A month ago I had an expiring IHG Annual Free Night Certificate (I wish it was an affiliate link) that had to be used up. Since I hadn’t gone anywhere in a couple of months I took this as an opportunity to make a trip to the City for some urban photography. New York can be a very expensive city on weekends and most hotels were booked already. Lucky for me my new favorite area to stay in: the Lower East Side actually had a few hotels available for redemption of the free night.
Some of you may remember my debacle at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side two years back, when I was kicked out of the bar area because I looked like a professional photographer. The whole reason I booked this hotel at the time was for the view and the staff made it seem like it was only people who take pictures with cell phones and times outside of golden hour. I actually emailed the hotel afterwards and they apologized and offered to escort me to the roof top bar so that I can take all the pictures I wanted. Here was there email:
Thank you so much for reaching out and bringing this feedback to our attention. We are truly apologetic that you approached and given information in this manner. Photography is absolutely allowed at the pool and on the rooftop. As we prefer press and publications go through our Sales team, we do not permit large cameras, lighting equipment or tripods in the public space. Both our hotel management and the Mr. Purple management team would like to apologize and invite you back to take as many photos as you’d like.
Additionally, as the restaurant and rooftop bar are independently owned and operated; their management team has assured me that the security staff will be spoken to regarding this policy in an attempt to prevent this misinformation from being presented to any other hotel guest.
We apologize that you were made to feel as if you were doing something wrong, or as if you were being cheated out of something advertised. It was not our intention and certainly is being addressed appropriately.
Although you’ve checked out of the hotel; please feel free to return for some photo op’s and a manager would be happy to escort you to the rooftop.
Since I actually liked the location, feel, and design of the hotel, I decided to give the place another shot. I just emailed the hotel back asking if I could photograph the city from the rooftop as promised. Fast forward 1 week, I hadn’t heard back from the hotel at all and I was checking in for my night stay when the receptionist told me I had been upgraded. I thought upgrade meant that I had been given a deluxe room instead of standard room so I didn’t think much of it at the time. After all, the hotel didn’t really email be back.
However when I arrived at my room I was pleasantly surprised by the spacious “King Suite” I had been upgraded to for the night. This suite normally goes for $400-$800/night depending on the time of year. Here are a few images of this accommodation:
Highlights of the room had to be the personal Nespresso Machine, spacious shower, and modern design. Of course, the best part of the room was a ridiculous view of both lower and upper Manhattan as seen from the balcony.
It was actually from this hotel room that I probably took my favorite image of New York City ever. I captioned it as “Gotham City” because of the mood, color scheme, and composition. I would love to hear what you think about it:
If you are interested in seeing more pictures from this hotel and all my photos from this stay in New York, check out my latest vlog entry:
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Just for clarification I still paid for the night using my IHG free night certificate so the hotel didn’t comp me on this. This hotel is definitely a steal of a deal in the IHG hotel network with nights costing 45k points (still eligible for annual free night). The location is brilliant, the rooms quite roomy, and of course the views are of both upper and lower Manhattan. The Lower East Side area also has quite a few nice restaurants and cafes which are a bit more off the beaten path. I will definitely return to this hotel regardless of what room I get the next time I stay. If you missed it here is the link to the earlier post with the more complete review of the property.