NU Hotel, Brooklyn NY

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Lodging options are rolling out in Brooklyn at a frenzied pace, serving a growing number of business and leisure travelers who prefer distinct neighborhood flair to a cookie-cutter anyplace experience. So, away with waves-crashing-on-rocks hotel art, and hello to local muralists. Local boutique hotels are distinguishing themselves by inviting Brooklyn artists to use guest room walls as canvas and public areas as art galleries.

Smith St Mural, Cobble Hill Brooklyn NY

The newish NU Hotel – a comfy, upscale small hotel in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn is one of the best: playful enough to attract hipster tourists, but sufficiently sensible for a growing number of business travelers and parental units as well.

First Impressions of NU Hotel Brooklyn

Front Door, NU Hotel Brooklyn NY

NU Hotel is smack in the middle of the action on funky, restaurant-packed Smith St. – just steps from the vegan restaurant, Wild Ginger and another block to the reasonably priced and very good Kyoto Sushi and other fantastic dining and shopping spots. The public parking garage next door to the hotel is a most convenient and rare amenity in the car park desert of Brooklyn ($30 per night).

Lobby 2, NU Hotel Brooklyn NY

A small lobby, which serves as a bar by night (Misdemeanor Lounge) and breakfast area in the morning, is a vibrant mélange of plush banquettes, modern paintings (by Natalie Lomeli), a large communal table, and two-person reception desk, where check in is friendly and swift.

Rooms at NU Hotel

Room 303, NU Hotel, Brooklyn NY

To get the most artsy stay here, book one of the larger NU Perspective rooms – a series of 14 guestrooms (with more coming) beautified by muralists and painters.

One of these, the sizable Room 303, features espresso hued hardwood floors, industrial desk with ergonomic rolling chair, large floor to ceiling mirrored sliding closet door, cloudlike king bed – and, covering most walls, artist Steven Weinberg’s black and white renderings of Brooklyn streets.

In addition to Weinberg’s drawings, another wall in the bathroom is a chalkboard, allowing guests to entertain his or her own artistic muse (chalk provided). The glass and tile shower in the bath is bright and cheerful, with shampoo, hair moisturizer and bath gel in an easy to use dispenser. And that enticing Harry’s Shave Kit above the sink? Looks very cool, but just be aware that it’s not complementary: it will cost you $15 to take home. Given that this is Brooklyn, where trimmed beards on locals are de rigeur, the Shave Kit is actually a great souvenir.

Hand Crafted Brooklyn Products

There’s an in-room “honor bar” consisting of goodies like miniature bottles of gin and vodka, half-bottles of wine, chocolate, nuts and other snacks set up on a modern chest of drawers. Cold cans of soda are $2, larger bottles of EarthView Water are $4, with $1 going to help fund water projects around the world.

Food at NU Hotel Brooklyn

Breakfast, NU Hotel Brooklyn NY

A cold Continental breakfast is served in Misdemeanor Lounge, aka the lobby, every morning at 6am (another nod to the business traveler), with fresh bagels, hard boiled eggs, toast, cereals, fresh fruit, and the most locally sourced of fresh-roasted, independently-owned coffee: Brewklyn Grind.  Complimentary water is available 24/7.

Brewklyn Grind Coffee, NU Hotel, Brooklyn NY

Though there is no in-house restaurant, the Misdemeanor Lounge opens in the lobby Tues-Sat. 4:30pm-11:30pm, with master mixologist at the ready to concoct your favorite (and signature) cocktails.

Smith St. Brooklyn at night

Step outside, and you’ll have a slew of eateries on Smith St. to choose from within a five minute walk.

Amenities at NU Hotel Brooklyn

NU Hotel Fitness Center, Brooklyn NY

For the fitness freak, there’s well-equipped work-out room – with weights, punching bags,cardio  and Pilates machines for use of guests.

Lobby, NU Hotel Brooklyn NY

Complimentary use of bicycles.

Free Wi-Fi and Keurig Coffee in rooms.

Free continental breakfast every day.

Just The Facts

Rooms and suites from $109 to $550 depending on room type and season, include wi-fi, continental breakfast, use of bicycle when available. Parking next door $30 per night.

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