Hotel BPM 139 33rd St., Brooklyn, New York, 718-305-4182; hotelbpmbrooklyn.com. 76 rooms from $229 (U.S.) a night.
Now that Brooklyn's emerging as a go-to destination, new hotels are cropping up to cater to the growing numbers of travellers seeking to stay the night in New York's hipster haven. Hotel BPM, which opened last September, offers stylish rooms in a music-themed ambience and a cool, minimalist decor.
The hotel puts its music motif front and centre, starting with the name – BPM stands for beats per minute – and a lobby that greets guests with piped-in hip-hop and Top 40 tunes. Weekend nights feature a DJ pumping music in the lower-level lounge, where guests are offered complimentary drinks while management awaits its liquor licence.
Fortunately for those seeking out slumber rather than late-night Rihanna, the rooms are blissfully soundproof.
Sharing a block with an auto parts shop, plumbing supplier and brick apartment walk-ups, there's no mistaking this spot in Sunset Park for the glitter of Manhattan. It's even outside the charmed circle of Brooklyn hipsterdom. However, the hotel is a two-subway-stop ride to Manhattan and only one stop to the concerts and sporting events at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
For lattes and waiting-list only gourmet restaurants, you'll have to take a cab or subway to hotter Brooklyn neighbourhoods such as Park Slope and Williamsburg. For now, largely immigrant Sunset Park is home to some of the best, unfussy, Mexican food in New York, and a thriving Chinatown.
As for nearby sites, you can check out the Green-Wood cemetery, a national historic landmark and final resting spot for luminaries such as Leonard Bernstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A little further afield are Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING
A single elevator for a 76-room hotel can test the patience of anyone, even the most chill guests. Sometimes the elevator is quick. Other times, you'll be hoofing it up the stairs.
The rainfall shower and glass doors feel like a luxurious treat after a day out seeing the sites. But one of the hotel's top amenities is human – the unpretentious and attentive young staff are ready to offer tips and easygoing guidance about restaurants, sites and transportation.
WHOM YOU'LL MEET
You'll come across the occasional DJ from Amsterdam or a group of twentysomethings checking out the club scene, but there's no need for the unhip to feel unwelcome. Expect to see young families with babies, middle-aged couples and regular sightseers from Europe and North America. Members of a Czech orchestra stayed at the hotel while playing at the Lincoln Center.
EAT IN OR EAT OUT?
There's no restaurant on-site but the hotel has started a 24-hour room service menu with basic fare such as a turkey triple decker sandwich, three-cheese baked mac and cheese and beer-battered fish and chips. The complimentary hot breakfast includes cereal and bagels as well as nice touches such as French toast with real Vermont maple syrup. For those willing to venture out, Sunset Park is the place to get authentic and inexpensive Chinese noodles, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, Ecuadorian ceviche and an array of Mexican tacos and tortas.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Street-facing rooms are filled with light and look over Sunset Park's industrial/urban landscape. Double shades do a creditable job blocking out the morning light. Fortunately, all rooms are also soundproof, so if Drake in the lobby at 1 a.m. isn't your cup of tea, you can tune him out.
The writer was a guest of the hotel.
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