New York

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The Standard East Village

Address: 25 Cooper Square

Neighborhood: East Village / The Bowery

City: New York City

Phone: 888-251-7979; 212-475-5700

Website: www.thecoopersquarehotel.com

Expert Review

The Standard East Village, a 21-story white glass and aluminum tower that swells above the East Village's six-story brick tenement buildings, is the latest in a series of high-design additions to Downtown's formerly down-at-heel Bowery street/neighborhood. Don't expect front-desk formalities at this 145-room hotel (in fact, there is no front desk). Instead, complimentary cocktails are served around a fireplace in the library/lounge upon check-in.

The timelessly minimalist, modestly decadent vibe from Milan-based interior designer Antonio Citterio, who did the Bulgari hotels in Milan and Bali, feels slightly out of place in this scruffy neighborhood, but somehow it all works. You'd be hard-pressed to find loftier views over downtown Manhattan. Even the newish 17-story Bowery Hotel, just three blocks away, doesn't afford guests this level of intimacy with the skyline (the curved floor-to-ceiling windows do the trick). Book a room on the northwest corner if you want a ménage à trois with the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings.

Rooms are minimally furnished, but still plush and packed with personality. Atop the duvet? Not a tired old mint but a vintage Playboy magazine ("We spent all last summer buying them on eBay," said Evan Altman, the hotel's sales and marketing director. "We expect guests to take them home."). The gadgetry is just as sexy: iPhone-compatible Sony docking station, flat-screen TV, DVD player (with extensive library of rare films), room key cards with radio transmitters (no more swiping!), and free Wi-Fi.

Forget your earrings? The mini-bar is stocked with Tina Thor jewelry, which you can wear for your night on the town and either return or pay to take home. Forget your dog? We hope not, because the Cooper is pet-friendly to the max. In addition to a princely bed, canine companions get a faux Luis Vuitton-patterned amenity kit from Arf Dog, complete with white terrycloth bathrobe, throw blanket, treats, and ceramic bowl. The human treats are just as divine at the hotel's restaurant Faustina, featuring Italian cuisine from chef Scott Conant.

Tags: luxury | expensive | boutique hotel | design

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