“Hotel Le Bleu to open in Gowanus in July”

Montreal Designer Creates Interiors,
Furnishings, Rooftop Lounge

By Linda Collins

GOWANUS — There are still some surprises in Brooklyn’s ongoing development boom. In reporting on all the new hotels coming to the borough, one in Gowanus comes as a surprise.

Set to open this summer, the new hotel, to be called Hotel Le Bleu (blue, in French), has interiors and even room furnishings created by internationally-acclaimed Montreal designer Andres Escobar & Associates.

Escobar is already known locally for his interior designs of various upscale condominium developments in Brooklyn. But this is his first Brooklyn hotel.

Situated at 370 Fourth Ave., between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Gowanus, Hotel Le Bleu is a project of Domenick Tonacchio of T&L Investors Corp. Tonacchio told the Eagle yesterday he was the owner of a plumbing supply company formerly on the site.

The building was demolished to make way for the hotel.

“I saw that the area would be changing after the rezoning and knew there would be a need for a hotel, a first-class hotel” he said. He knew of Andres Escobar through other projects he has been involved in. The eight-story boutique hotel will have 48 rooms, a restaurant on the eighth floor (to be called “The View”), a rooftop lounge, and 18 parking spaces onsite. Edward C. Hicks of Flushing, N.Y., is the architect of record, but Tonacchio said both he and Escobar collaborated on the hotel’s exterior design. His interior designs include a lobby enclosed in custom-made blue glass (hence the name?) with wood and stone accents, and the guest rooms have open floor plans, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass-walled showers that may be curtained for privacy or left open.

“I wanted to reinforce an experience of space and openness in the rooms, while at the same time providing absolute pampering for the guests,” said. Escobar. “The open glass showers are a reflection of that concept. Imagine looking at views of the Statue of Liberty from under a virtual waterfall.”

In addition to designing the interiors, Escobar has also hand-picked and designed nearly every detail inside the rooms, from “the lush bed clothing for ergonomic beds with orthopedic mattresses to the exclusive custom furniture.”

He said he wanted the rooms and furnishings to appeal to sophisticated, well-traveled guests.

In addition to “sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty,” Escobar’s choice of furnishings include extra-plump, allergen-free goose down comforters and pillows, specially woven Egyptian cotton bed linens.

High-speed Internet access, private voice mail, 42” plasma TVs with radio and DVD are among the other amenities.

“Hotel Le Bleu is very special. I predict it will become one of New York City’s most acclaimed destinations,” said Escobar, who has traveled extensively and collaborated on hotels in India, Israel, Montreal and New York.

Hotel Le Bleu is scheduled to open this summer, possibly in July, according to Tonacchio.

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