We enjoyed a nice second stay here one year after our first, thanks to an offer I couldn't refuse extended by a very proactive, on the ball staffer in a managerial position (thanks, Rob DB!)--an invitation extended in response to my prior TA review! We would have spent the entire New York visit here, but another offer we couldn't refuse came up for the Peninsula in midtown (see separate review); we thus spit our stay uptown and downtown, just like last year. We were at the Pen when Hurricane Irene hit. While midtown is rather touristy for our tastes, Cooper Square seems to have a higher local resident ratio, probably because there are no large tourist attractions nearby, besides shopping, eating, or just walking around. There must be a lot of students here during the academic year (NYU, Cooper Union).
Upon arrival, one sees there is a lot of street construction being done in the median directly in front of the hotel. The hotel still has no signage, just an address (25) and a sign for the restaurant, now called Trilby. As before, to check in, one walks through a high-ceilinged sitting area to the Library, where staffers who stand at the ready (sometimes with clipboards) do the check in process in another room while you relax in the Library with complimentary refreshments (coffee, iced tea, water with lemon or lime, wine, proseco--depending on the time of day). I had arrived early, so a room was not ready. I had booked a Cooper 5, the largest of the standard rooms (higher floor, corner room), but a guest who was in a Cooper Studio One (a bit larger, also corner room) checked out while I was in the library, so the staffer offered us this room upgrade. The downside was that the Studio was on a lower (4th) floor, but we decided to take it. There was a laptop in the Library last year; I did not see one this time, but as always, WiFi is free throughout the hotel. The very helpful doorman/bellman stored the luggage; we were actually walking on the Highline, a favourite site/park to visit (2nd sectioned recently opened), when I got the call the room was ready.
The Cooper Studio One was located in a sort of annex of rooms that sit above the restaurant on the 3rd and 4th floors--3 rooms per floor--two Cooper 1's and a Cooper Studio. I remember our last room in the main tower, a Cooper 2, was of course much tinier and much noisier--there is much less traffic and doors shutting in the annex. The room was indeed pretty large and oh so bright, with floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides, extending into the bathroom's shower/tub room. There was a sitting area and shelves of books. For privacy, the windows had tiny opaque white dots to block views in, but these do not function at night when a light in the room is on. These dots seemed to be on the windows of all the lower floor rooms and contribute to the hotel's milky white appearance. It was when I saw these dots that I realized how much the hotel is a kissing cousin in design and appearance to Frank Gehry's IAC Building by Chelsea Piers (visible from the Highline)--same milky white exterior, same lack of right angles (giving the buildings a feeling of movement), same dots. The hotel's architect is Carlos Zapata. The windows also of course have sheer and black-out drapes. With the windows being so large, it took some effort to close the black-out drapes--the single cordless phone on its lightweight plastic base would invariable fall off the window-side desk until I finally just left it on the floor. The TV is HD and has many, many channels; the remote was like a regular remote, not the usual hotel kind that steers you into pay per view movies, guest services or what not. The free standing armoire holds the closet, minibar and safe. Just 4 hangers and 2 drawers within. The bath was divided into 3 small rooms--one with the single sink, one WC, and one open tub/shower room. Negotiating the 2 doors in the bath could be tricky; the nicks/scrapes seen on the doors were evidence of this. There was still no alarm clock (though there is an iPod dock), so like our last visit, I had to ask for one. Also, one must call up for ice, which arrives in a champagne bucket. I think housekeeping has many items often found in hotel rooms but must be asked for here (they go against the hotel's minimalist aesthetic, I suppose)--slippers, shoe horn, laundry slips, iron and board, etc. There is a nice umbrella in the room, and this came in handy pre-Irene.
We did not try the restaurant, now in its third incarnation, the Trilby, after 2 apparently unsuccessful tries with celebrity chefs (Govind Armstrong's Table 8 and Scott Conant's Faustino). There are thousands of restaurants in easy walking distance. The small bar/restaurant that was right next to the hotel has been demolished. Nor did we try the second floor lounge/terrace. The top level penthouse remains for private use--it thankfully has not become a rooftop bar. The hotel offers free passes to the Athletic Club across the street. There is no spa, but in-room massages can be arranged (this must be difficult in a Cooper 2 room). The closest subway stop, Astor Place, is 2 blocks away--it only serves the local 6 train. Next door is the very unique 41 Cooper Square building of the Cooper Union School. I would have loved to tour this building, but it seems to be closed in the summer until school reopens. It was used extensively on a recent episode of "White Collar".
I remember last time we checked out, there was no paperwork. This time, the staffer asked if we received a check-out folio under the door--we did not, so one was printed and given to me. Overall, the staff was very friendly, proficient, definitely youthful, professional in an informal way. We did not require the needs of a concierge, so I cannot vouch for the hotel's proficiency in this regard.
In lower Manhattan, it seems the hotels in general are more contemporary and less formal than midtown or uptown--even the Ritz Carlton Battery Park is far different from the Central Park Ritz. This is not to say service is any less--I've read nice things about the Trump Soho, the James Soho, and the very new Nolitan on this website. I would consider Cooper Square one of these higher-end modern hotels, definitely worth a revisit.
- Also Known As:
- The Standard, East Village Hotel
- The Standard, East Village Hotel New York City
- Hotel Cooper Square
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cooper Square Hotel has recently been acquired by hotelier Andre Balazs to become the 5th addition to The Standard group of hotels in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Located on the corner of East 5th Street and Bowery, the 21 story building offers 145 spacious rooms and suites with sweeping views of Manhattan, thoughtful comforts and stellar service in one of New York’s most exciting neighborhoods. The Standard, East Village provides a more intimate, residential alternative to The Standard on the High Line, on the West Side. ... more less
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