The Hotel Marcel: A Visionary Rehab of Breuer’s Brutalist Building


Design aficionados and eco-conscious travelers are already flocking to the spanking new Hotel Marcel in New Haven, and it’s easy to see why. The restoration of Marcel Breuer’s landmark Brutalist building is positively visionary. The first entirely solar-powered hotel in the United States creates enough electricity with its 1000 solar panels to fuel the entire hotel AND send electricity back to the grid.

But that’s not all. Whether you love or hate the kooky monument that stands as a gateway to New Haven, you will marvel at the rehab.

The rooms are a serene oasis, emphasizing earthy colors to soften the strict geometry of the exterior. Our double queen had a water view, a cozy chaise, and plenty of workspace. Bathrooms are minimalist and clad in Italian tile; bump up to a suite, and you’ll find oversized tubs and walk-in shower/tub combos. Keep an eye out for clever details; every room features artworks by local and emerging artists, original wood paneling, and, of course, a classic Breuer Cesca chair. Between the automatic blackout shades, triple pane windows, and organic cotton sheets, we slept like babies.

Their sustainability mission is on brand, down to the local Arethusa ice cream pints in the serve-yourself shop and the organic and biodynamic wines at the bar. The restaurant, BLDG, prides itself on procuring edibles from Connecticut farms.

After check-out, we couldn’t help ourselves and walked across the parking lot to Ikea. I’m sure folks will appreciate having a chic and minimal hotel right next door for long Ikea jaunts (and a farm-fresh lunch instead of Swedish meatballs!). Proximity to the highway, train station, and the burgeoning dining scene in New Haven is a plus. And if you’re driving your Tesla over, you’ll find plenty of charging stations.

Hotel Marcel, 500 Sargent Drive, New Haven