Hotel Zero Degrees, a former YMCA dorm, has been completely transformed.
HOTEL ZERO DEGREES
909 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT
hotelzerodegrees.com; (203) 363-7900
Distance by car: 30 minutes
There is one groovy boutique hotel in Stamford, Connecticut, the “Land of Jerry Springer and Corporate Headquarters.” It was re-adapted from a well-used YMCA dorm and is now a New England Travel Best of New England Travel award winner for best boutique hotel. Never mind that Zero Degrees is on a busy road. Serene, piped-in music neutralizes street and city noise, and a patina of cool neutralizes roadside urban hazards, real or perceived. Interior designers were so nitpicky about details that they studied the use of bars of soap to find that most guests left the middles. So bathrooms now feature one of the neatest amenities to come down the pike: a donut-like middle-free “waste-reducing exfoliating body cleanser.”
ROOM: Rooms are outfitted with all the elements of a true boutique: leather headboards, inviting throws, Porcelanosa bathroom tiles, and locally sourced art. Flatscreen TVs and free WiFi round out the great, comfy deal.
BOARD: There is no restaurant here, but the hotel has finagled deals with the best eateries in town. Dine on contemporary American fare at Napa & Co. (terrific wine list) or Greek specialties at EOS Greek Cuisine. In addition, a warm breakfast buffet that includes fancy pastries, eggs, yogurt, and fresh fruit comes free with the room.
ONLY HERE: Though the residential portion of the YMCA was redone, the recreational areas are still open and bustling. So bring your swimsuit and do laps in the adjacent indoor Olympic-sized pool. Access to the fitness center, pool, running track, basketball court—the complete Y—is gratis for all hotel guests.
WHILE HERE: Get advance tickets to The Jerry Springer Show (which tapes only on Mondays and Tuesdays). For more civilized fare, catch a performance at The Palace theater. Or take advantage of the local art movie theater, the Avon Theatre Film Center.
JUST THE FACTS: Rooms range from $109 to $159 per night and include hot breakfast, free WiFi, parking, and use of computers with printers in the lobby.