Two things are important to consider when visiting New York. First, space is a huge commodity. Manhattan is a tiny island. Some of the best restaurants in the city have no option but to pile their trash at an arm’s length from their coveted outdoor seating. Apartment listings often cite “living room” as a huge perk—forget a second bathroom or an in-house washer dryer. Second, with New York real estate, you’re often paying for where you are on the grid over anything else.
Knowing this, Atelier Ace chose a 14-story building on Bowery, almost directly across from Prince Street, for its newest project, and the just-opened hotel is proving the allure of location. Sister City guests have the option to enter on Bowery (a big avenue) or through Freeman Alley, tucked away on Rivington Street. ?Entry to the building can be granted at the tap of a room key, and with the hotel’s self check-in system, it’s possible to stay there with total autonomy. While the absence of a terry cloth robe is at first disappointing, time at Sister City inspires an appreciation for easy access to every area of downtown New York, as well as just about every subway line. Guests are encouraged to get out and explore the complicated magic of the city, knowing they’ll be able to relax, simply, upon their return.
The core of the vibe at Sister City is a tranquil inclusivity. Rooms start at $259 a night, and families with kids or canines are welcome to book. Scandinavian and Japanese design details—noguchi lamps and built-in wooden furniture—seem to be whispering “take a deep breath here.” (Their partnership with the Headspace app will also do so more directly.) ?And it works: Sister City is a relief from the usual chaos that is, and hopefully always will be, New York.
A stay here wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the hotel’s neighbors. There’s Morgenstern’s, the best ice cream in New York, where each flavor is worth waiting for. And the New Museum, with whom Sister City partners with on the curation of the hotel library. The hotel’s restaurant, Floret, as well as the rooftop bar, Last Light, are calming outposts for drinks selected by Josh Hanover and small plates by chef Joe Ogrodnek. (Their ricotta toast comes highly recommended.) The lobby’s soundtrack, created by experimental musician Julianna Barwick in partnership with Microsoft, is a composition that changes based off movements detected by the hotel’s sky camera. The score responds to the environment—rain, airplanes, or passing pigeons—creating an easy connection to the city outside while upholding the space’s ethos of balance and belonging.