Lauren Gamp resets her tension levels and clears her headspace while soaking up views of the Manhattan skyline
Having visited Carole Bamford’s flagship Bamford Haybarn Spa, at Daylesford Farm in the Cotswolds, just a month before, I have high expectations of the New York branch. I can’t quite imagine it living up to my peaceful, countryside experience. To my delight, it’s every bit the same in terms of wellness, sustainability and tranquillity. I almost forget the buzz of Manhattan is just across the East River. The changing rooms are painted a crisp ivory, with accents of wood and silver. I’m shown to my locker, where I change into a robe and slippers, go through to the lounge area, and snack on dried fruit and herbal tea while I wait for my massage therapist.
My De-Stress Massage begins with me sitting in an armchair with my feet in a basin of warm water. I then enjoy a relaxing foot rub before being given time to get comfortable on the massage table. The massage starts with some shiatsu techniques. After about a minute of being rolled and shaken from side to side, I’m trying not laugh, but suddenly my legs go limp as my nerves and muscles relax. The massage focuses on my upper back and shoulders (my tension areas), which are worked over for some time until the pain of the pressure transitions into relaxation.
The De-Stress Massage acted like a reset button for the tension in my body, and I came out with a clearer headspace because of that.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is conveniently located alongside the famous bridge on the waterfront, where I disembark from my ferry from Williamsburg. Inside the hotel I’m greeted by a host of smiling faces and a cascading avalanche of rope-tied boulders (one of the hotel’s many sculptural art features). Behind reception is a lounge area with a sprawling wall of native greenery and floor-to-ceiling windows, which make the space feel even bigger and brighter than it is. The hotel’s sustainability ethos is evident in little touches everywhere, including the ‘Farmstand’ table, which bears baskets of ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables you’re encouraged to help yourself to. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge was designed by local artists and constructed using reclaimed materials, something the hotel is clearly proud of — I notice a pillar hand-engraved with the slogan ‘work is love made visible’ and the names of every person who helped to build the hotel.
With five restaurants on site, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. The Osprey, the hotel’s ground-floor waterfront restaurant, offers American comfort food in a laid-back yet elegant setting, while Neighbors Cafe has a more casual ‘grab and go’-focused menu. The lobby lounge, rooftop garden bar and indoor rooftop cocktail bar also offer a variety of drinks and small bites.
My room, the Bridge King, has views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River — a few passing boats the only obstacles between the Manhattan skyline and me. The bathroom features a triple-filtered rain shower, while the room’s decor utilises reclaimed woods with touches of industrial steel and plants here and there. There’s also a filtered water tap next to a sign encouraging me to fill a reusable bottles before setting out to explore the city.
Dancing at the hotel’s penthouse cocktail bar Brooklyn Heights Social Club, looking out over the East River to Manhattan’s twinkling skyline.
Stylish, sustainable luxury with an air of peace in the city that never sleeps.
Rooms from $350 (£268). Rates include free wi-fi, in-room, filtered water taps and Nespresso machine.
The 50-minute De-stress massage costs $165 (£127)
Share this post