Hotel Le Bleu: Great Location but Otherwise Mediocre

Address: 370 4th Ave., Brooklyn NY 11215— Get directions
Telephone: (718) 625-1500
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Rostra rating: 2.5

In order to escape Manhattan’s frenetic intensity and equally intense hotel prices (see The Archer Hotel), MagoGuide decamped for Brooklyn for our last night in NYC before boarding the Queen Mary 2. Hotel Le Bleu is basically a Holiday Boutique Inn, long on motel and short on boutique. The minimal lobby is under-staffed with friendly people who spend a lot of time on the phone and off site. And when the doorman was actually around (about 50% of the time), his job consisted entirely of literally opening the door.

Our long-standing booking was for a 5th floor room with a view of Manhattan. After a very long wait at the check-in desk (the receptionist also had to field every phone call that came into the hotel), we got a 2nd floor room with no view. Depressed by the innervating heat, Team Mago could not muster the wherewithal to contest our three floor downward relegation, so we headed out to a movie instead.

The room was a basic no tell motel set-up that had been given a skin deep boutique make over at a near-by architecture mall. The cool bathroom door situation was the exception that proved the rule. The “balcony” made most postage stamps look spacious. The coffee machine sucked–in obvious solidarity with the inedible “continental breakfast” deposited in all of its glory outside our room some time in the middle of night (spoilage was hardly a concern–this “food” could have spent fifty years in a Cold War fallout shelter and be none the worse for it). Upon finding that the packaging was not only the most nutritious part of the meal, but also by far the tastiest, Team Mago again decamped for a real diner breakfast about a ten minute walk from Hotel Le Bleu.

A hair cut in Brooklyn

And that is the best part about this particular hotel: its location. Situated in the Park Slope neighborhood near Prospect Park, Hotel Le Bleu is only a few minutes away from great restaurants and bars on 5th avenue, a Whole Foods, and a Saturday farmers market. The rooms and shortage of staff seem designed to force people out into the pleasures of gentrified Brooklyn–as attested by the seemingly endless procession of millennials pushing Mazeratti-level prams filled with their pampered offspring.

Our attitudes improved the next day upon discovering that 12 PM was the normal check-out time for Hotel Le Bleu and that the staff was capable of booking us a VFM ride to the cruise terminal that included a very clean vehicle, killer AC, and a driver with electrical activity in his brain.

Bottom line: Hotel Le Bleu is a boutique hotel in name only, but it does offer a frugal means of enjoying one of Brooklyn’s nicest neighborhoods. Just don’t drink the coffee or eat the breakfast.


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Morgan Hart was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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