Nature-focused luxury hotel 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge opens

Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels opened its third property, and it's first ever ground-up development. Located in Brooklyn, N.Y., within view of the Brooklyn Bridge and directly on Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the hotel was designed with sustainability and luxury in equal measure. Barry Sternlicht, founder of 1 Hotels, boiled the hotel's identity down to a single philosophy: "The world around us is beautiful, and we want to keep it that way."

Barry Sternlicht offered a welcome address for the opening of 1
Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge was developed by a joint venture partnership between Starwood Capital Group and Toll Brothers City Living, and it was designed by New York-based architecture studio, Incorporated.

The property consists of 194 guestrooms, including 29 two- to six-bedroom suites and The Riverhouse, its Presidential Suite. Most rooms offer panoramic views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City skyline, and the project includes the adjoining new condominium, Pierhouse, which consists of 106 townhome-style residences spread across two waterfront buildings and is sustainably designed by Marvel Architects.

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The lobby of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge opens to a 25-foot green wall, consisting of  steel grating covered in hand-placed plants and creeping vines that will evolve over time, created by landscape architecture firm Harrison Green. A two-story industrial spiral staircase is punctuated by a sculpture of obsidian rock boulders wrapped in hand-dyed rope by Rachel Weiss. The dwellings are complemented by a 4,000 square-foot rooftop, nine-treatment room Bamford Haybarn Spa (opening in June 2017), a fitness center, a yoga and barre studio operated by POE Yoga, two restaurants, a 10th floor lounge, a 50-seat screening room and lobby cocktail service.

"Confronted with how far Americans were lagging behind in changing our consumption habits, I created 1 Hotels to show sophisticated travelers that they can do good, live well, and connect with both the world and the community around them," Sternlicht, who also is chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, said in a statement. "Today, with the opening of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, my vision is now realized. We were able to select every material and develop mindfully, yet the space's main purpose remains to serve, entertain and inspire with some of the best amenities found in the New York hospitality market."

Narrated by Nature

The 10-story hotel occupies Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre project that stretches 1.3 miles along the East River waterfront. The hotel project originally began in late 2011, but when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, it affected the just-completed architectural drawings for the property. Due to the damage and destruction in the area, the team was informed the waterfront zoning had changed, requiring 1 Hotels to raise the building by three feet along with other code changes such as relocating mechanical equipment to the roof. Meanwhile, they could not raise the overall height of the building, which triggered a redesign effort.

Rather than whitewashing the delay and changes caused by Sandy, the 1 Hotels team opted to honor the force of nature by tapping Olivié Ponce, an artist and creator in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to paint a watermark in remembrance of Hurricane Sandy along the walls of the corner suites.

Committed to sustainability and preserving the environment, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge was built under LEED guidelines and underscores the following efforts:

  • The design of the hotel includes a 54-percent ratio of regional and reclaimed materials, including original heart pine beams from the former Domino Sugar Factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and pine flooring from the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky.
  • The hotel will eventually have a LEED Dynamic Plaque which will measure and display the building's eco-conscious practices in real time.
  • 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge operates a rain-water reclamation system that will reduce storm water runoff into neighboring water streams by more than 50 percent prior to the site development. The water collected will irrigate the park during summer months. Roughly 5,000 cubic feet of water is projected to come from the hotel.
  • The property uses 100 percent wind power energy.
  • The hotel uses low-energy light bulbs, a Triple Clear water purification system, in-room recycling bins, and fresh dining offerings.
  • 1 Hotels has committed to donating a percentage of sales from in-room dining and goodthings (the hotel's mini bar) to Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization that takes action against the causes and effects of hunger.
  • The hotel offers a nature-driven art collection, including a textured rubber sculpture, “All OVEREACHOTHER,” created by Jarrod Beck from massive rubber pieces of roofing that were stripped from a big box retailer’s roof during a tornado that touched down in Utica, N.Y., in the summer of 2014.

Rooms & Suites with a Lady Liberty View

The interiors of the 194 guestrooms and suites were designed to honor the historical significance of the East River. Included in the hotel's design is a floor-to-ceiling sliding window that transforms the guestroom into an open-air den with skyline views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Furnishings include a porous stone-looking table of composite wood, leather chairs and pendant leather lampshades. Many of the design details in the rooms are by local artisans, from the “crate” inspired, open-slatted wood closets, corrugated leather headboards, to the Fresnel glass light fixtures.

Other room amenities include:

  • Custom hemp-blend mattress by Keetsa wrapped in 100-percent organic cotton sheets
  • Triple Clear filtered water
  • On-demand meditation content by Biet Simkin, Meditation Leader for 1 Hotels
  • Marble rain showers with a five-minute, hour-glass timer to remind guests to conserve water
  • Living plants and trees by leading landscape team, Harrison Green
  • LCD 55-inch smart television
  • Riverview hammocks (Skyline Suites and Riverhouse only)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • In-room yoga mats
  • Cozy socks to take home
  • Curated refreshments and local experiences
  • Family-friendly amenities available through the Seedlings program

In addition, the hotel amenities include a fresh farm stand in the lobby, a botanically driven cocktail program by Arley Marks, complimentary rides in Tesla electric vehicles and valet parking for bicycles. Guests also have 24-hour access to the Field House fitness center. 1 Hotels properties are pet friendly with special amenities and no fees for visiting pets.

Food & beverage options at the hotel include:

  • Neighbors – Located on the ground level, Neighbors is a picnic-fare café offering seasonal, fresh items from local Brooklyn purveyors. The menu includes fresh fruit smoothies and super food salads. The café is open from 6am to 10pm each day, and during the warmer seasons, the space opens to Brooklyn Bridge Park with outdoor seating.
  • 1 Hotel Lobby – From 4pm to 11pm daily, guests and residents of Brooklyn can sip on cocktails and freshly brewed coffee while hosting an impromptu meeting or working from their laptop.
  • Signature Restaurant – 1 Hotel's main restaurant will be opening later this spring, with details to be made available in the near future.

Debuting in May 2017, the property's rooftop will welcome hotel guests and locals to a 4,000-square-foot urban retreat with views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Manhattan skyline. The area will include a three-foot lounge pool, full-service bar, fire pits and seating spaces made from reclaimed railroad ties where up to 350 guests can relax and sip craft cocktails. The rooftop will be available for private events and small weddings.

One floor below the rooftop resides a 2,800-square-foot lounge space, surrounded in floor-to-ceiling windows. The den will include a functioning fireplace and black silica furniture created by Brooklyn artist Fernando Mastrangelo. The space can seat 60 for private events, and it will open in May.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge also houses a 50-seat screening room on the cellar level of the hotel. The 1,250-square-foot space includes an 84-by-140-inch screen with full HD-digital projection. The property also has more than 20,000 square feet of meeting, social and event space with audio/visual equipment, including sliding floor-to-ceiling windows and tree-line or Skyline views. The Meadow Rue event space, located on the ground floor, opens onto the park, designed with a full wall of collapsible doors and windows to accommodate up to 1,000 guests. All spaces are named after native plants, grasses, trees and shrubbery found in the park.