The Standard, East Village Rating: 4.0 Pearls
East Village, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Large modern rooms with custom B&B Italia furniture
  • Trendy bar and restaurant
  • Free gym passes to the New York Health & Racquet Club
  • Nightly turndowns and free welcome drinks
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 10-minute walk from 13 subway lines

Cons

  • Poor lighting in bathrooms
  • Room service ends at 11 p.m.

Bottom Line

THIS HOTEL IS UNDER RENOVATION. WE WILL UPDATE OUR REVIEW AS SOON AS WE CAN. Formerly The Cooper Square Hotel, the designers spared no expense when constructing this freshly hyped and controversial 21-story glass tower among the humble tenements of the East Village. Spacious rooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a trendy restaurant, means stiff competition for the well-established Bowery Hotel nearby.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Opened in December 2008, this 21-story, $110 million hotel may not have a check-in desk or any signage (on purpose, of course), but its interiors stand out with B&B Italia and Eames furniture, and plenty of books to go around.

Library in the lobby
Library in the lobby

The Cooper Square Hotel opened in December 2008 after four years of construction, setbacks, and vocal opposition from its East Village neighbors. Critics have dubbed the building the "neighborhood lightning rod," and New York magazine called it a "billowing white glass spire ... simultaneously arresting and comically out of place." But this is all par for the course when a $110 million, 21-story glass tower -- designed by Carlos Zapata (also of Soldier Field fame) -- sprouts up along the Bowery, among tenement buildings that date back to the 1850s. Overall, the design looks more Dubai than downtown New York.

Bent on defying convention -- often at the cost of convenience -- there is no signage on the lobby bathroom doors, and there is no reception desk. Upon check-in, a "receptionist" ushers guests into the library, where they can sip drinks and read free copies of the New York Times, Le Figaro, and Le Monde while lounging on plush B&B Italia couches and Eames Eames chairs until someone comes to show them to their rooms.

Still, the interiors are warm and comfortable, and common areas are set to complete expansion in mid-2013. Until then, thousands of books -- all of which are for sale -- are placed throughout the individual rooms and library. (Book-sale proceeds go toward homeless and low-income outreach programs and AIDS prevention, through the nonprofit Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.)

Unlike the runway-style techno at many other boutique hotels, the music is more low-key hip, from bands like Radiohead, Belle & Sebastian, and The New Pornographers. For the same East Village grit and style, but with a crowd that's a bit more mature, check out the Bowery Hotel, only two blocks south.

 Location

Located on the edge of the East Village within walking distance of Union Square and SoHo in a hip neighborhood that has managed to retain some of its original character.

Cooper Square, the actual square on which the hotel sits, is located in a neighborhood historically known for cultivating artsy, edgy intellectuals, partially thanks to Cooper Union, one of the nation's premier art, architecture, and engineering schools (full-tuition scholarship for all students), whose striking new academic building is located half a block from the hotel.

Cooper Square forms the northernmost edge of the Bowery, a milelong avenue in Lower Manhattan that was for much of the last century associated with the down-and-out: the homeless, the drug addicts, and the punk rockers who often fell into those categories as well. But these days the Bowery looks more like SoHo than Skid Row. Coffee shops, trendy clothing boutiques, and hip eateries now dot this once-desolate street.

Happily, the area still has some character, edge, and grit -- there is in fact a homeless shelter next door to the Bowery Hotel -- but thanks to the active foot traffic, it feels safe even late at night. In fact, it's the juxtaposition of the old and the new, the modern and the gritty, that makes the neighborhood what it is today, even if the Village Voice offices across the street continue to downsize, and even though purists still mourn the closure of CBGB's, the temple of punk that used to be a few blocks down the street.

The one downside to the hotel's location is that it's in a bit of a no man's land subway-wise. The 6, R, and F lines are closest to the hotel (within a few minutes' walking distance), but there are far more options if you walk 10 minutes north to Union Square, where you can catch an additional five lines, or 10 minutes south to Houston Street, where you can catch an additional four lines.

The hotel provides valet parking for a daily fee.

 Rooms

Spacious modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and all the trimmings, including B&B Italia furniture, Sferra linens, Sony Bravia flat-screen TVs, and a series of lamps that are impossible to turn on without an instruction manual.

The bathroom in the Cooper 4 Room
The bathroom in the Cooper 4 Room

No two rooms are created equal in this super-sleek obelisk-shaped glass building. The 145 rooms have 50 different floor plans, which are organized into five categories, one through five, and are all a fair amount larger -- and immensely brighter -- than the average New York hotel room. Designed with modern, custom-made B&B Italia furniture, the rooms look modern -- and have not-so-intuitive lighting and faucet systems -- but they're pleasantly warm and comfortable.

