The Ludlow Hotel is located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which is a very cool neighbourhood in easy walking distance of Chinatown, Little Italy, Nolita and both the Williamsburg and Brooklyn bridges.
We stayed for five nights over New Year in 23/24 and really enjoyed our stay. We paid for the stay ourselves and booked The Ludlow through Booking.com, as at that time it was cheaper than booking direct. Shop around for the best prices though or wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday when the hotel had some great deals if you book direct.
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Ready to explore the hotel? Here’s my honest review of The Ludlow Hotel in New York.
The vibe at The Ludlow
I’d be interested to stay at the hotel in spring or summer to see what it’s like because it definitely had a cosy, winter feel. It’s quite dark and sultry, with a bit of a Wes Anderson vibe (minus the pastel colours).
Hotel designer, Sean MacPherson, drew on the history of the area when designing the hotel. The area used to be home to migrants, which is why if feels somewhat eclectic but works beautifully.
With the large fireplace in the lounge bar, it’s perfect for cosy winter nights. Even the restaurant, Dirty French, has got dark wooden tables and wooden, beamed ceilings and low lighting – very romantic for a dinner for two.
The room itself, although it had lots of windows to let in natural light, at night it was actually a bit too dark so we asked for an extra lamp – and then it was perfect. The lighting in the room is very subtle throughout with only bedside lamps and only one overhead light in the lounge area.
The Ludlow has 175 rooms, including 10 suites. There are a range of rooms to choose from, depending on your preference and budget. We opted for the Skybox Loft, which is one of the more spacious rooms at 325 ft² or 30 m². It’s quite a bit smaller than the Four Seasons Downtown, where we stayed previously, but with way more character!
It has amazing city views, and ours had views over Brooklyn too. There’s a separate living room area with large casement windows on three sides so you can let in as much natural light as you like.
There is a well stocked mini bar with wine, beer, soft drinks, spirits, snacks and amenities that you can purchase, such as a sleep kit or a travel adaptor. There was complimentary bottled water as well as coffee pods and tea.
As we were staying five nights, we had a lovely ‘welcome’ bottle of Pinot Noir waiting for us. And as we were staying over New Year, we also received a half bottle of champagne, which was a lovely touch.
The bed was a Queen bed, which for us was smaller than what we’re used to as we have a King-sized bed at home. However, it was perfectly fine and was also very comfortable. You can also request different pillows if needed, which I did as the pillows were on the soft side and I prefer a firmer pillow.
The bedside lamps are on the wall, so as to conserve precious space. I loved how there were USB chargers on the wall too – very modern. My only gripe was the bedside tables. They look very cool, like marbled tree trunks, but the reality is that they were quite small.
Our room also had a small, outside terrace looking over Brooklyn. On New Year’s Eve there were fireworks at around 7:30 pm so we stepped out on to the terrace to watch them. It was fabulous!
One of the reasons we chose the room we did was because it came with a bath. Whenever we’re in New York we walk so much that a bath at the end of the day to soak our aching calves is very much needed. The bathroom in the Skybox Loft room is lovely with white and black tiles and gold fixtures.
The bathtub is rather large and it’s located right by a window so that you can see the skyline. There are also fluffy dressing gowns and slippers with ‘The Ludlow Hotel New York’ stitched on them. Guess who took the slippers home!
One of the negatives of the room was that there wasn’t a lot of storage space. There was only one small wardrobe to hang up clothes and store shoes. Our suitcases had to stay in the lounge so we always had to make sure they weren’t messy!
The hotel has a gym which is open 24 hours and located on the 19th floor. I didn’t go so no photos unfortunately but my husband went once and said it was really nice and that it has a great view of the city.
There is no pool or spa, however you can organise spa treatments through the hotel if you wish to.
Dirty French is the only restaurant in the hotel and it’s where you have breakfast, if you have that included or want to pay extra for it. We didn’t have breakfast but we went for dinner on our last night and it was one of the best meals we had in New York! Gorgeous decor, great music and delicious food.
There’s a gorgeous bar and lounge area, which is operated by Dirty French. I’ve never been to a ski lodge but it gave me those kind of vibes. Especially with the large fireplace being the main focal point.
I liked the quirky decor touches, such as the Marshall speakers, the animal hide chairs and Moroccan style lamps that looked a big like big bee hives.
Just off the lounge and bar is an outside conservatory or greenhouse style area where you can have a drink or grab a bite to eat. Although it’s definitely got more summer vibes about it, especially with all the hanging plants, it was heated.
The Lower East Side is steeped in history and one of the best places to learn more about the area, and the people who lived here, is to visit the Tenement Museum, which is about a ten minute walk from The Ludlow. We did the ‘Under one roof’ tour and it was great!
Another iconic institution which is less than a minute’s walk from the hotel is Katz’s Deli. You absolutely have to try their pastrami sandwich!
There are loads of great restaurants, bars, independent shops and museums in the area and it’s quite close to a lot of places I recommend in my blog post on what to see and do in New York. Plus it’s in walking distance to Chinatown, Little Italy and Brooklyn Bridge. You can also easily get across to Brooklyn as it’s very close to the Williamsburg Bridge. 10/10 for location!
We loved the design of The Ludlow, even if the room was slightly smaller than what we’re used to. The view from the room is worth it alone and the location is perfect. The staff were always so friendly and helpful and you were always greeted with a smile.
The only negatives were that the room was quite dark but that was easily sorted out with an extra lamp and that there wasn’t much storage space.
We would definitely stay here again though!