Over the last few decades the center of gravity of hipness in New York has tracked steadily to the south and east. And given how long these things take to make, it’s natural that only just now are we beginning to see high-end boutique hotels on the Lower East Side — among the first wave, the SIXTY LES, on Allen just south of Houston.
This being Manhattan, space is at a premium. Everything’s modestely sized but impeccably designed, and packed with all the necessities — very much in keeping with the SIXTY aesthetic. It’s an approach that works particularly well here; this is still the Lower East Side, and anything more upmarket would simply be overkill, in a neighborhood where most of the hotels are residential ones.
It’s uncharted territory for hotels, perhaps, but familiar ground for nightlife. The SIXTY doesn’t just take advantage of the local buzz, it aims to contribute its own: the new flagship restaurant is Blue Ribbon Sushi Iyazaka, a Japanese tavern serving sushi and drinks into the wee hours, and Make Believe, the open-air bar with the retractable roof, is bound to become a downtown fixture for members and hotel guests. And when the weather agrees, an outdoor pool bears the visage of none other than Andy Warhol — not many other downtown hotels can say something like that.