11201 Travel Guide
Hotel Indigo Brooklyn may have opened for business a year ago, but only after a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a Chinese lion dance last week, was the hotel considered officially open.
The delay in ribbon cutting was put down to the wishes of owners The Lam Group to have extended family attend the opening ceremony, which ended up being during the late September Chinese Moon Festival.
The rooms we looked at are a lot more colorful than those we saw when we last stopped in, back in August 2012. The grey bed spreads have been livened up with red blankets and pillows; each of the 128 guest rooms feature an oversize photo mural and the suites have funky black-and-white sofas.
Are you one of the lucky fans going to Jay-Z’s final two concerts tonight and tomorrow at the Barclays Center? Or do you plan on exploring the new center in the future and hitting the bars along Smith Street? Well, then you’ll need a place to crash, won’t you?
It just so happens that NU Hotel Brooklyn has a “Sleep It Off” package for late-night revelers. What you’ll get is a room and two cans of Mercy (a supposed hangover prevention beverage) for $199.00 plus tax.
But, here’s the thing, you can only get the room by showing up in person after midnight for the same day. So, you’re basically losing 9 hours of hotel luxuriating from the normal 3pm check-in time, but you are getting a cheaper rate, which can be as high as $299 mid-week. You’ll also bypass the “3-night minimum on weekends” rule when being spontaneous.
BTW if you didn’t get Jay-Z tickets (like some of us), you’ll be able to watch Saturday’s concert for free as it’ll be live-streamed to kick-start his new YouTube channel, “Jay's Life + Times”.
On August 1, as planned, downtown Brooklyn benefitted from the addition of 128 new hotel rooms with the opening of Hotel Indigo Brooklyn. And it couldn't come at a better time: the much-hyped Barclays Center is set to open on September 28, just one mile away from the hotel.
With all the new business that venue will bring to the neighborhood, Indigo Brooklyn should have no problem filling up its rooms.
So let's take a look inside and see what the rooms are like!
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UPDATE 8.15.12: Sike. The Hotel Indigo Brooklyn actually opened as initially promised on August 1st, even though when we wrote this story the hotel's website was saying October 4. Nevertheless, you can check out our in-person visit of the new spot right here.
Well, it's still going to be an Indigo but the opening date has been moved to October 4. The hotel's website is up and running and we found rates for $224 a night for a queen-sized bed. That rate also includes a 37" HDTV, free WiFi and even a microwave and refrigerator. A king room was going for $254 a night while a king suite was $324.
We couldn't see any square footage measurements and we're not sure we can trust those room photos. The first one looks like it is up to Hotel Indigo standards with that hardwood floor. But the second one is a shot of the rooms at Aloft Brooklyn. What the what? See for yourself below.
We love geek hotels. Really, we do. The geekier and more kitted out with tech goodies, the better, but the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge was quite possibly the geekiest this past weekend in a plain paper-and-pencil (and pocket protector) way.
Hundreds of people descended upon the hotel this weekend for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, their No. 2 pencils sharpened and their "don't copy me" glares practiced. In fact, it was the 35th Anniversary of the competition, first begun by puzzle god Will Shortz. The 2012 champion is Dan Feyer and, though the fun is done for now, it'll be backsame placenext year.
If you're up for some serious crossword challenge and you're into the idea of spending a weekend hanging out at a hotel, then mark these dates on your calendar: March 8-10, 2013.
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We don't know about you, but a hotel's public bathrooms are often the very first thing we check out. Chalk it up to a weak bladder. Whatever the circumstance, we often find it a telling precursor to the hotel experience that lies ahead of us.
Now, in this case, we simply had to use the bathroom, so we ducked into the mammoth 638-room Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, climbed the escalator, and cut straight through the red carpeted lobby. Since they're located near the conference rooms, these are sprawling bathrooms, designed to accommodate large groups of people at once.
Sure enough, we almost got lost inside while navigating the different nooks and tiled corridors. But because everything was so polished and pristine-looking, we didn't mind a bit! For more pics of our potty pilgrimage, see below!
