a few months. Let me start with the "now" stuff.
The Thompson website hasn't update it's page on this hotel for three months, and I guess the reason is that they want to allow readers to be misled. Their website says the gym, pool and spa are open. THEY'RE NOT. In fact the modular units for the pool were being delivered on November 8; construction people I spoke to implied that the hotel may not be complete for three months or more.
The service elevators aren't working, so one of the three guest elevators is permanently reserved for construction workers, a second is used most of the time by hotel service staff, so for much of the time only one elevator is available for guests to cover 16 floors. Longish waits are the norm.
The restaurant is not yet open, but they do have a kitchen working. As compensation for this, they have a "hospitality suite" serving free "continental breakfast". This is just a joke. It's a converted bedroom, containing a vacuum coffee pot, paper cups and wooden stirrers, cartons of half-and-half, and a few assorted cakes. Room for about six people to sit at low tables. I went once and didn't bother again.
OK, so there's a lot missing, and the question becomes how much are the hotel discounting their rack rates to compensate for these failings. Unbelievably, the answer is ZERO. The hotel management is in denial. When I was trying to book in mid-October, the rack rate for the King Studio Suite I wanted was $549 a night. I rang the hotel and asked what they were charging. The answer was $549. When I told them I knew that much of the hotel was incomplete, they said they couldn't reduce the rate. Totally ridiculous.
So I found Quikbook.com who (I deduce) have block-bought a stack of their rooms and are heavily discounting the rates. Interestingly, as the date you want approaches, the rates they charge get cheaper and cheaper. I finally booked with Quikbook about 10 days before going there, and got a rate of $230 a day, which is a discount of almost 60%.
When I checked in I asked whether the gym, pool and spa promised on the Thompson website were ready. When they said no, I told them their website said they were. "I'm surprised at that" said the receptionist. Nine days later the website hasn't been changed. BUT they have at last reduced the rack rates on the site. The suite I had has come down from $549 to about $320 (it varies according to the days you want) so maybe they've had a bit of a reality check at Thompson. Equally, it looks a s if ALL New York hotels are struggling to fill rooms, and are starting to reduce rates. Nevertheless, I think Thompson's cavalier attitude to knowingly lying to to heir potential customers is disgraceful. If I had booked direct with them at full rates, when I discovered that I had been scammed, I would have refused to pay the bill --- and I told them that at the hotel.
By the way, Quikbook are still 30% cheaper than booking direct !
Right, now I'll go through some features of the hotel which will still be around when the place is complete.
The King Studio Suite is a good room, total about 520 sq ft gross. The bed/lounge area is open plan with a half-screen between. Bed very comfortable, as is the sofa in the lounge. Fabulous big flat-screen TV with all the channels and movies you could want. Pretty good cupboard and drawer space, a safe and a minibar (well stocked).
The bathroom runs of that area to form an L-shape, and it's tiny by comparison at 12ft by 6ft. You need to close the bathroom door to use the WC, The shower is narrow, and you need to work your way round the shower door when you get in or out. The water pressure is too low in the shower, and the hand-held shower is ridiculously unusable. But it works, at least.
The room has free internet connection. They have four Wifi circuits, but they're all UNSECURED which means you really shouldn't use them to log in to any important sites like banks. I told the receptionist the day I arrived about this, and she was very surprised and said she'd notify the management immediately. A week later nothing had changed, and considering it would take someone about five minutes to secure the networks, this is again indicative of a bad attitude and practice by the management.
The room is not well soundproofed. Twice I was woken at around 4am by traffic honking horns on East Houston Street (which my room faced) - and I'm generally a heavy sleeper. Noise from other rooms (plumbing, TV etc) was also detectable.
I was staying on my own, and I really liked the room a lot despite the couple of shortcomings.
The staff are universally excellent. They're friendly and eager to please, and they're efficient. Housekeeping seemed a bit disorganised (I had to ask them after 4pm every second day to make up my room), but at least when asked it was done immediately.
Finally the area. The hotel webpage describes Lower East Side as “one of Manhattan’s creative focal points” which is just silly PR hype. LES is just another fairly typical Manhattan neighbourhood. It’s generally old buildings with lots of small local shops and cafes and restaurants. It isn’t a great tourist area, although it’s a brisk 10-15 minute from Chinatown, Soho and central Greenwich Village. There’s nothing WRONG with it, but my first-time tourists to the city may not like it..
And the bottom line is this. For what I paid - $230 a night - I thought the hotel was excellent value, and I really enjoyed my stay. At the hotel's apparent new rack rate of around $320 I would be unhappy.
When complete, this will indeed be the luxury boutique hotel they set out to build. But in this area, I don't think it will command the original prices they set on the rooms. Their newly current prices look about right.
well I liked it!
I was a bit apprehensive about staying here given the negativity of some the previous reviews but I really liked it and enjoyed my stay
Check in was quick and efficient and our room was absolutely fine - it was clean and everything worked! We were in a corner room and so we had the most amazing views from the 2 floor to ceiling windows. Nice touches like the complimentary newspaper each morning and the water and brownie left in the room each evening were great. We also received a complimentary bottle of saki on our first evening and again on the 3rd evening we were there which I thought was a really nice touch. The shower was amazing, specially after a long day travelling. Mini-bar well stocked too.
So the spa and restaurant weren't open but I checked this with the hotel before I left and they told me this and gave me a list of recommended restaurants and also the addresses of a couple of other spas/healthclubs in the area which could be used.
Yes, it's a work in progress and construction is still going on but it's not like they are keeping that a secret! I think when it is finished, it will be great.
Would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone planning a trip to NYC.
By the way, went to a great restaurant in China Town - Joe's Shanghai (Pell Street off Bowery) - the food was fantastic, especially the soup dumplings!
Hip and cool
This place is in a great location, even though my HQ offices are in Union Square. The cafe and bar have yet to open, but there are so many great places within 3 blocks who cares.
I will be staying there again next week, then in January at the Thopmson Smyth in Tribeca. I used Quickbook and got great rates....
I normally stay at the Ganesvort in Meatpacking District.
A stylish steal
Sure, it's not totally finished yet and we had some housekeeping glitches which were promptly and cheerfully addressed by the staff. But the superior room was stylish and surprisingly spacious with a great downtown view, comfy bed, excellent shower and unbeatable location. We loved staying on the Lower East Side with easy access to great restaurants and shops away from the tourist-ridden midtown. Rates are very low right now owing to the newness of the hotel and the sluggish economy - a great time to discover this gem.
Entering the Park, heading toward the Zoo
Liberty and Elis islands
Anyone been to Two Times Square Restaurant ??
Just wondering what this place is REALLY like. Obviously the view is fantastic, but have heard mixed reviews about the food. Thinking of booking it for my mum and dad (for their first trip to NYC). Should I go for it or should I look for a better quality venue ?? (They aren't food snobs)
What if they sit you at a table away from the windows ? Is it still worth it, or does it just become an average meal with a distant view ???
Re: Anyone been to Two Times Square Restaurant ??
I haven't been there, but it's getting great reviews.
Yelp is the most trusted restaurant review source:
There's only one review on menupages, and it's good too:
They use opentable.com for reservations. I would book the reservation online, and include a private message saying it's a special occasion, and request a window seat. And then I would phone them as well.
I will also recommend the wonderful River Cafe. It sits on a barge under the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. The food is great, and the views of the glittering downtown Manhattan skyline are also great.