The first few years of life for the glassy building previously known as the Cooper Square Hotel were not good ones. Plans for the building, located at the corner of East 5th Street, began a decade ago, and construction was underway by 2006. But delays and financing issues plagued the project, as did neighborhood protests, and it didn't debut until 2008. Even then, things weren't good, and the hotel went into foreclosure just a year after opening. It changed hands again in 2011 as part of a restructuring deal, but things still weren't meant to be. Then, finally, came a knight in shining armor: hotelier Andre Balazs. Balazs took the tower under his Standard Hotel wing and began to bring the establishment up to his, uh, standards. The hotel never stopped accepting guests, but they renovated the place from top to bottom, making the biggest changes to the hotel's public spaces. With the opening of the new restaurant, Narcissa, this January and the new outdoor spaces coming this spring, the Standard East Village has officially put its troubles behind it.
When the Cooper Square Hotel first opened, HotelChatter was less than impressed, but things are different now. No walls were knocked down in the tower, so the layout of the rooms remains the same, but they've been freshened up with softer colors, custom carpets, and very-Standard touches like bright pink lip pillows.
The best in-room amenity is the views, and the hotel tries to pair guests with appropriate views. For example, if it's someone's first ever visit to New York, they'll place the guest in an east-facing room with views of the East River, but if someone is returning to the city, they may give them a more neighborhood-y view of Cooper Square. Currently, King rooms start at $385 per night, and the hotel's eight double rooms start at $445.
The biggest changes came to the hotel's public spaces. There used to be an outdoor bar and lounge located on the second floor, which had a staircase on Cooper Square and East Fifth Street. Neighbors hated this, along with the large bar/garden that sat on East 5th, but both of these spaces have changed. The upper level lounge is not used for anything at the moment, but it could become a hotel guests-only space in the future.
The East 5th Street garden exists in a smaller form, and a brick wall was constructed around the perimeter to block sound. The garden debuted last summer, a few months before the townhouse lobby, and it will re-open this spring. Now that the hotel's restaurant, Narcissa, has opened, the garden is slightly larger, but part of it is reserved for the restaurant. One super nice guest perk: they get priority for reservations at Narcissa, and the hotel immediately books them a table on their first night.
The Standard Cafe now exists where the guest lounge and lobby used to be, and hotel guests now enter through the intimate townhouse entrance. The cafe has a few stools and tables inside and outdoor seating along Cooper Square. Currently, this is where hotel guests have breakfast, but that may change in the future.