Set alongside the historic tenements of the Lower East Side, Public is an altogether new type of luxury hotel. The idea – the latest brainchild of revolutionary hotelier Ian Schrager – is to provide everything you want, but none of the unnecessary extras. So, you have to check in yourself and arrange your own mints on the pillow, but there’s plenty of upside too. New York-inspired dishes are wood-fired at Diego Munoz’s Popular, while Louis – a market/canteen hybrid – serves organic slow food, fast. Every room has floor-to-ceiling windows and ooh-that’s-clever mod cons, but for the best view of the city head to the Roof Bar – nothing beats a Manhattan above Manhattan.
Performing arts venue
Free late check-out till 1pm; GoldSmiths also get breakfast for two (up to $30 each) and a free room upgrade (subject to availability)
In the know
Also need to know:
Some King rooms are adapted for guests with mobility issues; all rooms are accessible by lift.There’s literally nowhere quite like Trade, the lobby-level boutique with a unique collection of clothing, books and accessories from independent suppliers. For last-minute gifts or just-because, grab a bouquet from the in-house florist.
If someone suggests a ‘digital detox’, tell them to zip it, and then tell your mum she’s not invited on this trip anyway. At Public, you'll need that phone to capture the 360° views.
Put away that trouser press – there’s no place for fusty formality here. Understated style rules, or anything fit for cutting shapes at the basement party later on.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this stripped-back luxury hotel in New York and unpacked their bagels and cured beef, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Public in New York…
You might not know Ian Schrager, but he certainly knows you (and not in a sinister way). For more than 40 years, he’s made it his business to understand what people want, and deliver it in spades. First there was Studio 54, the cult 1970s Broadway venue that dragged nightclubbing out of its dank and dingy roots and into a pulsating future. Then, in the 1980s, Schrager pioneered a new genre of luxury accommodation which would become known as the ‘boutique hotel’ (thanks for that one, Ian). Now, he has turned his hand to a fresh concept for the discerning travellers of today, dubbed ‘accessible luxury’. The idea is simple (the good ones usually are): strip away the unnecessary extras and focus on four key elements – service, style, experience and value. In practice, this means a hotel without bellboys, polished silverware and shiny name-badges, but still with a quiet sophistication, undeniable quality and relentless attention to detail. It’s a hotel for the people, it’s a hotel called Public.
215 Chrystie St, New York 10002, United States
2.5 mi / 4.0 km from city centre
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
The menu devised by Diego Munoz for Popular is full of globally-inspired Peruvian dishes that combine the flavours of his homeland with Spanish, Moorish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines; perfect then, that this most multicultural of cities is home to just about every cuisine in the world. The wood-fired grill is the restaurant’s beating, burning heart, and the menu features roasted pollo a la brasa and duck leg fried rice, sublime cerviches and an abundance of fresh veggies. For munchies and lunchies, fill up at in-house canteen, Louis.
Gardens are an endangered species in downtown Manhattan, so take advantage with a table in the hotel’s candlelit courtyard. In winter, cosy up near the wood fires of the open kitchen, and watch the chefs at work.
Popular: 7am-11am for breakfast, 6pm-11pm for dinner and 11am-3pm for weekend brunch. The Lobby Bar: 11am-11pm. Chrystie: snacks til 11pm, drinks until 2am. The Roof Bar: 5pm-2am. House of X: 10pm-4am. Louis; midnight, or 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Room schmervice. In keeping with the ethos of cutting out traditional hotel frills, there’s no wheeling of cloches along the corridors here. Instead, order takeout from Louis, and pop down to the lobby to pick it up.
With a quartet of bars to choose from, there’s no danger of running dry. First stop must be the Roof Bar, for inspired cocktails and inspiring views of just about every big-boy building in the city. There’s a Latin flavour to lounge bar Chrystie, where light bites of chili-scallion calamari and popcorn cheddar frico are served by the fireplace and a Diego Rivera mural sweeps across one wall. The Lobby Bar takes care of co-workers and caffeine-hunters with artisan teas, coffees and cold-press juices; to mix things up, pick a spiked variant from the cocktail list. Down below, House of X is a live performance venue, cinema screening room and heady nightclub rolled into one come-hither basement.
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