Aug. 10, 2017

Hotel 50 Bowery, New York City

The hotel celebrates the area’s lively history with its design elements, original art, a museum within the hotel, Asian-inspired cocktails, and even detailed nuances like green tea and Chinese cookies in the lobby.

The walk east on Canal toward the Manhattan Bridge is as one might expect--honking, shouting, people everywhere. This is, after all, New York City.  

Walking through Chinatown yields sights of locals heading back to work from lunch and eager tourists wandering the streets seeking out the best noodles and shaved ice. Neighborhood tenants buy goods from the string of outdoor markets lining the streets, creating Chinatown grocery stores entire blocks long. Allow yourself to immerse into and absorb the sounds and scenery of this busy, exciting area.

Once you reach Bowery and Canal and turn south, something changes. Just steps from the intersection, a brand new, chic, welcoming retreat exists. Walking into this newly-constructed hotel was like a breath of fresh air. Literally, the air quality was noticeably perfect.  

Hotel 50 Bowery, Joie de Vivre's only hotel in New York City, is so new that every Uber driver who picked us up commented, “I had no idea this was here.” And the exterior confirms, not only is it new, it’s revolutionary. The hotel celebrates the area’s lively history with its design elements, original art, a museum within the hotel, Asian-inspired cocktails, and even detailed nuances like green tea and Chinese cookies in the lobby.

The design aspect carries the weight of the hotel’s presence from the street, with white-washed sidewalks that lead to the hotel’s revolving front door. Metal lines the floor-to-ceiling windows of the lobby, making irresistible clean lines.

White prevails inside, but is accented with warm colors. A myriad of pendant lamps of various metal hang directly in front of the main entrance around a cement pillar, left in place as an industrial stamp of modernism. A rhubarb-colored couch lines the south wall, while minimal-style artwork of wine-color roped fabric hangs in a design above it, reaching all the way to the ceiling. Beyond, walls of rustic red add depth to the space that lends well to both summer and winter. A colorful explosion of fresh flowers sits on the lobby desk.

This Joie de Vivre hotel exemplifies every bit of what this French phrase means--a feeling of happiness or excitement about life. With every hotel staff encounter, from the front door, to the front desk, to guest services, you will experience this heightened sense of personalized service from hotel team members who continuously appear simply excited to serve. Prepare for the level of customer service that you would expect from any luxury hotel.

Once the cheerful, always friendly front desk team hands you your room key, you’d be in good company to feel like you’re staying at the most hospitable hotel in New York City. Head over to the elevators and up to your floor. Lamps line the guest room hallways and at the end, original art, both abstract and contemporary, celebrates this Chinatown neighborhood in theme and warm colors.

With a wave of your room key, open your door into your peaceful space. Light-colored wood floors and jewel-toned rugs hug the sides of the bed. Crisp, white bedding meets a white leather headboard that reaches up gracefully to more original artwork hanging in each room and bringing a splash of bright color. The bathroom floors are laid with charcoal tile, while white subway tile lines the walls. The shower features both handheld and rain shower heads for ultimate comfort.

Everything is thoughtful: USB outlets right where you want them, lush bathrobes, desk outlets, and a mini bar that beats the average. It has gluten-free cookies, organic energy bars and chocolate bars from Mast Brothers Chocolate, based right next door in Brooklyn--it’s all there! Shall we repeat the words “chic and welcoming retreat?”

Ready to see more? Go check out the 2nd floor. Off the elevators you’ll see The Gallery, an art installation curated by the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). An orange map of Chinatown is hung from the ceiling with each cross-street labeled and its history written out on each street’s banner. Artifacts that were uncovered during the building’s excavation process sit in a glass case along the back wall of the room. It’s believed that 50 Bowery is likely where Bull’s Head Tavern stood. The Tavern was the site where George Washington famously assembled his troops as the British evacuated New York on November 25, 1783.

But its history continues; the space next became The Bowery Theater Hotel, and then The Atlantic Garden, a beer hall and entertainment venue. The Atlantic Garden was frequented by the German and Austrian families who inhabited the area and many of the artifacts found in the excavation are believed to have been left over from that specific establishment. Items like tobacco pipes, medicine and liquor bottles, and beer steins line the display case. Drawings and photos of The Atlantic Garden and the remnants of its structure transport guests back to a time when New York was at the beginning of its rise to the metropolis it is today.

