24-hour room service, and nightly turndown service
Property-wide Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and DVD rentals are all free
Within walking distance of some of downtown's best nightlife
Small, dark gym with a view of a brick wall
No pool or spa
Five-minute walk to the F subway line; 10-plus minutes to others
With a super-hip lobby bar, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, and free bike rentals, the Bowery Hotel redefines class in a gentrified downtown neighborhood where punk rock and squalor once ruled. The 135 loft-like rooms -- drenched in natural light from the large factory-style windows, which provide superb city views -- are flawlessly appointed, with antique Turkish rugs, wool blankets, high-definition plasma flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms. Cool-seekers who prefer a modern vibe and a pool could take Sixty LES into consideration.
A nostalgic, velvet-filled lobby with a tucked-away bar, a hipster-friendly Italian restaurant, and flawlessly luxurious rooms
The lobby of the Bowery Hotel is like a pair of pre-distressed jeans on a well-heeled hipster: Sure, the look is a bit contrived, but the pants are very flattering -- and damn if the overall effect isn't almost, well, perfect.
With its Gothic arched fireplace, dark wood-slatted ceiling, faded oriental rugs, shabby-chic vintage (and faux-vintage) furniture, and wrought-iron detailing, the lobby of the Bowery Hotel is unlike any other in New York. The atmosphere is darkly brooding and richly nostalgic; you wouldn't be surprised to see the dandified thug played by Daniel Day-Louis in "Gangs of New York" stroll past velvet couches and tasseled brocade foot stolls, examine one of the strategically placed peacock feathers, and settle in to one of the leather club chairs with brass nailhead trim.
In fact, the Bowery tends to attract well-to-do guests in their 30s and 40s who appreciate the curated decor and are savvy enough to know that the neighborhood is no longer synonymous with Skid Row. On the other hand, they are no doubt attracted by its punk-rock and counterculture associations. After all, the Bowery (the neighborhood, not the hotel) was a stomping ground for Patti Smith, Joey Ramone, and William S. Burroughs. The heyday of those movements are decades in the past -- for example, CBGB's, the temple of punk that was once nearby, is gone -- but a few vestiges of the neighborhood's grittier days are still around. That street cred only helps with the cool factor here, and the hotel continues to draw a celebrity crowd: Shailene Woodley, former couple Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger, Lorde, Kesha, and Kanye West have all been spotted at the hotel.
The rooms themselves are also a big draw. Bright, comfortable, and ultra-luxurious, they bring Old New York to life by way of wood-beam ceilings, white brick walls, star anchor plates, and marble bathrooms with C.O. Bigelow bath products and Marvis toothpaste.
Given the glut of ultra-mod, glass-wrapped hipster hotels cropping up all over downtown Manhattan, including the Standard, East Village down the street, the nostalgic vibe here feels oddly fresh -- and refreshing.
Located on the edge of the East Village within walking distance of Union Square and SoHo in a hip, mostly gentrified neighborhood that's managed to retain some of its original character.
The Bowery, the street the hotel is located on and named after, is a mile-long 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 both those categories. But these days the Bowery looks more like SoHo than Skid Row. Scene-y coffee shops, trendy clothing boutiques, and hip eateries now dot this once-desolate street.
The area still has some edge and grit -- there's a homeless shelter down the street from the hotel, for example -- 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 purists still mourn the closure of CBGB's, the temple of punk that used to be just a few doors down.
Located on the edge of the East Village, and just two blocks south of the Standard, East Village, the Bowery is within easy walking distance of the Lower East Side, SoHo, and Union Square -- an ideal base, in other words, for exploring Manhattan's vibrant downtown nightlife scene.
The one downside to the location: It's a bit of a hike to the subway. The F line (Second Avenue station) is the closest to the hotel, while the 6, B, D, F, and M lines (at Broadway-Lafayette station) are about an eight-minute walk. Guests could also walk 10 minutes north to Union Square to catch additional lines.
Bright, immaculate, and beautifully appointed, these rooms are virtually flawless.
The 135 loft-like rooms are bright, beautiful, and comfortable -- all with New York City views from their floor-to-ceiling windows (guests staying in the hotel's Bowery One Bedrooms can also take in the views from 1,000-square-foot terraces). The small details in every room shine: the white wood-beam ceilings, doilies draped over the backs of velvet chairs, custom Turkish sheets and wool blankets on the beds, and the brass fixtures, C.O. Bigelow bath products, Marvis mint toothpaste, Egyptian cotton towels and bathrobe, makeup mirror, and loofah in the marble bathrooms. Vintage Oushak rugs cover the dark hardwood floors.
Modern features abound, too: Rooms come with 40-inch LED flat-screen TVs; suites feature a 46-inch LED flat-screen TV in the living room and a 40-inch LED flat-screen TV in the bedroom. (HBO and HBO2 are available, as are in-room purchase movies, but the hotel has an extensive DVD library with free movie loans.) All rooms have free Wi-Fi, iPod stereos, coffee and tea facilities, and air-conditioning.
Rooms don't have any dressers, but guests can request rollaway racks (as well as rollaway beds) for a fee. Cribs are free and fit into any room size. The hotel also offers babysitting services.
A low-key lobby bar, boho-chic hot-spot restaurant, free Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and free DVD rentals from a well-curated collection, but the gym is small and dark
Guests and locals alike hang out in the cozy, dimly lit lobby bar, where bartenders are apt to sport dapper three-piece suits.
Gemma, the trendy trattoria with a lively atmosphere on the ground floor, serves solid Italian food to a mostly artsy clientele. It's a local hot spot, for sure, but it appeals to families with its kids' menu (with adult-sized prices): peanut butter and jelly with a glass of organic milk, grilled cheese and fries, and ants on a log, among other items.
The Bowery Hotel lacks a spa or pool, though there is a small, dark gym with a treadmill, an elliptical, reclining bike, multipurpose weight machine, free weights, and medicine ball. Personal trainers and in-room spa services are available.
Guests without laptops can borrow a PC or Mac laptop to use for up to three hours; there's a steep rate for use every hour thereafter. Printer services are also available. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
An extensive (and free) DVD collection with 100-plus selection includes classics like "Bonnie & Clyde," "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Sid & Nancy," "Pierrot Le Fou," and "The Life Aquatic," as well as a small section of kids' movies.
Free loaner bikes and daily newspapers are available to guests. The hotel also stocks a collection of board games, including backgammon, Boggle, and Scrabble.