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Hotel Highlights

  • Gorgeous, old-school Art Deco interiors
  • Polished Italian cuisine in rustic, brasserie-style Gemma restaurant
  • Close to NYC’s hip downtown hangouts

Overview

Once a dodgy part of town, Manhattan’s Bowery neighbourhood has cleaned up its act, but has still kept its edge. The Bowery Hotel illustrates this transformation to the hip and elegant. Bright rooms with big windows (some offering spectacular view of the Empire State Building) and moodily lit corridors, it captures the style of a classic New York apartment building. And the dark wood-panelled, art-deco-inspired Lobby Bar is a fashionable favourite of both visiting and local tastemakers and hipsters.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Bowery with us:

A bottle of wine

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

135, including 25 suites.

Check–out

Midday; later-check out is subject to availability. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $485.00, excluding tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $3.50 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Breakfast is chosen from an à la carte menu.

Also

No smoking (apart from on the fifth floor). Your shoes can be shined and your back can be rubbed – just ask.

At the hotel

Gym, DVD library, valet parking, laundry, free WiFi. In rooms: HD plasma TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock and stereo system, CO Bigelow toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The north-facing rooms offer glimpses of the Empire State Building from the comfort of your bed. Number 705, a One-Bedroom Terrace Suite, has a marble-tubbed bathroom that opens directly onto a surprisingly spacious private terrace. Wherever you end up bedding down, you can expect classic NYC-style, with hardwood floors lined with intricate Oushak rugs, marble bath tubs, and oversized factory windows.

Packing tips

A CBGB T-shirt in honour of the Bowery’s punk-rock glory days.

Also

Non-smoking – except in the bar's patio area. As a concession to the Chihuahua-toting crowd, lightweight pets (30lbs or less) are warmly welcomed.

Children

Welcome: high chairs and baby cribs are available, and extra beds can be added to larger rooms for $40 a night. 
The Bowery works with a nanny service to provide babysitting, from $25 an hour.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

With thatch-covered wine bottles swinging from beamed ceiling, distressed wood tables and a
copper-topped bar, Gemma is a picture of Tuscan rusticity. The food, however, is more polished than peasanty, and
the Nutella calzone is a particular treat.

Hotel Bar

Since its opening, the Lobby Bar has shot to the top of the New York hot list, becoming a favourite destination for A-listers in search of a glam-drenched venue.

Last orders

Gemma’s pizza oven is switched off at midnight (1am weekends). The bar’s open until 2am (4am weekends).

Room service

A full menu based on Gemma’s à la carte offerings is available 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Edwardian dandy, backstage with the Ramones.

Top table

Gemma only takes reservations for hotel guests, so sweet-talk your way to a window table for people-watching, or to one of the leather-banquette booths – it’s possible to lose hours in them.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Bowery is a few blocks from the landmark Nuyorican Poets Cafe (+1 212 505 8183) in Alphabet City, the birthplace of the Nuyorican (a blend of New York and Puerta Rican) poetic movement and a great place to catch energetic slam poetry, theatre and alternative film nights.

Local restaurants

Make your brunch reservations at Public (+1 212 343 7011), a vast, loft-like space on Elizabeth Street with a cosmopolitan marvel of a menu. Azul Bistro (646 602 2004) on Stanton Street will sate your appetite for Argentine steak, Prince Street’s Café Habana (+1 212 625 2001) does the same for Cuban cravings – try the semi-divine grilled corn.

Local bars

The wine bar next door to Public, The Monday Room (www.themondayroom.com) lets you sample a vast variety of vintages with the benefit of a personal wine steward.

Local cafés

For scrumptious sweet stuff, hit Doughnut Plant (+1 212 505 3700) on Grand Street and order a ‘Tres Leches’ – life may never be the same.

+ Enlarge
Post-punk East Village

The Bowery

335 The Bowery, New York, NY 10003, United States

Planes

All of the city's main airports are within 30 minutes of the hotel – the nearest, La Guardia, is a 15-minute drive. Allow much longer at peak times, though.

Trains

Grand Central Station and Penn Station are both under 10 minutes away from the hotel. You'll be able to board Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) services to other destinations all over the USA. Penn Station will also get you out to the Hamptons on the Long Island Rail Road (www.lirr.org).

