On Assignment at Delancey Street’s New Holiday Inn

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Editor’s note: We sent two of our intrepid contributors, comedienne Jessica Delfino and photographer Alex M. Smith to check out the new Holiday Inn on Delancey Street.  Here’s what they found.

Story by Jessica Delfino, photos by Alex M. Smith.

Just about everyone has reluctantly stayed in a Holiday Inn at one point or another. Whether it be a snap judgment while driving heavy-eyed along a dark highway in Cincinnati, Ohio or after a work event in New Haven, Connecticut, it seems like the kind of place I’ve only ever “crashed out at” rather than “consciously chose.” But when my husband and I were assigned to an undercover slumber party at the Lower East Side’s newest hotel on Delancey Street, I found myself checking in for the first time ever, on purpose.

Destination: LES – Bracing For a Hotel Building Boom

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the November issue of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

Along upper Orchard Street one sparkling fall afternoon last month, young shoppers strolled in stilettos, popping in and out of the tiny, trendy boutiques that seem to multiply overnight lately. The perfume of fresh-cut flowers banked along a new corner bodega wafted down the block, overlaid with the pungent smell of roasted garlic from one of the pizza joints. Shopkeepers hawked leather goods on the sidewalk while workers hammered away inside Mi Casa Es Su Casa, yet another new restaurant opening soon. A woman with a suitcase asked directions to The Hotel on Rivington. A few blocks south, a group of tourists set out from the Tenement Museum for a walking tour of the way things used to be.

This eclectic mix — of the fashionable and the old-fashioned, the outgoing and the up-and-coming — forms a large part of the Lower East Side’s charm and draw. Combined with cheaper real estate prices than most of the rest of Manhattan and easy public transit access to  more tourist-centric parts of the city, the neighborhood’s character helps paint a portrait of a place that developers could envision new hotels succeeding.

Summer Sunday Afternoon Drinks with a View – and a Soak?

Grub Street reports that the penthouse suite in the Hotel on Rivington will be opening its doors to the public this summer and using its hot-tub rooftop as a bar:

20090513_rooftop_146x97 Matt Levine’s project in the Hotel on Rivington, called LEVANTeast (your guess is as good as ours). Here’s the interesting part: It’s in the penthouse suite, where the rooftop hot tub is located. Normally this has been used for private parties, but a hotel receptionist tells us that starting next month, it’ll be open as a bar during summer Sundays from 1 p.m. till 9 p.m.

Not a bad spot for a drink with a great view and maybe a dip?

Read more here.