Shabby-chic luxury in the heart of New York's trendiest locale...
With its opulent boho décor of Persian rugs, velvet-upholstered chairs and wood-panelled walls, the Bowery Hotel is the polar opposite to and a refreshing change from the clean lines and clinical aesthetic of the ubiquitous minimalist-chic swanky hotels.
Space is at a premium in densely populated New York, so hotel rooms are usually no bigger than designer shoeboxes, and while my 12th floor suite was no exception to this rule, it didn’t feel any less luxe for being small.
The views of the Manhattan skyline through the floor-to-ceiling, warehouse-inspired windows are impressive, but the real star of the show at The Bowery is the marble and ceramic brick-tiled bathroom, with its décolletage-deep two-person tub, Niagara Falls-strength shower and olde worlde C.O. Bigelow apothecary products. The soft but effective lighting is flattering – so much so that you look like you’ve had a once-over with an airbrush.
As tempting as the fluffy white linen on my king-size bed looked, I’m a seasoned enough traveller to know that a stiff drink is the only way to conquer jetlag. So I made my way downstairs, through the Edwardian and art deco-inspired lobby, to the exclusive guest-only bar where the signature Bowery Cocktail – a gin-infused masterpiece – successfully took the edge off. My drinking companions for the evening? The Olsen twins and Elijah Wood. The hotel, which straddles the über-trendy East Village, SoHo and Lower East Side neighbourhoods, is an ultra-hip, ultra-discrete celeb haunt when little more than a decade ago, you were more likely to find crack dealers than A-listers hanging out in this part of town.
The celebrity guests aren’t the only beautiful people in the building though: the super-helpful staff look like they’ve been hired from the New Faces division of a top modelling agency – I almost proposed marriage instead of ordering my drink.
The Bowery Hotel boasts a 24-hour gym, which is all very nice, but I was more interested in the delicious room service pizza, sent up in lightning-quick time from Gemma, the rustic Italian restaurant on the ground floor. Also on the room service menu is an impressive collection of DVDs, which have clearly been categorised by an OCD sufferer. I had barely put the phone down and a red waistcoated bellhop had already whisked Desperately Seeking Susan to my room.
When I left the following morning, the paparazzi were gathered outside. The very discrete (and very dashing) doorman, who gallantly hailed me a cab and heaved my suitcase into the boot, wouldn’t tell me who they were there for, but with further probing of a long lens-wielding pap I learned they were waiting for the emergence of fellow guest, Drew Barrymore. As I hadn’t spotted Drew in the bar the night before, I can only assume she was in her room gorging on pizza in front of Desperately Seeking Susan too.
From $425 per night.
To book visit theboweryhotel.com
335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003
+1 212 505 9100