Automobiles

From JFK, take the Van Wyck Expressway then the Long Island Expressway, before heading over to SoHo from the Queens Midtown Expressway.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Christopher Tennant , Cultural commentator

I’ve lived in New York long enough not to be surprised by the clip at which its neighbourhoods are reinvented. But the transformation of the Bowery – named for the eponymous Manhattan artery stretching from the southern edge of Chinatown up to the East Village – is nothing short of shocking. America’s original skid row, for more than two centuries it was a slum of last reso…
Read more

The Bowery

Anonymous review by Christopher Tennant , Cultural commentator

I’ve lived in New York long enough not to be surprised by the clip at which its neighbourhoods are reinvented. But the transformation of the Bowery – named for the eponymous Manhattan artery stretching from the southern edge of Chinatown up to the East Village – is nothing short of shocking. America’s original skid row, for more than two centuries it was a slum of last resort for no-hopers of all stripes; a fetid collection of flophouses for the chronically unlucky and inebriated. Even as neighboring NoLita and the East Village sprouted blocks of fashion boutiques and trendy bars, the Bowery remained a degenerate no man’s land, seemingly immune to gentrification. And then the Bowery Hotel opened.

Anyone unfamiliar with its brief history might readily assume it had been here forever – a handsome relic from an age when buildings were made of brick and marble, instead of steel and particleboard. The lobby, sectioned off with vintage leather screens and oversized exotic palm trees, is lined with dark, carved wood panels of the type you’d find in an elegantly decrepit English country pile. Opulent Edwardian and art deco antiques in varying states of tasteful decay are arranged throughout atop fabulously tatty oriental carpets. Spanish-style iron lamps that could have doubled as mediaeval torture devices keep the room just shy of total darkness. A massive, hand-painted mural of the Bowery circa 1860 provides additional period cues.

In reality, it was built from scratch – the palm trees are silk, and the panelling was salvaged from old buildings in Philadelphia. But you only know that because I told you.

We find our room as tastefully appointed as the lobby promises. The furnishings are new, but in keeping with the theme; antique-looking Persian carpets, deep green velvet chairs, a white-marble-topped table. The room, a corner King, isn’t particularly large, maybe 300 sq ft, but it’s Manhattan after all. Like every other space in the hotel, the proportions are what an architect might call ‘human’.

The most pleasant surprise is the windows, which are floor-to-ceiling on two sides of the bedroom, and have a direct view of the Empire State Building uptown. For now, at least, the hotel is the highest building in the neighbourhood, affording unfettered views of the action down below. After a night spent in various states of undress, it only occurs to Mrs Smith and I after check-out that the view from the street is equally superb.

Even better than the view is the bathroom. The tub, in particular. With patinated bronze Waterworks fixtures, it is more like a small pool. The woman at the front desk tells us we are among the lucky few to have one, and to make sure we take full advantage…

The hotel’s owners, Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode, are celebrated New York nightlife vets responsible for a string of phenomenally successful restaurants and bars throughout the city. Like all world-class hoteliers, they have a unifying aesthetic vision for each of their properties (the Bowery is their second hotel, after the nautical-themed Maritime in Chelsea) and carry it out to the fullest extent possible.

Although a table at the Waverly Inn, MacPherson and Goode’s celeb-packed playpen du jour in the West Village, might be out of the question unless you ‘know someone’, there’s Gemma downstairs if you’re in the mood for a casual Hollywood star sighting (one was in the banquette next to ours). The food is classic Northern Italian with little fuss or fanfare, served in a beautiful room designed by Taavo Somer, the brains behind acclaimed taxidermy-and-comfort-food hotspot Freeman’s, which is just down the block.

The bar inside the lobby is the most ‘done’ of all the hotel’s public spaces, and is reserved solely for guests. With its zinc bar and high-end boho, World of Interiors-ready decor – roe deer heads on carved wooden plaques, high-backed club chairs, a stuffed pit bull – it’s the kind of room you’ll want to linger in for several rounds. We, however, are in the mood for ?a movie, and open the guestbook to peruse the DVD directory. We’re impressed to find the selection as tightly curated as we suspected it might be. We choose Sid and Nancy – listed under ‘New York’ – and ring the front desk. It’s in our hands in four minutes flat. (I timed it.)

In a city as hectic as New York, the need to escape the madding crowd after a long day of pavement pounding is a vital factor in any getaway plan. As it settles into its indisputably chic self, I can only imagine the homey Bowery Hotel is destined for jet-set immortality.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Bowery from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room is very comfortable: beautifully furnished, very comfortable bed, decent sized bathroom, nice view over a small park. I enjoyed the excellent breakfast.

Don’t expect

Service in the bar could be improved, I think – I thought the staff was slightly more interested in themselves than their guests!

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service was impeccable; everyone was super friendly and helpful. You just feel completely at ease.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the great location, helpful friendly staff, very nice restaurant for breakfast or any meal, nice relaxing and cool lobby for drinks… I pretty much loved everything about the place. I will definitely stay here in NYC from now on.

Rating: 10/10 stars