What We Love
- Search for the reception desk in vain. At Public, you check in on your phone or on one of the lobby's iPads
- Stargazing from one of the beds dotted around the rooftop bar
- Public Arts, the multi-media performance space in the basement that hosts open mic events, art exhibits and club nights
What To Know
- There's no room service
- There are more charging ports and outlets than you can use
- Rooms, as with nearly all in NYC, are on the small side
- Free WiFi
Sense that party vibe? Public’s creator is none other than Ian Schrager (also the creator of Studio 54), so if you pick up on a vintage 1977 devil-may-care attitude, that’s why. This addition to the Lower East Side is a hub for today’s club kids, thanks in large part to the rooftop bar and the events space in the basement, both of which draw a cool crowd in the evenings. From the moment you step onto one of the neon-lit and mirrored escalators, you know you’re in for a good time. Book a Great View room for stellar cityscapes through the floor-to-ceiling windows just by the bed. Still, you won’t be spending much time in the rooms, which can be a bit of a squeeze for two, since the hotel’s dining options—including one from Jean-Georges Vongerichten—bars and chic lobby-level boutique are all compelling. But if you want to lounge around and enjoy the view in your jammies, call down to Louis—part restaurant, part coffee shop, part grocery store—with your order and just nip down to pick it up a few minutes later.
In the Area
Public’s got a fabulous, walk-to-almost-anything location on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and there’s a subway stop just around the corner for trips further afield. Pick up lox and bagels at Russ & Daughters, just five minutes away, and settle onto a bench in Sara D. Roosevelt Park for an easy—and very NYC—picnic. For cozy tête-à-têtes over organic wine and a great value oyster happy hour, stroll over to the romantic The Ten Bells bar, ten minutes from the hotel. Meet colleagues for a power breakfast at see-and-be-seen Balthazar…or just come in for a perfectly brewed latte and croissant among the movers and shakers before heading out to the Invisible-Exports gallery to check out what artists we’ll all be talking about in a year or two. The excellent New Museum is also handy—come here to see the artists we’re already talking about.
How to Get There
My goal was to check Public out and then migrate to various neighborhoods over the seven months. Public hotel and their absolutely exceptional staff, was way to hard to leave so I never left. The heart and soul vibe, the amazing service, the roof deck, the location, and the very cool and cozy rooms was too hard to give up, so I never left. I have never written a review, but let's give credit where credit is due. A special shout out to Angela, the manager, what a dream come true contact. She runs a special place because she is super special herself. We will be back!!
I have been a Tripadvisor lurker for as long as I can remember. I have only read countless reviews and was never compelled to leave a review until now. Public Hotel really took care of us. Upon arriving, the concrete jungle leads you through an entryway of long green lush that separates you from the outside. Once inside you feel levels of modernity, openness, and welcoming. It feels like an escape from the outside crazy city.
Their staff is not only very informed and helpful, but truly accommodating. They will do anything and everything to make sure you have a great stay and that you have nothing to worry about. This is not your typical hotel and staff. The staff is young, super cool, and so welcoming. We never felt out of place and they were eager to help with anything we needed.
LUCAS IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!
We stayed for the week of July 4 and Lucas answered all of our questions with an amazing attention to detail. He remembered all of our party by name throughout our stay. Lucas upgraded my room upon arrival and really took care of us. Despite the hotel selling a ticketed fireworks event, Lucas gave us a locals perspective on where to really catch the fireworks, and how to navigate the holiday. We came to New York for a wedding and stayed in Staten Island for the wedding afterwards. We were so impressed with the service that we decided to return back to Public Hotel after the wedding. Not only were we given the same upgraded room with an amazing view of One World Trade, NY skylines, and LES, but a bottle of white wine with a welcome back note was awaiting us. Now THAT is service!
Side notes: I submitted clothes for dry cleaning and was later informed that I would be up-charged due to the 4th of July holiday. Public Hotel cleared it up and removed the charges. They were quick to do so and handled it without issue.
Drinks are expensive, but you pay for what you get. The views from the rooftop bar are spectacular and we found ourselves meeting friends and family on the roof before heading out for each daily/nightly New York adventure. Great starting and ending night cap place with picture worthy 360 views from LES. As a hotel guest, you get to jump the always present lines and have quick and easy access to the rooftop bar.
The room size is very New York and small. I am quite claustrophobic and usually book larger rooms even when in NYC. Despite the small size, I did not feel cramped or tight. The room is almost perfectly designed to maximize space. I stayed with my girlfriend and we were continually impressed throughout our week long stay on how comfortable we were. The bed was very comfortable and the floor to ceiling views of the city definitely made the room!
We booked multiple rooms here where our family stayed at the hotel. I do not recommend booking the room with a pull out couch if you are trying to accommodate an extra bed. It would be better to book multiple smaller rooms especially if you can find their online or mobile deals.
We had such a great trip and could not have asked for more. Aiden brought this genuine concern and energy every night. We came home late nights and were welcomed with his smile and just catching up on our trip. The mornings we would see Lucas and he would continue to check up on us, give us that local insight, and provide plenty of recommendations. While waiting for our Ubers, Derrick would hang out with us and make sure everything was cool and we knew where we were going. I have never remembered this many hotel staff before. Its usually a generic and almost robotic process when staying at other hotels. But at Public, they just make you feel so welcomed that you want to be friends and just hang out.
Thank you Public Hotel! We will definitely be back!
Julius from Los Angeles
I'm a fan of Herzog & de Meuron works and became an enthusiast of Mr. Schrager's hotels and concepts. The hotel is indeed an experience. The location is great, the environment and atmosphere unique. The only thing I did not enjoy so much was the staff - it is possible to do a better job in a hotel where you stay for 6 nights straight and the cost of it is (very) high. The design and layout of the room are very nice. The space is comfortable and well decorated. It is a silent almost zen space. However it should have more storage space, it becomes difficult to manage the organization for an entire week.
Another issue was the view - for a king great view I was expecting something like the queen great view offers, although we stayed at the 15th floor. Since our choice was KGV, and we paid more for it, it is unfair not to have the QGV views (down and uptown) - If I knew before I would have stayed on QGV, saving some money.
Despite these details we loved to stay there. It is not cheap but it is worth it - the location and connection to Nolita, SoHo, East Village is great, right around the corner!