A Stay at the Distrikt Hotel - Manhattan, NY

by Lauren Hauptman

 
Distrikt Hotel stands out in a row of several tourist-class hotels. Compared with its neighbors, it has more personality and a sense of place, with numerous design elements reflecting the city’s grid of neighborhoods — or districts. The small lobby manages to be inviting primarily due to its living-wall garden in the shape of Central Park (OK, a rectangle) and friendly staff, as well as several iMacs for guests’ use and, best of all, complimentary hot cider for winter afternoons, iced tea for summer, and coffee each morning.

Inside Scoop - Accommodations & Appointments

Every floor is “zoned” into one of 10 Manhattan neighborhoods, and photo collages created for the hotel by New York artist Chris Rubino welcome you to yours as you exit the elevator on your floor. A smaller version of the collage also decorates each of 155 guest rooms, which are simple and efficient. Room highlights include quilted leather headboards, large flat-screen TVs, safes that are big enough for laptops, and excellent water pressure in the glass showers. Those facing the front of the hotel (north) are treated to a pretty great view over Port Authority up the west side of Manhattan (worth paying a bit more for). And thanks to airport-grade windows, noise is not a problem. Service throughout the property is earnest, and includes turndown service, complete with chocolates (wrappers feature your district’s collage) and a weather report for the next day.


Collage of Lower East Side

Home Away From Home - an International Flavor

A majority of Distrikt guests are international visitors, and you’ll hear a multitude of languages being spoken in common areas, including the adjacent restaurant, Collage Bistro and Bar, which has a very reasonably priced breakfast menu and a nice cocktail list. Employees seem to speak every possible language, making non-American visitors feel very comfortable.
 
Tech & Eco-Friendly

In addition to being very tech-forward, with iHome docking stations in every room and free WiFi throughout, Distrikt is a leader in eco-friendly design. The hotel sources its energy from solar and wind power, participating in city programs to curtail energy use during peak hours. It chooses highly biodegradable materials in amenities such as toiletry containers, and adjusts some of its housekeeping services based on need to save natural resources.


Neighborhood Elevator Etchings

Location, Location, Location

Perhaps the best part of Distrikt is its location. In the Fashion District — better known to locals as the Garment, or Schmata (Yiddish for rag), District — it’s only two blocks away from prime real estate. But, sharing its street with Port Authority, the New York State Division of Parole, a liquor store, and an adult video store or two, you must pay attention to your surroundings as you walk to and from the hotel, as this block is a bit sketchy.

 
As the several hotels on the street surely realized when choosing to perch here, it would be hard to find a place more convenient to so many tourist destinations. Broadway and Times Square are steps away to the west, as are the New York Public Library and Bryant Park; Parsons The New School for Design’s David M. Schwartz Fashion Education Center, the original home of Project Runway, is just down the street. And the upside to facing Port Authority (aside from the view over the short building) is you have a public-transit hub literally on your doorstep. It is within easy walking distance of Herald Square (home of Macy’s, Penn Station and Madison Square Garden (home of the Knicks and the Rangers). And it’s within walking distance of the High Line and Chelsea.
 
You can obtain more information including availability and pricing by visiting the Official Website of the Distrikt Hotel.

 
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Lauren Hauptman is a native New Yorker who is temporarily a long-term tourist in San Francisco. She has been a contributing editor and writer for WHERE San Francisco and Pulse Guides, and is an editorial and creative services consultant for numerous other publications and organizations ( www.laurenhauptmanink.com ). She believes New York is the center of the universe. She also wrote “One Short Day in Midtown” for Must See New York.



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