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Nu Hotel, Brooklyn, New York 

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85 Smith Street
Boerum Hill
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 852 8585
Fax: 718 852 8558
Subway: F train to Bergen Street; A, C to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets
view web site ›'s insider take:

The biggest plus and minus for Brooklyn's first true boutique hotel, opened in 2008, is its location: at the top of restaurant row on Smith Street, across from a high-rise city jail. But if you can forgive the unsightly barbed-wire views from the hotel's street-facing rooms, this sister property of the Duane Hotel in Tribeca is an arty option that packs a ton of style into its 96 rooms. Interiors are whitewashed with that stark minimalism that sometimes comes off as rather bland, although the design is accented (and elevated) here by attention to Brooklyn's often ironic appreciation for its industrial roots. From the rusty red "YES" depot sign in the lobby to local photography in the rooms, Basquiat prints, and quotes from famous Brooklynites like Henry Miller in the hallways, the Nu Hotel maintains a sense of understated cool. There are custom-made beds in the rooms, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, and even hammocks in a few of the suites (average room size is 175 square feet). The curved lobby transforms into a small bar at night, where locals and guests mingle over cocktails and light snacks. Although the hotel lacks a restaurant, there's arguably no need for one, with Smith Street's many dining spots only a short stroll away.—Douglas Wright

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