Outside The Gallery area is a 5,000 square-foot outdoor terrace, appropriately titled Atlantic Garden. A terrace this size is a precious commodity in the city. Colorful outdoor tables and chairs sit beside cornhole boards. Beautiful, calming bamboo lines the north wall of the terrace. Let the sounds of the city’s hustle and bustle melt away with the cool colors, shade and peaceful quiet. It’s the perfect oasis for reading the newspaper or a book after a day of sightseeing or shopping.

However, if you’re looking for productivity for your day, check out the also-serene boardroom, just inside the doors near the back of the terrace and accessible down the hall from The Gallery. The boardroom table is made of rich wood and is surrounded by clean white walls. A pop of freshness is added by beautiful baby succulents that line the tabletop.

On the roof, a treat awaits. The Crown, 50 Bowery’s rooftop bar, sits on the 21st floor. Positioned just a few blocks northeast of lower Manhattan, the expanse of the city sweeping north is laid out like a red carpet of wonderment from this rooftop gem. From a separate balcony, a view of downtown is accessible and together the two rooftop areas give guests a 275 degree view, a rarity in New York.

The Crown was conceived by Chef Dale Talde, David Massoni, and John Bush of Three Kings Restaurant Group. It’s chic with white-painted brick walls, cream-colored couches and copper accents. Succulents are set on side tables and floral arrangements are spaced out on the edge of the glass balconies on both rooftop areas. The entire space is spread out, perfect for gatherings. The rooftop has already played host to a myriad of events in just the few short months since opening day.

The cocktail menu consists of beautiful new creations that nod to the neighborhood’s origins like: the “Mr. Z,” made with El Dorado 12-year rum, orgeat, grapefruit, almond and chili; and the “East India,” made with Ford’s gin, Pimm’s, lemongrass, ginger, cucumber and lime. For twists on classics, you’ll find the “Thai Basil Watermelon Margarita,” made with tequila, Thai basil, watermelon, lemon and lime; and another classic that fits the skyline before you, “The Crown Manhattan.” This Manhattan is made with Rittenhouse rye, bitters and two ingredients that make it sing--Carpano Antica, from Carpano, Italy, where the original vermouth recipe was created in 1786, and Szechuan Tincture, giving a spicy finish to this classic cocktail.

There are also nine beers with two on tap: Pacifico from Modelo and Lil Heaven from Two Roads Brewing Company in nearby Stratford, Connecticut. There’s a wine list with two sparkling options, three white options, one rosé and three reds. The list is short and sweet, but curated--all high-end wines from France, Italy, Spain and California.

There’s also a short food menu that’s perfect for pre or post-dinner munchies. The “Chips and Guac” is the #11 out of 10 version of its kind, made with chunky avocado, onion, lime, cilantro and is served with tortilla chips kissed with paprika oil. The “Roasted Eggplant Relish” is delicious and simple with eggplant, chili, spices and is also served with tortilla chips. The “Shrimp and Calamari Ceviche” is fresh and bright with tomato, lime and herbs and is served with cassava chips.

While 50 Bowery’s on-site restaurant Rice and Gold is under construction, The Crown is operating as the breakfast spot for hotel guests. Coffee, tea, fresh grapefruit and orange juice await, as well as eggs, potatoes, yogurt, cereal and a selection of toast. For now, guests have more time to enjoy the views available from the 21st floor while sipping their morning coffee.

Once Rice and Gold is finished, it will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Chinatown surroundings, three-time “Top Chef” contestant and cookbook author, Executive Chef Dale Talde will be serving innovative and flavorful fare in this restaurant concept, relishing in the rich food traditions of Asia. Rice and Gold is expected to open in September of 2017.

Even though finishing touches on the restaurant are still in progress, the hotel already feels complete in every way. 50 Bowery is any traveler’s dream, but it especially tops the chart among its boutique rivals. But, of course, what would you expect when Joie de Vivre brings its best to New York? Nothing short of magic. Always.


Want to learn even more about what Hotel 50 Bowery has to offer? Go visit them.

Want to learn even more about what Joie de Vivre has to offer? Go visit them.

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Posted in: The Space

Tagged: Boutique Hotels

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