This is my review of the new Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown hotel, New York.
What do you do when Manhattan gets too busy and chaotic? Move to Brooklyn.
After having spent 3 nights in Midtown Manhattan at the new INNSIDE New York NoMad (reviewed yesterday) I moved to Brooklyn to check out the new Holiday Inn.
You may remember that we wrote about this hotel before it opened, back in May, when reward nights were being offered for just 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points. I booked two nights at that time. Unfortunately the deal now is now over and Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown will cost you 35,000 points per night.
Where is Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown?
The Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown is just around the corner from two Subway stations with trains to Manhattan and Queens. (Don’t bother going to the CVS next to Hoyt Schemerhorn station – no one seemed to understand the self checkouts, there was only one cashier and even though there were only two people in front of me, I had to wait 10 minutes until I could pay for my water….)
Instead walk along the High Street towards Brooklyn Heights with its beautiful view of Manhattan.
And if you are in the mood for walking, keep walking along the river until you get to Brooklyn Bridge.
Lobby and Check in
Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown advertises itself as being one of the ‘new generation’ Holiday Inn properties. The entrance was certainly gorgeous with a large Brooklyn Bridge water and light artwork.
The reception desk (I had to use a picture from the hotel’s website) was not as hip as the rest of the lobby area. Checking in didn’t take too long, but they failed to tell me that they were taking a $150 security deposit from my credit card. I expected it to happen but you are normally told and often need to give your PIN … not here.
The lobby area was open and spacious. The bookcases and armchairs gave the area a sophisticated and modern touch.
The lobby lounge has a good amount of sitting arrangements and two work computers with a printer.
One thing that stands out when loooking at their website is that the Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown is pet friendly and for $150 per stay (plus $150 deposit) you can bring your pets of up to 50 lbs.
More relevant for UK visitors, the other thing that makes this hotel very attractive is their swimming pool, sauna and steam room – but unfortunately those facilities opened on the 31st July which was after my stay and meant I didn’t get to jump in the water.
My room at Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown
I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened the door to my room, but definitely not this:
The ‘new generation’ look seemed to have started and finished with the lobby …..
The Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown is a new hotel in an up coming area and after seeing the entrance hall I was slightly shocked when I came into my room. Don’t get me wrong, the room was fine. However it was just ‘fine’ …. Style wise I was hoping for a bit more colour and some individuality.
The bed was comfortable and had 4 different pillows. In case those are not to your liking, the hotel offers the standard Holiday Inn ‘pillow menu’ so you can get the pillow that is right for you.
Look at the painting below …. this room seemed so random and I felt 40 years older just staying there. On a practical level, however, the desk was a good size, the wi-fi fast enough to stream movies and the coffee machine doubled as a tea machine so everyone should be happy.
The Keurig coffee machine came with 3 coffee capsules, one decaf green tea and one English tea. If you happen to ask for more capsules, I recommend to emphasise the ‘sules’ bit of the word ‘capsules’ as I ended up getting more coffee CUPS instead of capsules on two occasions!
The room didn’t have a mini bar but there was a fridge where you can store your own drinks.
The wardrobe had a decent amount of storage space, but I am not sure how you can get the ironing board out once you’ve hung up your shirts …..
The shower was awful! In order to turn it on, you had to be standing right underneath the shower head and there was no escaping the cold water. I also find the American system of turning the lever to get the right temperature instead of water pressure slightly confusing.
The sink was ok …..
I doubt that I had fresh unused toiletries in my bathroom. As you can see in this picture the bottle in the middle is only 4/5 filled. The shampoo made my hair very dry and frizzy and I was glad I had brought some shampoo from England.
The view was great, especially at night with all the lights on. You can see all the way to the Empire State Building.
Now, one thing the hotel is pushing is its spa facilities and I believe they will be great – once they open. There is supposed to be a sauna, steam room and a swimming pool. This picture is as close as I could get to this area. The website states that the spa area was due to open on 31st July.
The gym was ready to use and had a good view over the empty pool and there were enough machines and weights for a good workout. Its size is ok when you’re the only person in the gym. When I went there was already someone else working out and it felt a bit cramped.
Well …. the location of the Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown was great as I wanted to explore Brooklyn, the coffee was good and the lobby lounge pretty, but the room was a bit disappointing. The shower was very annoying and that is one of two things I expect from a city hotel: a comfy bed and good shower!
I didn’t like the interior design, but as this is a matter of taste I won’t emphasise it too much – although the hotel is the one stressing the ‘new generation’ look. As it turned out, I had the chance to try out another ‘new generation’ Holiday Inn – in Manchester – last week which is more successful. My review of the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre stay is here.
I would have loved to go for a swim and try the sauna and steam room. I believe once the spa area opens this will be a good reason to choose the Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown over other IHG alternatives.
The Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown is a decent hotel in a great location and if you want to stay in Brooklyn it is new, clean and safe good choice. For 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points it was a very good deal, but at 35,000 points you may find one of the similarly priced Manhattan properties more convenient.
IHG Rewards update – September 2021:
Get bonus points: IHG Rewards is not currently running a global promotion.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.
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