, but bear in mind there's no concierge service. Situated on the buzzy Lower East Side, with its dive bars, music venues and chic boutiques, this latest addition to the hip Thompson chain of hotels has an ambience of exposed brick walls, concrete beams and metal ceilings, giving the. Business travellers will appreciate most of 60 Thompson's 100 large rooms, equipped with high-speed Internet access, DVD players and cordless phones. The Hotel Gansevoort is in a stellar location, at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 13th Street, a stroll across the cobbles from the brasserie-style restaurant Pastis and smart boutiques such as Stella McCartney and Catherine Malandrino. Nevertheless, getting a seat is even more difficult than getting a smile from your waiter. The bar has an excellent wine list and the restaurant is very popular. THE plaza hotel Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York, NY ( ; m/theplaza ).