Okay you guys. Last night was awesome. We already told ya what was up if you were near Brooklyn, and that was a sneak preview screening of Season 2 of IFC's show "Portlandia." Two of the HotelChatter team made it to scope out the place and naturally get a peek at the series, and we happened to learn something else: another hotel screening has been added, TONIGHT.
So this evening, if you're in Portland, Oregon or near the Bolingbrook suburb of Chicago, you can go see several (currently unreleased) hilarious bits from the new series, plus get free Portlandia swag (we scored Portlandia hats, a "Put a Bird on it" tee, an Aloft tote and the entire Season 1 on DVD). Swag may vary, but the awesomeness won't. Here's what's up:
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A few quick questions: Do you like hotels? Did you watch (and laugh at) any of the first season of IFC's show Portlandia? Do you like free stuff? If you answered yes to at least two of these questions and you're anywhere near Brooklyn, NY or Portland, OR this week, you should totally head to Aloft Hotels' screenings of the first episode of Portlandia Season 2.
The new season officially begins this Friday on IFC at 10pm EST, and sure you can already watch preview sketches online, but going outside your place and seeing the whole first ep (for free) while scoring drink specials and Portlandia swag while having the opportunity to meet other local hipsters beats out the internet.Here's the screening schedule:
Wednesday, January 4, 7pm: Aloft Brooklyn 216 Duffield Street
Thursday, January 5, 7pm: Aloft Portland 9920 NE Cascades Parkway
More particulars are emerging about the new Hotel 718 in Brooklyn—most notably, a new website, whose homepage features a countdown ticker to the hotel's grand opening (72 days to go, in case you were wondering).
The site's 'crown' logo (Brooklyn is also known as Kings County), and sleek nighttime shots of the Brooklyn Bridge make this place seem slightly more Brooklyn-centric than that other Duffield Street hotel, the Aloft Brooklyn. But hey, there's no competition here. 718 bills itself as a "relaxed, upscale home base" and hopes to offer "a different kind of New York experience." And assuming the price is right (rates haven't been confirmed yet), this is exactly what Brooklyn hotels are supposed to be doing.
DUMBO is gearing up for a hotel of its very own. Maybe it will be called THUMBO (The Hotel Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a la THOR in the Lower East Side? Maybe not. Anyway, it's far too early in the game to be speculating on names—or even hotel brands—since the city's "request for proposal" was only released several weeks ago.
Now, they just need a developer to build the thing. According to The Observer, two buildings will go up at Pier 1 in DUMBO, housing a mixture of hotel rooms and apartments. And if the list of interested developers is anything to go by, we could be looking at a new Brooklyn hotel to rival the coolness of Hotel Wiliamsburg. Above all, though, the hotel will simply reflect the "culture," "vibrancy," and "views" characteristic of DUMBO's Brooklyn Bridge Park. Nothing like a little neighborhood pride.
We come across a lot of hotels in our day-to-day routine. So it's not our fault that when we see something odd or out of place, we feel compelled to speak up. In regards to the room layout of the King Suite at Aloft Brooklyn, which has been open now for almost two months, we'd like to make one small suggestion: fill up that empty space with some furniture!
Yes, square footage is at a premium in New York City—but nothing spoils a room's feng shui like unused space. Here, we explore a King Suite, of which the hotel has only three, and find out what redeeming features (if any) can save the gray-walled abode from its negligent layout.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for V3 Hotels got in touch this afternoon to inform us that, while one of the Duffield St hotels (the 718, to be specific) is set for a November opening, the other hotel over on 237 Duffield St has been pushed back, and an estimated completion date has not been set.
The two buildings, which sit across the street from the Sheraton Brooklyn and the brand new Aloft Brooklyn, are still deep in the construction phase (a quick walk down Duffield Street won't show you much except for scaffolding and some grumpy construction workers).
We already know Indigo will be operating one of them. But other than that? We ended up looking elsewhere for a little insight.