Manhattan is not short on swanky, luxe hotel offerings. Having high tea at The Plaza, enjoying a Michelin-starred experience in the sky at the Mandarin Oriental, or watching jazz legends improvising on the Steinway of The Carlyle's Bemelmans Bar are just a few experiences to be enjoyed by the lucky few. But for a true New York experience, forget about Fifth Avenue or Times Square—Brooklyn is where it's at. In recent years, hip hotels have been popping up like mushrooms on the Williamsburg waterfront, not to mention that the borough is where the best new NYC restaurants are anyway. Ready to escape Manhattan and experience New York like a true local? Here are the best hotels in Brooklyn.
The Williamsburg Hotel
Opened in 2017, The Williamsburg Hotel by London-based Michaelis Boyd Studio (the firm behind Soho House Berlin) has been making waves on the Brooklyn scene. Competition between hoteliers is fierce on the Brooklyn waterfront these days, and The Williamsburg Hotel stands out from the crowd. Food offerings are plentiful with its restaurant, Harvey; the Hotel Bar; the rooftop Water Tower bar; and a seasonal pop-up eatery. If you're so inclined, you can also ride around the neighborhood in the hotel's signature tuk-tuk. The rooms are modern and fresh, featuring leather tufted headboards, bright yellow throw blankets, and reclaimed herringbone floors in a modern setting. The bathrooms are outfitted with blue glass subway tiles, brass fixtures, and—if you're lucky—a freestanding clawfoot tub with unobstructed city views.
1Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Hospitality group 1 Hotels has created something truly unique on the upscale hotel scene with its eco-conscious, ultra-luxury offerings. After opening in South Beach and Manhattan, it's also among the first to take residence on the DUMBO waterfront while other hoteliers are fighting for prized Williamsburg real estate. The Brooklyn property retains the unique organic-luxe feel of the other 1 Hotels locations while displaying an authentically Brooklyn ethos with wood and iron accents reminiscent of the neighborhood's industrial past. In summer months, the hotel's rooftop has quickly become one of the most frequented happy hour spots from which to catch a few rays by the pool while watching the sunset over the Manhattan skyline.
When The Hoxton opened in Paris last year, Instagram went wild. This only makes us all the more excited for the hotel brand's fifth venture—and it is first in North America. Located on the now-popular hotel strip on Williamsburg's waterfront, the property—opening this summer—is filled with beautiful design details: brass and walnut shelving, plush velvet headboards, and bespoke Dusen Dusen linens. The hotel is set to have three restaurants, including a terrace, courtyard, and rooftop bar with Manhattan views. If you're planning a trip to New York City this summer, we suggest you check it out.
Formerly known as The Dazzler, The Tillary is one of the few hotel properties worth checking out in Downtown Brooklyn. Conveniently located along subway lines that connect Barclays Center to the DUMBO waterfront and downtown Manhattan, the hotel's dedication to authentic local culture spills into every nook and cranny, from a whiskey bar and deck to an outdoor event space featuring a menu of locally distilled spirits and brews to partnerships with local brands like Nobletree Coffee roasters, Mast Brothers chocolate, and Salty Road candy company. The décor is modern, graphic, and colorful with midcentury accents.
The William Vale
In 2016, The William Vale joined the Wythe Hotel on the Williamsburg waterfront to create an enclave where cool hotels are as common as bodegas. More polished than its more established neighbor, The William Vale is a brand-new, 22-floor skyscraper complete with a well-frequented rooftop bar called Westlight. In many ways, it's more reminiscent of the multiple new luxury rental towers going up around the city than the original warehouse lofts that populated the waterfront just a few years ago. The rooms are light and bright, featuring minimalistic Flos lighting, original abstract art, and sliding barn doors made for small spaces. On top of Westlight, guests can dine at the acclaimed Leuca restaurant on the ground floor or Mister Dips, a retrofitted Airstream trailer on the elevated outdoor promenade, which serves burgers and fries.
In summer months, the local population at the McCarren Hotel & Pool swells up to almost capacity. This is not surprising, as it's one of the few respites in the area where you can soak up sunrays unobstructed by nearby buildings. Originally the King & Grove, it rebranded in 2014. Last fall, the hotel also welcomed Thaimee, an upscale Thai restaurant by chef Hong Thaimee, where the previous restaurant, Oleanders, was before. The group behind the restaurant will also be overseeing food and beverage for the rooftop and pool. If a thriving summer scene is what you're after, this is your place.
The original Brooklyn boutique hotel, the Wythe Hotel, opened in 2012 as the first of its kind: a waterfront Williamsburg hot spot with rough-edged charm and a polished allure. A true representation of old and new Williamsburg, the hotel, built in a former turn-of-the-century textile factory, has remained a favorite for locals and travelers alike. Reynard, its acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, consistently attracts a steady crowd, while the rooftop was one of the first to offer unparalleled city skyline views. The décor is industrial chic with a bistro flair: patterned hex tiles, reclaimed wood beam ceilings, exposed brick, and, of course, original factory windows.
Urban Cowboy is part of a growing crop of micro hotels—or rather, modern-day B&Bs sans doilies and potpourri. Instead, the four-guestroom Williamsburg brownstone, opened in 2014, boasts exposed brick walls, original pine floors, 12-foot cathedral ceilings, and raised garage doors that open onto a courtyard sprinkled with Edison bulbs. In true hipster fashion, the décor is sewn together with vintage steamer trunks and Pendleton blankets. An upstate-inspired cabin in the courtyard features a potbellied stove, a clawfoot tub, and an elk-antler chandelier—seemingly created for Manhattanites in search of a staycation in their own backyard.