Ranging from 250 square feet to 350 square feet, all rooms have either a queen- or king-size bed, and the price depends on the room size and its view, which can range from an interior courtyard view in the Cooper 1s on Floors 3 to 6 to the Cooper 5 Corners, which have two full glass windows and incredible views of the city above the ninth floor. There are also studios and suites that range between 450 and 625 square feet, all with unobstructed views.

  • 37-inch Sony Bravia flat-screen TV with hundreds of channels and movies on demand
  • Sony iPod docking station with legitimately awesome sound
  • Lexon cube alarm clock
  • Philips cordless phone.
  • Beds have a pillow-top mattress topped with a two-inch featherbed, a down duvet, and 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton Sferra linens
  • Bathroomsin most rooms have separate tubs and showers (the lower-tier rooms are smaller, and only have a shower)
  • Toiletries are from Red Flower, a boutique based in SoHo that created a custom scent for the hotel called Wanderlust
  • Minibars are hooked up with an unconventional collection of, among other items, Hendrick's gin, 10 Cane rum, and Boylan's sodas.But it only gets weirder -- there's also a can of Oxia "personal oxygen," vitamin powder from fitness guru David Kirsch, and a travel kit of Loraine makeup.

 Features

Free Wi-Fi, thousands of books; no gym, but free passes to New York Health & Racquet Club just steps away.

The lobby library
The lobby library
  • There is no gym, but the hotel provides free passes to the New York Health & Racquet Club, only 535 feet away
  • More than 6,000 books on topics ranging from food to design to erotica to classic literature. All of them are for sale, and all of the proceeds go towards New York City Housing Works, a nonprofit dedicated to ending AIDS and homelessness.
  • A free copy of the New York Times is left outside every guest's door in the morning
  • The Wi-Fi is fast, reliable, and free
  • There's a Sony laptop that the computerless can borrow for free
  • The hotel opened a screening room in an effort to bring in a few celebrities, as first demonstrated by the Bryant Park Hotel

 Pets

Pets under 40 pounds are welcome at no extra fee, as long as they're on their best behavior.

No deposit is required to bring a pet, just a signature on a waiver guaranteeing that your dog won't poop on the B&B Italia furniture, et cetera. If he does, off to a kennel he goes. Canines must be on a leash at all times in the hotel's public spaces, and no pets are allowed in the restaurant. Also, be sure to give the hotel a heads-up if you're bringing your dog so they can hook you up with a bed, a bowl, and some "freshly prepared food by our chef," according to hotel literature. Sample menus include chicken, brown rice, and corn, or liver, broccoli, potato, and bacon -- but no golden spoons.

 Family

This isn't the kid-friendliest hotel, or the most kid-tastic part of town, but cribs and rollaways are free.

This hotel doesn't exactly exude a "bring the kids" kind of feel, and I didn't see any little ones during my stay. Cribs and rollaway beds are free, but the latter only fit into suites (there are no adjoining rooms). The Garden menu is decidedly geared towards adults, but the smaller room-service menu has a few kid-friendly items

The Loews Regency and Affinia Fifty are all better situated near kid-friendly attractions uptown.

 Food

On-site restaurant and lounge are set for 2012 expansion.

The Living Room and The Garden both serve food and cocktails, but The Garden is a more traditional restaurant. The outdoor green space is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel provides room serivce daily during restaurant hours, and the hotel provides menues for neighboorhood favorite in each guestroom.

 Bottom Line

THIS HOTEL IS UNDER RENOVATION. WE WILL UPDATE OUR REVIEW AS SOON AS WE CAN. Formerly The Cooper Square Hotel, the designers spared no expense when constructing this freshly hyped and controversial 21-story glass tower among the humble tenements of the East Village. Spacious rooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a trendy restaurant, means stiff competition for the well-established Bowery Hotel nearby.

Things You Should Know About The Standard, East Village

Address

  • 25 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Cooper Square Hotel
  • Hotel Cooper Square

Room Types

  • Cooper 1 Room
  • Cooper 2 Room
  • Cooper 3 Room
  • Cooper 4 Corner Room
  • Cooper 5 Corner Room
  • Cooper Double Room
  • Cooper Studio 1
  • Cooper Studio 2
  • Cooper Suite 1
  • Cooper Suite 2

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 145
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: East Village, Manhattan
Address: 25 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
(See Map)
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