The Lafayette House, East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 505 8100
Concierge.com's insider take:
New York luxury hotels often fail to deliver the greatest of New York luxuries: downtime. Lobbies can feel so sceney you need a stylist, and restaurants so exclusive even guests can't score tables. Enter the Lafayette House. The East Village hotel has no lobby, no bar, no restaurant. Check-in consists of being buzzed in and taken directly to your room (likely the most interaction you'll have with staff during your stay). The 15 individually decorated rooms have a prewar old-money vibe (lushly upholstered antiques, cut crystal chandeliers, working marble fireplaces) with subtle details from the building's bordello past: a naughty photograph here, a racy art book there. Because there are no common spaces, rooms are relatively self-contained units with coffee makers, flat screen TV/DVDs, Wi-Fi, iPod docks, and carefully selected reading material (think vintage National Geographics, fashion books, and design magazines). Of course, the high-end standard bearers—500 thread-count sheets, designer toiletries by C.O. Bigelow—are all in evidence. The pied-a-terre vibe appeals to those you'd expect to those you'd expect to find at more raucous hotels, from the cast of HBO's quirky Flight of the Conchords to members of the Strokes. Warning: If you're looking to be waited on, look elsewhere (perhaps the hotel's sister property around the corner, the Bowery): The place is only (lightly) staffed during daytime hours. After 11, you pick up your room keys at the bar next door.