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