1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York

When you're in New York and phrases like "local artists", "native greenery" and "reclaimed materials" are thrown around you can be almost certain you're in Brooklyn. At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, reclaimed wood decks the walls, plants and foliage sprout out of every crevice and a bounty of fresh apples spill from farm barrels in the lobby. A homage to the neighbourhood, interiors are dominated by local artwork and upcycled materials. Furniture throughout has been crafted from wood recycled from the Coney Island boardwalk, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and from Bronx trees felled by Hurricane Sandy.

Everyone who works here looks like a part-time model-slash-creative, and while none of the staff appear to be wearing a uniform, their grey/navy cotton vibe is consistently urbane (right down to the engineer donning a paint-splattered boiler suit that Yeezy would approve of).


Sustainable details in all the rooms - from cups made out of recycled green-glass bottles to untreated cotton bathrobes - 1 Hotel's ethos is clean living. With views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, 1 makes the most of its positioning. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to flood in, meaning that on a clear day it's easy to spot Manhattan landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower. Word of warning: the hotel may not be the best place to go with someone you don't know that well as the shower is behind a completely clear glass door and while the loo door is a little more frosted, it's certainly not private.

What's for breakfast?

One of the best things about American breakfast is the consistently enormous portions - and here is no exception. Try an immense slab of seven-grain toast under what seems to be the contents of at least two large avocados. Sound basic? This version come with pickled beetroot and vine tomatoes and will keep you going until dinner. If jetlag lingers, the steel-cut oatmeal complete with pecans and golden raisins is armour following an earlier-than-usual wakeup call.

How about lunch and dinner?

The Osprey serves American comfort food on small and large plates - again, "small" should be taken with a (large) pinch of salt. It's straightforward but tasty fare with a seasonal menu and killer views of the East River. While a brunch/lunch menu is also available, we recommend popping into the lobby-level Neighbors Café for coffee, fresh juices and snacks from local Brooklyn suppliers.

Is there a bar?

Following a day navigating the throngs, seek sweet relief in gazing at the sights from afar. Back at the hotel, head to the 10th floor to sip a cocktail of sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda at the Brooklyn Heights Social Club. It's pitch-black inside, so we couldn't tell you what the decor is like - suffice to say, the lights of Manhattan are the main attraction.

Things you should know

Eco credentials - think wind-powered generator, a food-waste digester and all-natural products - are ever-present. There isn't a plastic bottle in sight in the minibar; instead, a steampunk-style tap on the wall dispenses filtered water, while coffee is served in glass Keep Cups. We're not sure if the square-foot bed of moss and foliage by the sink serves any eco purpose - but we like it anyway.


The renowned Bamford Spa (of Daylesford fame) has an outpost here should you need a touch of mind and body rejuvenation. If the holistic Blissful Haybarn Day package isn't enough to give you a glow, head to the 24/7 Field House Fitness Centre or try a heated barre session with in-house POE (an acronym for "peace on earth") yoga. For skyline views, head to the open-aired 1 Rooftop where there's a garden, bar and plunge pool.

Within a short walk you'll find...

If staying south of the river, a stroll around nearby (and frankly underrated) Dumbo is as much a step back in time as it is an aspirational yuppie neighbourhood complete with yoga lofts and art galleries. Join the queue at Grimaldi's - this was where they opened their infamous pizza joint in 1990.