It's hard to believe it’s already December! With the holiday season fully underway, we’re featuring some of our favorite places to unwind in front of a fireplace this winter—hopefully with some of your favorite people. Speaking of winter, we’re highlighting a recent trip to the Scandinavian Arctic, complete with a viewing of the Northern Lights. Beaches more your speed? We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best hotels in Anguilla. From all of us at First in Service, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Cheers to 2019!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Next month’s opening of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge will transform the Brooklyn waterfront. The eco-urban-retreat is one of New York’s most highly anticipated additions of 2017. We sat down with designer Waad El Hadidy for a look inside.
How did you approach the design process for 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge?
We started on this project about four years ago, and knowing how much Brooklyn has been emerging and changing, we tried to envision what Brooklyn, and its waterfront, would look like in 2017 while still honoring and celebrating nature throughout the space.
How does the natural setting of the property influence the design?
Each 1 Hotels property is influenced by the nature that surrounds it. Being located directly on Brooklyn Bridge Park, we’ve included elements like floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open so you can take in the amazing views, and native greenery so the space feels like a natural continuation of the park. We’ve also built in elements to support the park, like an open pass-through for easy public access and a water reclamation system that provides rainwater to the park to irrigate their plants.
How did you discover some of the local artists you’re working with?
The Brooklyn community has no shortage of creatives. I met a few while visiting open studios and actually found a few on Instagram as well. All of the artists use sustainable, reclaimed or recycled materials in their work so it was great to bring a group of them together here at this property.
What are you most proud of in designing the property?
Having a signature green wall of plants is something 1 Hotels has become known for and here we really pushed to find a way to imagine that in a new and modern way. The plants will change over time as the wall becomes a living, growing work of art. It’s also the first thing that will greet guests when they walk in to really establish this as a hotel overtaken by nature.
What unique elements will guests will find in their room?
Each of our Skyline Suites features a cozy hammock that you can sit in while taking in the Manhattan skyline view. Our two bed rooms feature full trees within the space, bringing nature inside. Oh, and those floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open! It’s an incredible feature not usually seen in hotel rooms, not to mention most apartments.
Have you seen guests being influenced by the sustainable design of the hotels?
Absolutely. We are constantly hearing from guests that they’ve made choices to live more sustainably after their stay at 1 Hotel. Whether it’s recycling more, buying more sustainable materials or just using a little bit less many find small ways to make less of an impact, which inspires us to keep growing and progressing. Building things sustainably pays off in the long term financially but also rewards the community culturally and socially.
Brooklyn is so hot right now for hotels. What sets yours apart?
Our waterfront location and Manhattan skyline views are definitely highlights. And from the cellar level spa to the rooftop pool and bar, it has all of the amenities of a resort but manages to feel more intimate. I think with the design we were able to really honor the environment and location without becoming a cliché of the borough.
When you’re giving tours, what is your favorite place to show off?
Definitely the roof. From the reclaimed brick to the repurposed railroad ties and the cast plaster piece by Daniel Phillips, there’s such a great story in the materials. I doubt most people will really notice though, because they’ll be staring at the incredible views. But make sure you have a seat, grab a drink, and take it all in.
What are your favorite things to do in Brooklyn?
Oh, I like to eat. I spend a lot of time exploring parts of Brooklyn I feel like people don’t often frequent, looking for the places you won’t find in a guidebook. But, it’s usually fueled by the search for a good meal.