Glass enjoys eco-luxury at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York

JUST a stone’s throw from one of New York City’s most famous overpasses, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has already established itself as a mainstay of the Brooklyn Heights neighbourhood since opening less than six months ago. Emerging from a leafy waterfront, cornered by an 85-acre park, the 10-storey building overlooks the city’s East River, and is the third iteration from 1 Hotels, an environmentally-conscious luxury hotel brand that seeks to provide sophisticated stays, while, admirably, maintaining eco-friendly practices. Incredibly, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge runs entirely from wind power energy – no mean feat.
The entrance to 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeThe entrance to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
The property scores top marks for first impressions. Entering the lobby is not unlike visiting a contemporary art gallery. An installation of grey rocks, each tied up with thick mustard-coloured rope, occupies the reception area’s sole staircase near the entrance. Meanwhile, from behind the front desk emerges a mysterious lava-like creation that sits across the wall, like a black horizon. It’s not a surprise to discover that local artists were invited to collaborate on the hotel’s interiors.
The Lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeThe Lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
The ceilings are sky-high and the ground floor is anchored by a seriously impressive lounge area replete with concrete and wooden tables, family-size sofas and industrially proportioned ceiling lamps. The local freelancer tribe will no doubt have a field day here, and the hotel very much situates itself within the community, encouraging nearby residents to use its aptly-named Neighbors café on the ground floor.
The Front Desk at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.The Front Desk at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.
All of this is bordered by a horizontal garden – a 25-foot wall covered with foliage, created by landscape architecture firm Harrison Green – as well as more potted plants than you’re likely to see at your local garden centre. The after-work crowd gently fills the space during cocktail hour, and the hotel helpfully sets up an ad-hoc bar in the room from around 4.00pm.
Neighbors, the cafe at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeNeighbors, the cafe at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Designed by INC Architecture & Design, the firm has done an excellent job of referencing the original shipping history of the local waterfront, through reclaimed materials and greenery that is native to the area. Just over half of the materials used to make the building are from regional and reclaimed sources, including original heart-pine beams from Brooklyn’s old Domino Sugar Factory and walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The nod to wharf architecture is evident, and the creation of an indoor natural environment feels authentic and interesting, rather than try-hard.

Filtered water on tap in each room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeFiltered water on tap in each room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Upstairs, the view from the bedroom is a knockout. From the floor-to-ceiling windows can be spotted the charming ferry, that picks up passengers from the pier outside of the hotel and drops them off in Manhattan multiple times a day, as well as the killer skyline that pops up from behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

A bird's eye view of the Lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeA bird’s eye view of the Lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Each of the 194 guest rooms, including 29 two- to six-bedroom suites, and The Riverhouse, its Presidential Suite, is furnished with hemp-blend Keetsa mattresses and 100 percent organic cotton sheets, not to mention individual recycling bins and faucets that offer Triple Clear filtered water (no more wondering whether it’s safe to drink the tap water).


A room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeA room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Though the hotel may espouse a green lifestyle, it also, simultaneously, functions on a high-tech level. Each room is kitted with an iPad, from which you can change the temperature, order room service and make requests to the front desk. If you’re wondering whether or not to order the home-made Lemon Meringue Pie when you get those midnight munchies, Glass emphatically says do it.

A guestroom bathroom at 1 Hotel Brooklyn BridgeA guest room bathroom at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

While 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has got off to a cracking start, there is still more to come. The Bamford Haybarn Spa – an exponent of natural, restorative skin treatments – will open later this year, as will a rooftop swimming pool, cinema and the Signature Restaurant, which will share the cafe’s commitment to using seasonal, fresh ingredients from local purveyors. Showing that a profound commitment to sustainability and nature can absolutely go hand in hand with comfort and splendour, one hopes that the industry as a whole will make their green goals as high as those of 1 Hotels.

by Derby Jones

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 60 Furman Street, Brooklyn NY 11201 Tel: +1 347 696 2500
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