Because it's the most important new Lower East Side building since BLUE, and because all it takes to gain access is about 300 bucks, Curbed sent a special secret operative to stay at the soft-opened Thompson LES hotel over the weekend. Over the course of the day, we will be publishing reports from our spy about the game-changing Allen Street high-rise, everything from a dramatic room reveal to a crucial swimming pool update to a mini-bar spot check. First up: Checking in.
"Lobby" is apparently Jason Pomeranc-speak for "a large, empty gray space with some glass." The rock-covered walls in the Thompson LES are begging for some artwork, so hopefully it's on the way. A narrow check-in desk runs along the right side, accommodating two smiling clerks who are happy to take care of you and suggest a lunch spot. On the opposite wall are two black-leather benches, which aren't particularly comfy. But then again, this space is "industrial," it wasn't designed for lingering. Toward the back of the lobby there are three elevators: The off-limits "Penthouse" and "Spa" lifts, and another for accessing guest rooms. Behind the concierge desk is a steel staircase to the eventual second-floor restaurant and lounge, Shang. Note: Attempting to preview the space, especially while holding a camera, is frowned upon.
Public space here is nonexistent at the moment, and even when the lounge opens it probably won't be an inviting place for locals. Sure, breakfast with wifi here sounds lovely, but let's not get our hopes up. Even hotel guests are stuck to a cable connection (the horror!) at this point, since the wireless network hasn't gone live. Repeat: Has. Not. Gone. Live. Two more floors are expected to open this week, which will put them at a total of five, and hopefully make the lobby feel less desolate. No ETA on the remaining 13 floors, and no construction workers to be seen. Apparently, Pomeranc gives Sundays off, even when a project is behind schedule. Nice guy.
· All Curbed Thompson LES coverage [Curbed]
· Thompson LES [Official Site]