‘We have a new hotel in Brooklyn?” my cab driver asked when I directed him from the airport. Yes, I told him, there is a new hotel in Brooklyn, and it’s the only one in New York with a music theme. The Hotel BPM in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park area is owned by international dj, DJ Bijal, who designed it so guests feel “like they are staying at their cool friend’s house” but with plenty of custom touches that take it a notch above the average hotel.
The idea behind the hotel is a smart one. Hotel BPM just feels cool, with its lime green and white color palette, streamlined minimalist decor, and subtle touches that nod to the music theme (BPM stands for beats-per-minute and even the Do Not Disturb signs wink at the theme). Many aspects have been carefully considered. The beds are custom made and extremely comfortable and come in King or Euro Queen (as long as a King but narrower than a standard Queen to save space). Each room has a small desk, WiFi TV, large armoire with side hooks for hanging longer dresses, and suspended shelving so there’s storage space underneath. Bathrooms have rainshowers and there is free WiFi throughout the hotel.
However, the hotel, which only opened in September of 2012, does have some issues with its 76 rooms. While the concept of the decor is unquestionably cool, the execution isn’t perfect and there are still some kinks to be worked out in the seven-month-old hotel. In some respects it seems that there was more focus put on the design than the functionality. The rainshower felt more like a light trickle of water, and the alternative handheld showerhead was positioned at shoulder height. The shower door had gotten off the track and was stuck in the open position, and the floor has the slightest slope away from the drain, so that the water pooled and threatened to overflow. Between the draft from the open door, the way I had to crouch to get a decent stream of water on my hair, and the worry that the water would overflow onto the floor, instead of a luxurious experience, the shower was actually somewhat uncomfortable.
Outside the doors of the guestrooms, the hotel continues the music theme with extra touches, like free nightly DJ lessons and a complimentary breakfast, complete with choice of hot entrees, each morning. While the hotel waits for its liquor license, there’s also a nightly complimentary reception, which will later be replaced with nightly bar service.
When guests book a stay, they can email in a request for specific songs, which are played each day between 11am and noon. Guests can hear the music by tuning in to the sound systems located in each room (sadly, the sound systems don’t include iPod docs, a strange omission in a music-themed hotel). Next up, the hotel plans to add studio-grade soundproof doors and to incorporate more of the theme into the hallway decor. They’ll also continue their eco-friendly efforts, like using mostly LED lights and recycled paper.
The two biggest draws of Hotel BPM are the late check-out (at noon) and the location – far enough from the hustle of Manhattan that you feel as though you have room to breathe, and yet still just a few stops away from the city on the subway. The hotel is only about five minutes on foot from the nearest stop, and a 10-15 minute walk from the lovely Park Slope neighborhood.
Room rates start at around $200 per night (a great deal in NYC) and while Hotel BPM has a few issues to correct, overall it’s a solid choice in Brooklyn, a fun option for music-loving guests, and a good alternative to staying in Manhattan. Check prices online at Hotels.com as well.
I was a guest at the Hotel BPM, but all opinions are my own.