Even the most jaded globetrotters won’t fail to be impressed by the Manhattan skyline as seen from 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. The hotel is found on the waterfront of the East River, five blocks west of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, and next to the Dumbo ferry terminal (so it takes just a few minutes from here to reach Wall Street). You can stand transfixed from its rooftop bar, complete with steaming pool, or gaze out from one of the bedrooms, which come with floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise cinematic panoramas over the Statue of Liberty, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge or Manhattan, which gleams promisingly in front of you.
Elsewhere, the hotel is the epitome of eco-cool – with nature at its heart. In the lobby, there’s a living wall, and throughout there are towering plants and trees by landscape designers Harrison Green (including a rather odd mini ‘plot’ of moss in the bathrooms). Don’t question why. It’s all about enhancing your mood, says interior designers Inc Architecture and Design. As well as the natural elements, reclaimed materials have been used as much as possible – many of which has been sourced locally, such as original heart pine beams from the former Domino Sugar Factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Brooklyn-sourced recycled glass. Meanwhile, the subterranean spa continues the touchy-feely ethos with a range of holistic treatments courtesy of organic British brand Bamford Haybarn, the first of its kind in New York.
Bedrooms are industrial-chic with tan leather headboards fashioned to look like corrugated metal, unfinished breeze-block walls and plenty of black ironwork. The look is softened with fluffy towels, linen bedspreads and cosy rugs. The mini-bar is nicely inventive and stocked with artisan products, such as the nostalgic Malvi marshmallow ‘confections’ and there’s a tap built into a wall which serves filtered water to encourage minimising plastic waste.
While, aesthetically, it ticks all the right ‘eco’ boxes, the hotel is not just a pretty face, with its green credentials going more than skin deep. A state-of-the-art energy-efficient cooling and heating system, a rainwater reclamation system and low-energy lightbulbs are just three of the initiatives at play.
The forward-thinking mentality extends further with many thoughtful touches and detailing which add a premium edge to the hospitality on offer. There’s a Tesla car, for instance, which you can hop in for complimentary rides within a three-mile radius of the hotel, an intelligent hotel app on the in-room iPad, which controls all aspects of your stay, and round-the-clock room service.
While you can grab a coffee and pastry at the Neighbors Café to get the day started, dinner at the ground floor Osprey restaurant echoes the ‘good vibe’ feel with its ‘market-fresh’ comfort food menu. It lands just on the right side of healthy with an imaginative and plentiful vegetarian offering. ‘Warm Ancient Grains’ comes with wild mushrooms, a goat cheese croquette and pine nuts, and the ‘Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad’ with pecorino crostini was a surprise hit. Indulgent desserts include ‘Warm Chocolate Mocha Cake’ and ‘Butterscotch Pudding’.
Post-dinner, head to Harriet’s Rooftop Bar. Ignore the staff’s double denim ‘uniform’ (even the young bartender said he felt it was a bit 90s, but, then again, this is Brooklyn) – it’s nonetheless a fashionable spot to be. As well as bar snacks and a comprehensive wine list, there’s a wide range of cocktails on offer. Go for ‘And The Doctor Said’ (made of whisky, apple cider, lemon and honey) and take in the views – it’s guaranteed medicine for the soul.
Prices for a Dumbo King room start at $349.
*This article was also published in The Jewish Chronicle on 31 May 2019