We walk you through a stay at the stunning 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
While the hipsters moved in long ago, transforming Brooklyn from shabby to chic, New York City’s coolest neighbourhood has officially entered luxe territory. Opened in April 2017, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is an on-trend urban retreat surrounded by the ultra-fashionable and historic neighbourhood of Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass – New Yorkers love their acronyms) and set just across the East River from Manhattan. When you hear hotel industry talk of sustainability and eco-focused strategies, this LEED-certified sanctuary sets the benchmark with an array of mission-driven conservation initiatives fused with cutting-edge technology and contemporary comforts. You could say the hotel is “made in Brooklyn” as neighbourhood artists feature throughout, locally made furnishings are a star, and organic materials such as repurposed shipping pallets, reclaimed wood from the old Domino Sugar Refinery building, and glass from a Brooklyn glass blowing studio catch the eye. The views of the Manhattan skyline from the rooftop pool and bar area are amazing while vistas from your room with the famous Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the Statue of Liberty in the distance are unbeatable.
This 194-room hotel never feels crowded with large yet cosy communal spaces. The guest rooms and suites are inspired by the urban waterfront and designed with nature in mind. Natural textures of wood, linen and leather adorn the stylish accommodations with plenty of eco-conscious touches such as boxes for recyclables and filtered water on all taps, including the handy bedside tap for convenient rehydration. If so inclined, there is a sand timer in the bathroom, so you don’t linger too long under the large rain shower head. My Bridge View King room is very comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows (that actually open), a comfy mattress from eco-brand Keetsa with 100 percent organic cotton bedding, custom natural bath products and a minibar of curated delicacies.
More a neighbourhood vibe than Manhattan’s frenetic city buzz, Dumbo is a destination in itself. Brimming with cafés and restaurants plus a cool bar scene along with shops and art galleries, people come from all over to amble along its cobblestoned streets. Thanks to Brooklyn’s gentrification, there are now numerous walking areas along the waterfront including the recently opened Domino Sugar Park, designed by the company behind the highly successful High Line on Manhattan’s west side.
The Look and Feel
The hotel has a chic industrial yet natural look with inviting reclaimed wood, artefacts, rusted steel, a mood-lifting living wall of plants and polished cement combining for a striking lobby. Plenty of communal seating and wooden tables with comfortable leather chairs and lounges entice guests to stick around. There are no keys or plastic room cards here, access to your room is with a thin wooden “coin” touched at your door.
The Osprey features modern American comfort food for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Neighbors Café is a casual space offering local Brooklyn fare for breakfast and later. Room service is available 24 hours per day. On the roof at Brooklyn Heights Social Club, guests can enjoy signature cocktails, small appetisers and those unbelievable bridge and skyline views. If you want to venture outside the hotel, SUGARCANE raw bar grill, a short walk along the riverfront, serves up oysters, clams and all things seafood among other options. Sitting in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, it’s a perfect spot for a late afternoon cocktail and alfresco dinner.
The Special Touches
A Tesla car service can take guests anywhere within a five-kilometre radius. If it’s not too busy, it might get you a ride across the bridge into Manhattan, but otherwise it’s a fantastic experience that can deliver you to almost anywhere in Brooklyn. There is also a lobby farm stand with seasonal produce on certain days. The hotel is pet friendly and in-room WiFi is complimentary.