The Ludlow Hotel New York

Staying at one of Lower East Side's coolest hotels and my list of where to go in this neighbourhood (19 - 25 July 2015)

Having my snack on board Air France from Paris to New York.

After an 8 hour flight in Air France Premium economy, and a taxi ride to The Ludlow Hotel New York from JFK airport, I finally arrived with Y in New York, one of our favourite cities in the world! This was my first time staying in the Lower East Side or what it is sometimes abbreviated as LES. This neighbourhood has transformed a lot from what I used to remember. There seems to be lot more eateries, boutiques which makes walking from Lower East Side to Noho to Soho all the more fun now!

Upon arriving at The Ludlow Hotel (180 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002, Tel:+1 212-432-1818), the porter who was dressed quite coolly quickly came up to me to help me with my luggage and I walked into the dark and cosy lounge area to reception to check in. The front desk was really prompt and it only took them 5 minutes to give me my key and get me up to my room. I think maybe they could tell from the dark rings under my bear eyes that I needed some sleep!

A quick glance at the reception and the lobby lounge reminded me of The Bowery Hotel, and why wouldn’t it since this is in the same group as Sean Macpherson’s Hotels. It was like Bowery’s cool little sister, a bit smaller, more boutique in feel, but definitely still very hip. It’s got a sense of nostalgia in the design and a cool bohemian edge.

The reception area and the lobby lounge area.

Good friends, YL with hubby SH along with her mum, was gonna be joining us in New York, had helped us book the Ludlow Hotel through her Tablet Plus member profile with Tablet Hotels, so we managed to get a better rate for the Studio Queen at USD225 per night (including breakfast before tax). Although the room was only a mere 21 sq m, with barely enough floor space to open the luggage, I loved the way it was designed. The windows were tall and light fills the room giving it an airy feel. The toilets had a nostalgic feel with the brass accented tapware, and although the space was small, it was efficiently designed. I think the most important part about the room is always the bed of course, and the mattress and pillows were super comfy, the whole room atmosphere was just perfectly cosy. Although the interiors have a nostalgic feel to it, it felt anything but old, and that’s not an easy thing to do.

Jumped into the bed the moment I arrived in the room!

I was also impressed with the bar snacks menu. Located on the bedside table, was a great selection of gourmet snacks – ranging from organic healthy ones to interesting chocolate snacks. I munched on some kale chips, which unfortunately tasted not as good as it looked. The bonus was the front desk was so kind to waive the snacks I had during my stay with them upon our checkout.

Checking out the bar snacks – such a wonderful selection.

The hotel rate included breakfast daily which takes place at Dirty French, the only restaurant in the premises. The interiors had a casual brasserie feel, and is quite a nice place to chill out on my own over coffee and a book. I even saw famous Taiwanese actor and singer – Alex To sitting behind me, I think he was staying here too!

Interestingly every night, the hotel transforms into almost like a club like atmosphere, with both Dirty French and lobby lounge heaving with people daily – and a lot of them look cool and edgy for sure, something that’s always spotted in the Bowery Hotel too. But once we get to our room, it’s nice and quiet and it seemed like the club like atmosphere we walked through didn’t exist.

What else is there not to love about this hotel?

Being a gym bunny like Y, she also made sure to go to the hotel gym on the top floor at least twice during our stay there, and while she was there, I just chilled outside and enjoyed the New York skyline, which is a must to go if you are staying here. Just look at the sunset and selfie pictures I took. What else is there not to love about this hotel?

The other great part about staying in The Ludlow Hotel, is there’s tons of amazing shopping within walking distance at nearby Elizabeth Street, Mott Street and Mulberry Street. And of course below are some of the food stops that you gotta try when you are in the Lower East Side or Noho area.

Clinton Street Bakery 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002, Tel:+1 646-602-6263. No reservations. Best to go on weekdays before 10 am. Prepare to queue for at least 30 mins after 10 am and don’t bother to go on weekends unless you love standing.

First on my list, my favourite New York breakfast place known for their delicious fluffy blueberry pancakes is literally a 3 minute walk from The Ludlow Hotel!

Enjoying my blueberry pancakes and freshly squeezed OJ at Clinton Street Bakery.

If you are craving some fried chicken, there’s tons in New York and Brooklyn, but I discovered there’s just one right next door to The Ludlow, and it ain’t too bad.

