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New York City’s Williamsburg neighborhood — just across the bridge in Brooklyn — is in the midst of a hotel boom. One of the newest properties on the scene is a chic boutique number that finds its inspiration in the neighborhood itself and in its arty/industrial aesthetic. If you’re looking for a splurge that’s worth every penny, consider The Williamsburg Hotel.
Budget Level: Luxe ($300+/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
Newly built in the red brick you’ll see in the low-rise, turn-of-the-century buildings throughout Williamsburg, the hotel is anything but old-fashioned. Its sprawling, high-ceilinged lobby doubles as a dramatic bar and dining space that’s intended to draw both hotel guests and fashionably bohemian locals. Take a moment to admire the colorful yarn sculpture that crowns the bar. In the rooms, you’ll find finely textured materials like leather, velvet, and wood, and bright punctuations of color. Some bathrooms are done in eye-popping teal green subway tile with brass accents.
For all the beauty of the hotel’s spaces, The Williamsburg’s real achievement is that it manages to be hip while avoiding the negative trappings of hipness — nonexistent service, crowds, snooty clientele. Front desk and bar service is friendly and helpful, and the staff is more than happy to offer advice for exploring the neighborhood. You may even spot something here that’s a rarity among Williamsburg service pros — a smile.
Who Will Love It
Guests longing for a heady dose of style at one of New York City’s most fashionably upscale addresses can’t go wrong here. Ditto those who don’t mind trading the convenience of midtown Manhattan for views of the skyline and plenty of neighborhood charm.
Who Might Not
Those daunted by the thought of crossing the river into Brooklyn, and who don’t want to deal with the sometimes-fickle L train — the subway that connects Williamsburg with Manhattan, which will be closing for maintenance in 2019 — may want to stick to more centrally located hotels.
All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows — perfect for letting the light emphasize the room’s colorful accessories — and many have small balconies for admiring the city views. We also love the hotel’s signature tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled vehicle that shuttles guests around the neighborhood for free. Note that the hotel has a number of highly anticipated spaces — most notably, a rooftop bar and pool — that weren’t yet open when we stayed.
Wifi, chauffeured rides in the tuk-tuk, and use of bikes during your stay are all complimentary.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
All food and beverages cost extra, and you can expect typical hotel taxes to be added to your bill.
How to Get a Deal
Even the most basic rooms can cost more than $300 per night in summer, but for great value, we suggest staying in cooler weather. We found rooms in December and January for $185 — a major steal at this luxury property. Pre-pay at the time of booking to secure the lowest rates.
In the Neighborhood
While you’ll find no major attractions in Williamsburg, this is part of the appeal. Make like the locals and spend a morning browsing in the excellent Spoonbill & Sugartown bookstore, or take in a movie (accompanied by tacos, a charcuterie plate, or tater tots) at Nitehawk Cinema. A tour of Brooklyn Brewery is a must while you’re in the neighborhood.
Of New York’s three major airports, LaGuardia is closest to The Williamsburg Hotel, and might offer a good reason to stay here in and of itself. From here, you can reach the property by taxi in about 25 minutes. Newark and JFK airports are about an hour away by taxi, barring excessive traffic.
Nearest Public Transit
The hotel is a seven-minute walk from the Bedford Avenue L subway station in Williamsburg. Shave off a few minutes by taking the tuk-tuk. For a more interesting and scenic commute, take the water taxi from Manhattan across the East River to the North Williamsburg stop, which is an eight-minute walk from the hotel.
If you’re looking to join the cool kids in Brooklyn’s buzziest neighborhood, The Williamsburg Hotel is a particularly plush place to do it.