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The Beekman Hotel is a beautifully restored red brick landmark in the heart of Lower Manhattan. Better yet, because it’s a member of the World of Hyatt, staying here means I can spend more money than I should in a financially ruinous campaign to climb the ladder of Hyatt’s tantalizing loyalty program. Unfortunately, I was far less taken by the property than I was when I first visited shortly after it opened in 2016, and though the stunning building partly made up for a noisy, poorly designed room and mediocre service, my stay at the Beekman was ultimately underwhelming.
Booking the Beekman
For two nights in a premium room with a king-size bed, I paid $1,129.24, which comprised $978 for the room and $151.24 in taxes and fees. While that’s not cheap, I booked through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts, which gave me a room upgrade, free daily breakfast for two people, and a $100 credit to use at the restaurant, as well as a few smaller benefits. Usually, I try to book high-end Hyatt hotels with points (typically transferred from Chase), but I was running low and decided it’d be unwise to spend 25,000 points a night for a much smaller room.
The Beekman Hotel Location
The Beekman’s east corner sits at the intersection of Nassau and Beekman Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, a few blocks east of City Hall and the Civic Center. Dubbed “New York’s oldest skyscraper,” the Queen Anne-style main building was erected in the late 19th Century and modeled after lawyer’s offices in London’s Temple district. The building features a red brick and granite façade topped by two pyramidal towers on its Beekman Street frontage.
The main entrance at 123 Nassau Street is covered by a brown awning that was difficult to spot from afar due to a supposedly temporary scaffolding that I’m pretty sure was there on my visit three years ago.
Lobby & check-in
Upon arrival, I walked through the front door into a dimly lit lobby whose designers seem to have drawn inspiration from the Addams Family living room. Dark wood paneling, velvet couches and armchairs, ornate chandeliers, mosaic floors, vintage portraits and antique miscellany, and a front desk covered in what appeared to be a large Persian rug give the place a pretty spooky vibe.
I made my way to the front desk and was told that my superior room had been upgraded to a junior suite thanks to my Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits. The front desk employee also told me that I’d received a $100 food and beverage credit, as well as a 4 PM late checkout. Altogether, the check-in process took about 10 minutes.
I was assigned room 811, which would be considered a suite only by New York standards. At the center of the room is a very comfortable king-size bed with a leather headboard and, at its foot, a small, tufted velvet bench.
Two large windows face the bed. Between the windows sits a TV atop a dinged-up chest of drawers and to its left is a small desk and chair.
On the right side of the room, in front of the door, is a large wooden dresser, a blue velvet couch, and a small round table.
To the right of the couch is a funky metal bar cart with a mirrored top holding snacks and drinks for purchase.
The bathroom is to the left of the door and is, I think, the best-looking part of the room. It has his and hers sinks set into a marble, wood, and chrome vanity, behind which are two rounded mirrors.
The floors are covered in hexagonal marble tiles and rectangular marble tiles form a backsplash that comes about almost halfway up the wall.
The bathroom is equipped with towels and plush robes, as well as C. O. Bigelow amenities, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bar soap, and moisturizer.
The rain shower is tiled entirely in marble and contains a handheld showerhead in addition to the primary overhead shower.
Two things detracted from my stay. The first was mostly a question of taste: the room blends a dilapidated Victorian aesthetic with a minimalism that makes the space feel cold. It’s furnished way too sparingly and the walls are too bare. Aside from the bathroom, it looks less like a high-end hotel room and more like the half-packed living room of a recently deceased grandmother.
The second issue was bigger: the room’s windows had virtually no soundproofing. I’m a heavy sleeper, so this wouldn’t have been a major issue but for construction on the building next door which began around 6:30 AM every morning of my stay.
It was so bad that I requested to switch rooms, which meant moving to one about half the size, that contained a queen- rather than a king-size bed.
The room’s only window faced the inside of the hotel, which unfortunately meant very little natural light got in and, fortunately, a much, much quieter night. It was fine for the night, but honestly a bit depressing–and less than I’d expect for $450/night, even in downtown Manhattan.
The Beekman Hotel Gym
The Beekman contains a two-story gym, which means it can be accessed by doors on the second or third floors. The lower level contains cardio machines, including treadmills, ellipticals, a Stairmaster, and two Pelotons.
The top level has free weights and machines, including a leg press, lateral pulldown, and a Smith machine. Despite the hotel being completely booked, the gym was rarely busy, regardless of the time of day I went.
The Bar Room at Temple Court
The hotel is centered around the Bar Room, an atrium that rises nine stories through the hotel and is topped by a pyramidal skylight.
The Bar Room is designed in the same dilapidated Victorian style as the lobby and looks a lot like the set of a Guillermo del Toro movie. Velvet couches and banquettes, dark wood tables, old-school, incandescent-looking lamps, oxidized mirrors, and a castiron-clad bar make this room one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been lucky enough to order a drink in.
Since I booked this stay through the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program, I was granted breakfast for two people each morning of my stay in the Bar Room (up to $60). I thought the food was good: though it was relatively unimaginative and overpriced, the smoked whitefish benedict and smoked salmon toast I ate were tasty. Unfortunately, in my pre-coffee delirium, I forgot to take photos of either dish.
Temple Court restaurant
Off to the side of the Bar Room is one of the Beekman’s two lunch and dinner restaurants, Temple Court. The Fine Hotels + Resorts program gave me $100 to spend on the property and, since the hotel’s new Daniel Boulud restaurant Le Gratin was excluded from the offer, I dined at Temple Court for dinner the night I arrived.
I ordered chestnut agnolotti with black truffle and Brussels sprouts as my starter and Steelhead trout with braised artichokes and olives as my main course. The agnolotti was the better of the two dishes, but neither was anything special and both were, even by New York standards, very expensive. The meal–no drinks or dessert, just a starter and a main–ended up costing slightly more than $100.
Service at the Beekman was a mixed bag. Though the staff was courteous, they seemed stretched. Here are a few examples:
- On three occasions, I waited in a queue for the front desk. It was never more than 5 minutes, but it was still surprising that the hotel didn’t have more staff to deal with lines.
- When I ordered a tea kettle up to my room, it took about 45 minutes to arrive. 15 minutes after it was delivered, another member of staff came up with a second tea kettle.
- Despite being granted a 4 PM late checkout when I checked in, I was called three times on my day of departure by various members of staff to clarify when I would be checking out.
- When I switched to a quieter room, I was told that my new room would be ready by 2 PM, but it ended up only being ready at 5 PM.
These might seem like nitpicky critiques, but I think they’re worth noting, especially considering the high price of an entry-level room and the fact that this is a five-star hotel.
Though a stunning building made up in part for a noisy, poorly designed room and a staff that seemed stretched thin, my stay at the Beekman just didn’t measure up to other five-star hotels out there. That’s a real shame because the Beekman was previously one of the few hotels in New York that I considered to be a truly good value in a city where value is hard to find.