If the thought of being categorised as a tourist rather than an in-the-know global citizen fills you with indignant horror, The Ludlow will aid any attempt to pass off as a New Yorker. Filling a restored red-brick building in the Lower East Side, this creative-cool hotel attracts an urban crowd of both visitors and locals, no doubt drawn by Sean MacPherson's hip interior design.
Whitewashed walls, dark wooden floors, worn leather furnishings and a large rustic fireplace meet mosaic tiles, imposing chandeliers and the odd sheepskin rug - a lesson in the artfully undone. As a result, the lobby is a destination in itself: by day, self-employed urbanites bend over their Macs drinking flat whites; by night, the lights dim and innovative cocktails draw an eclectic crowd who sink into battered sofas and whisper over old fashioneds.
The 184 guest bedrooms (including 20 suites) will augment your "real New Yorker" experience, ranging from large loft-style spaces you wish you lived in down to more realistic compact rooms. Clean, industrial-esque décor comes in the form of wrought-iron bedsteads and exposed beams, softened by gold lamps and patterned curtains. Sophisticated black-and-white tiled bathrooms are completed by gleaming grey marble sinks, while bathtubs spanning the width of floor-to-ceiling windows are an exhibitionist's (wet) dream. If you're feeling flush (and we mean really flush) channel your inner Chuck Bass and nab the 1,500 square foot penthouse on the 17th floor with its 180-degree views - with a pad like this, you'll soon be in with the NY cool crowd.
What's for breakfast?
Aside from the usual continental or cooked, you'll find spruced-up classics such as pancakes with preserved lemon and spiced maple syrup. But the real winner is the Ludlow egg sandwich served in an "inverted croissant" and stuffed with jambon and gruyere. Whatever you do, don't ask for directions to the buffet - it's not that kind of place.
How about lunch and dinner?
The hotel's restaurant, Dirty French, is one of the hottest bistros in town. French classics are brought bang up to date with modern techniques so that a Gallic menu boasting duck à l'orange, bourguignon and steak frites is piqued with Moroccan influences such as ras el hanout, harissa and preserved apricots.
Is there a bar?
The Lobby Bar is a cocktail lounge offering indoor and outdoor seating, headed up by acclaimed mixologist Thomas Waugh. The signature Ludlow Gimlet (gin, cinnamon, crème de abricot, fresh lime) packs a refreshing punch from a menu inspired by both Paris and New Orleans.
A vertiginous rooftop gym but no spa.
Things you should know
Book Dirty French in advance.
Within a short walk you will find…
The iconic Katz's Deli - made famous by that scene in When Harry Met Sally - is on the same road.