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It's no small feat, opening the hottest New York City hotel of the year. Ian Schrager's Public Hotel, situated in a gleaming new skyscraper on Manhattan's Lower East Side, might just be it.
Budget Level: Upscale ($150-$300/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
At Public Hotel, minimalism is unquestionably king. Barely-there furnishings, lots of light-colored wood, built-in cubbies and lights, and white walls and bedding make the rooms feel like airy, private perches above the city. Floor-to-ceiling windows let you watch the action below, and also let outsiders watch you, should you choose to keep the shades open. (Public has been in the press recently for an all-too-common New York City issue: its Lower East Side neighbors can see directly into the rooms.) Best of all, there's no shortage of places to plug in; each room has 10 USB ports. The hotel's restaurants and public spaces -- including a dramatic rooftop bar, and a restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten -- follow the same aesthetic, although you will see splashes of color in these spaces.
The crowd here tends to be hip and young, never more so than when the sun sets. To access the rooftop bar, arrive early, or know (or be...) a VIP, because this has quickly become an ultra-exclusive space that draws more New Yorkers than hotel guests.
Who Will Love It
Trendsetters of all stripes will likely have this hotel on their must-visit list this year.
Who Might Not
If you need quiet, traditional decor, or can't deal with weekend and evening crowds, this isn't your scene.
The simplicity and comfort of the rooms make them a standout among others in the city. We also love the enormous, thought-provoking mural by Diego Rivera in the eponymous ground-floor bar. This space has handsome velvet banquettes and a great burger on the menu.
Bottled water and excellent Wifi are included in the room rate.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
All on-site food and beverages — which you'll definitely want to sample — cost extra.
How to Get a Deal
For all its stylishness, Public bills itself as an affordable hotel, and it is, if you know where to look for savings. Join the e-mail list to save 15 percent on your stay, or use the booking code LUXURYFORALL to take advantage of $150 rooms on select nights. You'll also find a current promotion on the Public web site that includes a food and beverage credit. For rooms south of $200, check weeknights, dates early in the year, and around Thanksgiving and Christmas, when all hotel room prices in New York City tend to dip.
In the Neighborhood
New York's Lower East Side is an ecclectic, history-rich neighborhood that's home to both artist collectives and multi-million-dollar condos, greasy spoons and the city's best restaurants. In the hotel's immediate vicinity, you'll find the New Museum, with its striking architecture and rotating contemporary art exhibits, and the Bowery Ballroom, where you can catch the biggest bands of the moment.
Nearest Public Transit
Take the F or M subway to 2nd Avenue and you're just steps from the hotel.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Join the beautiful throngs at Public (and in its restaurants, and its lobby) for the ultimate New York City hotel experience of the moment.