March 11, 2014
Williamsburg, Brooklyn is the epicentre of all things cool in New York City””and, perhaps, the world. Why would you book a hotel anywhere else?
New York City has a reputation for being one of the greatest centres of cultural vitality on God’s green earth. Voyagers from all corners of the map flock here for their fill of new-now-next. While they’ve traditionally relegated themselves to the borough of Manhattan””declaring further-flung endeavours to be (at best) charming and exotic; (worse) labour-intensive””younger and/or cooler travellers have discovered the epicentre of Big City hip. Brooklyn. More specifically: Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The truest example of Williamsburg’s appeal comes from a new spate of popular boutique hotels, which allow visitors to hang their hats away from Manhattan’s clanging bustle. Hipsters in Williamsburg have been buzzing about The Wythe Hotel “” a 70-room metaphor for Williamsburg’s personality. It lives in a converted factory building on the waterfront at N. 11th Street, and hosts lots of eye-popping goings-on. On-site farm-to-table eatery, Reynard comes from the team behind local restaurants Marlow & Sons, Roman’s, and Diner, deftly meeting the needs of guests and the zip code’s most scene-starved foodies. The Ides, Wythe’s haute-casual saloon, draws in thoughtful tipplers. Meanwhile, amenities-bedecked rooms (Goldies products, radiant floor heating, locally-sourced furnishings and art) range from Manhattan-facing king-sized-bed numbers, to “snug” stays with queen-sized beds, to bunk-bed cubbies with floor-to-ceiling windows, to impressive lofts with sizeable terraces, pedestal tubs, and killer views.
King & Grove, nearby to the Wythe, offers a streamlined and clean-feeling take on the Brooklyn stay. Here, you have superb access to the wild fun of Williamsburg without sacrificing a stitch of your modernist sensibilities. Michelin-starred chef Paul Liebrandt helms on-site restaurant The Elm, and we live for rooftop spot Upper Elm with its saltwater pool and vista views. (“Look honey”¦ Manhattan!”). Its 64 rooms””deluxe doubles to king suites””are appointed with Frette linens, rain showerheads, proper ‘tronics, and Malin and Goetz products.
The 54 rooms of Hotel Le Jolie offer a Euro-influenced escape from the divine grit of the ‘Burg””although it is a touch close to the rumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. (Do as the Romans do!) You’ll find an ergonomic bed with goose-down comforters, large flat-screen TVs, complimentary premium movie channels, and decent room to stretch your legs.
Meanwhile, the Box House Hotel in the Greenpoint section of the neighbourhood””home to many of the city’s most innovative restaurants (and residents, for that matter)””offers home-style lofts and suites throughout an open floor plan. Here, you get a real sense of what it’s like to live in Brooklyn, surrounded by locally commissioned artwork, decked-out kitchenettes, antique furnishings, and complimentary WiFi. This being a true home-away-from-home experience (meaning, no on-site restaurant), you’ll want to take advantage of local eateries. Lucky for you, Spritzenhaus 33, Calexico, and Troost are within sauntering distance.
Keep in mind, as you book your next night’s stay in Williamsburg: The biggest reasons to forego a Manhattan’s night sleep are the restaurants, the street fashions, and the irresistible energy of the locals. In other words, get those walking shoes ready and be a part of this neighbourhood.
Do you know any hipsters in Williamsburg? What are their local recommendations on where to stay in the neighbourhood? Or have you stayed at any of these hotels? Tell us what you thought of your stay in the comments section below.
Written by Andrew Stone