Stay the night: Hotel Le Bleu, Brooklyn

Go over the Brooklyn Bridge for luxury lodgings

This new boutique hotel is a sure sign that Brooklyn is becoming a tourist destination in its own right. Designed by architect Andres Escobar, the nine-storey chrome and glass structure, which opened last year, sits rather uncomfortably above the garages and low-rise factories of Park Slope's 4th Avenue, the first "full service" hotel in a neighbourhood of scant B&Bs.

It makes the most of its somewhat gritty setting by projecting films (of skateboarders and archive footage of Brooklyn street scenes) on to the hotel's façade. The roof terrace, however, has the main show: stunning views of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

One block east, on 5th Avenue, is the start of Park Slope proper, defined by well-kept brownstone houses, indie bookshops and boutiques, organic grocery co-ops, and hipster restaurant hangouts. But Park Slope is more than simply the next New York neighbourhood of note. Like adjacent Brooklyn Heights, it's where affluent Manhattanites migrated to in the 1800s and its public library, art gallery, and academy of music compete with anything Manhattan has to offer.

Then there's Prospect Park, designed by the same architect as Central Park, surrounded by elegant mansion houses and wide boulevards that, at a squint, recall Paris rather than the suburbs of New York.

The rooms

The 48 guest rooms are spread over seven floors and "bleu" is the theme, with everything from the carpets and cushions to the frosted glass that passes for the loo/shower room wall, in various blue hues. Flos Italian lighting turns this into something approaching a cool Icelandic nightclub in atmosphere, tempered by comfy beds and cosy duvets. In keeping with New York standards, my room was compact but it did have a sizeable balcony.

The food and drink

It all happens on the roof. Vue, the restaurant and lounge bar that occupies the top floor and roof terrace, has absolutely cracking views across the East River to the lights of Manhattan and serves refined American staples (baby back ribs, seared steak, crab cakes) with deft Asian touches courtesy of executive chef Chris Cheung. Two courses with a glass of wine cost about $45 (£27) per person. During our summertime stay this was quickly becoming one of the city's happening rooftop hangouts, complete with DJ and cacophonous crowds. The hotel assured us this was a temporary, noisy blip, but if you don't want to join the party from your bed, book a room on a lower floor and pack earplugs.

The extras

The hotel has an agreement with a local gym, should schlepping about New York's five boroughs not be exercise enough. In the rooms: complimentary bottled water, Kettle Chips and chocolate-chip cookies on arrival, free Wi-Fi and local calls, flat-screen televisions, iPod stations, Bose sound system, coffee machines, fluffy bathrobes and slippers. There's also free on-site parking (rarer than liquid gold in New York). The hotel has meeting rooms located in historic neighbourhood buildings, including the beautiful Venetian gothic-style Montauk House, formerly a 19th-century gentlemen's club. For more ideas about the endless things to do in the area, go to heartofbrooklyn.org.

The access

There's a lift to all floors. Four bedrooms have been adapted for people with limited mobility.

The bill

Doubles from $229, including taxes and breakfast. The Autumn Promotion (until 30 December 2009) offers 20 per cent off room rates for stays of three nights or more.

The address

Hotel le Bleu, 370 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (001 718 625 1500; hotellebleu.com).

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'