JC Stays: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York

It’s all about the feel-good factor at this Brooklyn eco hotel


Even the most jaded globetrotters won’t fail to be impressed by the Manhattan skyline as seen from 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Set on the waterfront of the East River, it’s five blocks west of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade and next to the Dumbo ferry terminal (so it takes just a few minutes to reach Wall Street).

First pick your viewpoint. You can stand transfixed at 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.

The epitome of eco-cool, nature is at its heart. In the lobby, there’s a living wall, with towering plants and trees by landscape designers Harrison Green throughout (including a rather odd mini ‘plot’ of moss in the bathrooms). Don’t question why. It’s all about enhancing your mood, say interior designers Inc Architecture and Design.

As well as the natural elements, reclaimed materials have been used as far as possible — many sourced locally, such as original heart pine beams from the former Domino Sugar Factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and 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 too, such as the nostalgic Malvi marshmallow ‘confections’ while a tap built into a wall serves filtered water to minimise plastic waste.

Aesthetically it ticks all the right ‘eco’ boxes, but 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 initiatives.

The forward-thinking mentality extends further with thoughtful touches adding a premium edge. A Tesla car, which you can hop in for complimentary rides within a three-mile radius of the hotel and an intelligent hotel app on the in-room iPad to control all aspects of your stay.

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 Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with pecorino crostini was a surprise hit.

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) — it’s nonetheless a fashionable spot to be.

Order the whisky-based And The Doctor Said cocktail and take in the views — guaranteed medicine for the soul.


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