Sweet Chick 178 Ludlow Street, NY 10002 Tel: +1-646-657-0233

One of the best fried chicken and waffles I have had in this South American eatery, topped with great hospitality making you feel right at home.

Katz Delicatessen205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, Tel:+1 212-254-2246

New York’s most iconic deli is literally just diagonally across Ludlow Hotel. However, I have no idea why I didn’t make it to there to try their famous pastrami sandwiches. Great place if you are hungover or jet lag since it’s open 24 hours daily. Famous for appearing in Seinfeld and also the location of Meg Ryan’s famous orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally – one of my favourite all time films.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato 188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002, Tel:+1 212-343-9922

Across from Katz Deli, is this cool minimalist looking gelato corner looking almost like a clinical laboratory is not to be missed. What I love about it is it’s amazing selection of  flavours (almost 200) available from fig, to kahlua and prune armagnac.

Rubirosa 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, Tel: +1 212-965-0500. Reservations available on OpenTable. 12 mins walk from Ludlow Hotel.

This casual, old school Italian-American eatery in the Nolita area, dishes out pretty good thin crust pizzas and hearty pastas. Don’t forget to try their Ricotta Ravioli, yummy yummy.

Sweet Chick’s super yummy fried Chicken and waffle.

Iconic Katz Deli.

One of my favs at Rubirosa – ricotta ravioli.

Digging into pizzas and pastas at Rubirosa for lunch.

Of course, New York ain’t just about eating. The locals here are exercise die hards which explains for the amazing selection of gyms available here, and there’s quite a few of them just within walking distance to The Ludlow Hotel. If you are feeling rather fat from all the feasting and in need of some motivational workout, head on to these nearby in the Noho area (a 15 mins walk from The Ludlow Hotel).

SoulCycle 384 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012, Tel: +1 212-860-1300 (15 mins walk from Ludlow Hotel) US$34 per class, cheaper if you buy more.

The spinning phenomenon that’s spawned quite a few copycats around the world. With various locations around New York, SoulCycle is one of the best places for spinning, as the instructors are charismatic and fun, they push you hard to workout and you enjoy working up a sweat, without even noticing the time! You just need to sign up for an account and book your bike online! Marvin’s class was one of my favourites.

Barry’s Bootcamp 19 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003, Tel:+1 212-260-4777. US$34 per class, gets cheaper if you buy more.

Y’s good friend MC told us about it as she used to go to their classes in London where the likes of Victoria Beckham can be spotted there. So naturally, Y decided to try with good friend KK another crazy gym bunny for the full body workout. Their signature hour-long workouts include 25-30 minutes of interval cardiovascular treadmill routines, which can be leg breaking for the not so avid runners, and 25-30 minutes of strength training on the floor – utilizing free weights, resistance bands, your own body weight and other equipment, and it really pushes you and makes you discover muscles you never had. The good thing is if you can’t run, you can opt for Double Floor, just remember to book the ones with DF indicated when you book your spot (booking system is similar to SoulCycle).

Believe it or not, but Y had a bit of a withdrawal syndrome after returning to Singapore and finding there’s no fitness gyms here that are remotely as happening or offer such amazing workouts as SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp.

Soul Cycle Noho.

While Y is burning all those fats and calories at Soul Cycle and Barry’s Bootcamp, I always love to pop by to have my caffeine fix at one of my favourite coffee places in the neighbourhood – La Colombe (400 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003, Tel:+1 212-677-5834)

I love the coffee here, which is more of a dark roast, and quite robust. The cafe interiors has a light, airy feel, and maybe because of its smart design with the coffee counter at the centre of the cafe, it doesn’t feel frazzled or busy like a Starbucks even when it’s packed brimming with people waiting for their coffee.

And not forgetting, if you are like me who loves to browse supermarkets, or just stock up on those hard to get vitamins and organic food which is so much more affordable here, you must go to Whole Foods,  it’s my fav supermarket in the whole world! There’s one just round the corner from The Ludlow Hotel – Bowery location (95 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002).

I hope this post has given you some other options when looking at where to stay in New York next!

Exterior of La Colombe Noho.

Cappuccino at La Colombe!

Typical scenes in New York: Spotted a photoshoot along Lafayette Street and graffiti walls spotted as I was in a cab.

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