Staying in Downtown may not be the leisure traveller’s first choice on a visit to New York City, but it actually has its benefits. It is surprisingly easy to get to on the subway, as it’s serviced by a number of lines that connect in the financial heart of the city, and it’s also within walking distance of some iconic landmarks, from the new World Trade Center plaza, ferry piers, the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges and the South Street Seaport district. The Beekman is an absolute gem of a heritage hotel, with a jaw-dropping, open atrium showing off the turn-of-the-century architecture (it used to be the headquarters of a law firm). The ground floor houses two outstanding restaurants: Keith McNally’s brasserie Augustine and Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court, which brings a unique take on an American menu. Make time for a cocktail in the hotel’s beautiful Bar Room before heading downstairs into the basement to the Alley Cat, an eclectically designed speakeasy-style club with late opening hours. It reminded us of Maggie Choo’s in Bangkok. The high ceilings in our suite made it feel generous and, despite the rather modest bathroom, we loved the design – a mix of dark wooden floors and handsome solid furniture combined with sumptuous, richly coloured soft furnishings. The hotel sports two signature penthouse suites nestled on its roof in the building’s turrets. They both have their own private entrances as well as their own spacious roof terraces. Unfortunately, they were both occupied on our visit, so we didn’t get to see them, but judging from the rest of the hotel we imagine they are worth every dime.