The shimmering glass-walled 20-story high THOR towers over its tenement building neighbors and offers jaw-dropping views of the city from its 110 rooms -- and its showers 'with a view'. We love the Japanese-style deep soaking tubs in the Bisazza-tiled bathrooms; the American-Japanese brasserie CO-OP Food & Drink, with its photography installation, and the Viktor & Spoils tequila/mezcaleria.
Midweek October rates start at $395.
Another hip glass tower with great views, the Thompson LES has 141 industrial-chic, loft-like rooms spread over 18 floors. We love the two-story, glass-curtained lobby; the lightbox headboards displaying illuminated works by photographer Lee Friedlander, the rooftop bar Above Allen, and the Warhol filmstrip-bottomed swimming pool
Midweek October rates start at $429.
The first high-design hotel to arrive on the infamous Bowery, Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson's Bowery Hotel opened in 2007. The hotel's 135 rooms have huge floor-to-ceiling windows offering unobstructed city views and the olde timey gentlemen's club-esque design features four-poster beds, wood-beamed ceilings, and, in the lobby, Persian rugs and a fireplace. On-site rustic Tuscan restaurant Gemma's is always busy, but with its no reservation policy, you may never see inside (unless, of course, you're a guest at the hotel).
Midweek October rates start at $555.
The Blue Moon is a bit of an underdog amongst all these hip, design-heavy hotels. Unlike the three towering hotels above, the Blue Moon hotel occupies a restored tenement building (that is actually across the street from the Tenement Museum) and offers 22 guestrooms. While the rooms and the building retain period features such as original walnut window shutters, there's not much in the way of amenities; putting it more in the Bed & Breakfast class (in fact a Continental breakfast is included in rates).
Midweek October rates start at $297.
Pay no heed to that "SoHo" moniker, this GEM Hotel is firmly in LES territory -- a block away from Katz's Deli, no less. The GEM SoHo, from Choice Hotels' Ascend Collection, offers 45 rather small and nondescript rooms. Facilities are minimal (there's no bar, restaurant, or fitness center, though there is free WiFi) which is meant to be reflected in the hotel's affordability; but, still, we found midweek October nightly rates starting at $309 so....