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).

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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss