"The GPS says we are here but I don't see a hotel anywhere..."
As I drive around the block it becomes clear, we are either blind, this hotel doesn't exist, or our GPS is wrong.
Turns out, we are just blind.
We circle back and sure enough, there's a glass structure that could easily be mistaken for an office building but if you look reeeeeeally close, you can see the etchings on the windows - Hotel 50 Bowery.
We pull up outside and are greeted by the friendliest of valets. He takes all 10 of our bags (we overpacked, but you never know what kind of weather or events you'll get into in NYC).
Before we dig into our experience, a little bit about Hotel 50 Bowery...
It is the first Joie De Vivre in New York City, first on the East Coast, and just opened in May of 2017
229 rooms, 5 suites
Hotel was built from the ground up (aka it wasn't an apartment building or office space converted into a hotel thus making it much easier to customize)
Currently #7 on TripAdvisor (this # fluctuates daily)
Average of 15 rooms per floor
Modeled to feel like a Chinese village in the evening - hallways are dimly lit with Chinese lanterns, the walls are red, the vibe is cozy
Dining + Drinking: Rice & Gold (incredibly well designed interior/massive space), Crown: rooftop bar with awesome 360 views of the city, and Greenlady, a speakeasy is on the way for 2018
The average travelers age is 25-40
Coffee makers available by request (Keurig, don't get too excited)
The process is similar to most - walk up to a desk, announce yourself, exchange credit cards for keys, walk away.
The tour of the hotel is over and we get settled into our room. (When I say we - I was traveling with Erin Shields, Senior Travel Editor for US News & World Report.)
During our tour we had requested champagne flutes be sent to our room along with extra coffee because we are avid coffee drinkers. Throughout the weekend, each request made to the front desk took over 30 minutes to complete. By the time our flutes arrived, we were ready to walk out the door to dinner - a bit frustrating but life goes on.
Nothing to be excited about EXCEPT they have a Peloton bike! As an avid spinner, I have never taken a Peloton class but have always wanted to (sorry Flywheel.) So Saturday I wake up, ecstatic to go get a class in before we begin our day.
I go grab the shoes from the front desk, clip in, and realize that I don't have the log-in information for the bike. I call the hotel on my cell phone and explain I need assistance in the gym, a manager logs in, and we are set. I clip back in, select my class, and...it doesn't work. The wifi isn't strong enough to support this bike and I can't hear/understand anything the instructor is telling me. I restart the class x5 and finally throw in the towel. Disappointed, I go hop on one of the two treadmills and call it a day.
The gym consists of: 2 treadmills, a few weights, and the Peloton bike. It is located in the basement of the hotel. For a hotel that caters to a younger traveler, the gym situation could use improvement.
Rice & Gold:
After a long day of living like a New Yorker, we return back to the hotel in search of an early evening snack before heading out again. We decide to give Rice & Gold a try. On the tour, the restaurant captivated us + the yelp reviews so far have been strong.
Recommendations: brussel sprouts + dim sum
The restaurant is a great spot to host an event. It's massive and the interior has plenty of photo worthy spots that will leave your guests wondering where you were. To put it simply - it is very cool.
Our visit to the roof was brief but enjoyable.
A lively scene, bottle service available, and a DJ spinning the hits of 2000. The best part of this space = the 360 views of Manhattan.
Nothing is perfect AND we had an incredible stay but in order to give an authentic review, I have to dish the bad with the good.
Our shower didn't drain and within minutes, you'd be knee deep in water. We requested this be fixed on Saturday night and Sunday, we still had the same problems.
Service is S L O W.
Whether it's more coffee (they only brought 2 pods at a time and when it's not a nespresso, you need at least 4 to make a strong cup of coffee), champagne flutes, slippers, or ice - it took forever. Potentially a sign of being understaffed.
This is a really fun hotel for a young traveler. The event spaces, meeting spaces, and rooms are well designed with stylish touches throughout.
Would I suggest it for my 50+ clientele? No.
Would I suggest it to my friends? Yes.
If you want a Lower East Side experience that puts you within a few minutes to Nolita and Greenwich Village, it's a great spot to be. The staff are also incredibly friendly and professional which is appreciated in luxury accommodations.
Thank you Hotel 50 Bowery!
Stay tuned for a dining review of NYC!