McCarren Hotel & Pool
What We Love
- Williamsburg’s original full-service boutique hotel
- In the middle of Brooklyn’s hippest 'hood, but just a five-minute subway ride from Manhattan
- iPod docking stations and mounted flatscreen TVs in every room
- Sipping craft cocktails and local brews at OIeanders restaurant
- Hanging out at the rooftop and pool in the summer
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- The hotel is formerly the King & Grove Williamsburg
- Staff is young and aims for a nonchalant coolness
- The rooftop pool closes in cooler months and reopens for the summer season—call ahead to check opening and closing times
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Cutting a sexy figure—eight stories of steel and glass that mirror its high-rise neighbors—the hotel has a hot address next to McCarren Park and Bedford Avenue in the heart of Williamsburg. A $2 million facelift by designer Heather Maloney brought in a modernized 1970s look, with mirrored walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. The 64 rooms start at a cozy 215 square feet, but feel bright thanks to a neutral white, oak, and blond palette, textured seagrass-weave wallpaper, and beds covered in Frette and Matouk linens. Marble bathrooms echo the property’s minimalist theme with rainfall showers and La Bottega products. For more room to stretch out, One-Bedroom Suites have wide parlors and oak-lined wet bars. Williamsburg’s cool kids sip innovative cocktails at the rooftop bar, then head eight stories below for hearty fare and brunch staples on weekends (think chicken and waffles) at the modern American restaurant Oleanders. Out back is a seasonal heated pool, where, during warmer months, guests can reserve day beds and stretch out poolside.
In the Area
Once an outpost for New York City’s distribution warehouses, Williamsburg has become an artsy haven of dimly lit bars, vintage boutiques, locavore restaurants and music venues. Check out who’s playing at the Knitting Factory, Music Hall of Williamsburg and DBA, or opt for a night in and order a North Fork Cabernet from Uva Wines and Spirits (yes, a wine shop that delivers, for free!), the carne asada tacos with guacamole from Calexico, or the naked balls and a whiskey float from the Meatball Shop. For retail therapy, check out Alexander Wang and other off-duty-model looks at Oak, rocker-chic Cheap Monday at Alter and dandified Fred Perry at the Grand Street surplus store. For something more down to earth, find steals at Malin Landaeus’ boutique, trunk treasures at the Brooklyn Flea and vintage by the decade at Monk Vintage and Beacon’s Closet.
How to Get There
We sort of stumbled across the hotel as I recognised it from photos rather than any sort of signage. The staff were friendly, check in was easy and we were immediately given a map and some recommendations of things to check out in the area. We were pleased to find that we had also been upgraded to a king room and whilst the room was quite basic, it was exactly what we were expecting for what we paid.
The hotel is located in a great location, equidistant to 2 subway stops. Great bars and restaurants are feet away and we felt safe coming back there.
We were obviously there off season but there wasn't much atmosphere in the evenings in the hotel. Any nights that we felt like a nightcap were generally drinks purchased from the nearby off license and consumed in our bedroom. There is a bar but it is only open Fridays and Saturdays. The outside space with pool area would be great in summer.
Unfortunately, half way through our trip, some money disappeared from our room. We reported it but unsurprisingly, it wasn't found. This experience somewhat tarnished an otherwise enjoyable stay.
Our son booked us this hotel because it was near their apt. in Williamsburg. We were delighted with the accommodations. Clean, modern, comfortable bed, safe, no complaints at all! We will definitely book here again.
I got the room through Hotel Tonight for $172 with taxes which was supposedly at a big discount. This was like a motor inn. I was doing a show at Brooklyn Bowl and it was very close. I had a hard time finding the hotel NO address numbers outside NO sign nothing.
Upon entering there were stairs which made taking my extremely heavy suitcase up difficult. No one offered to help. Check in was smooth but was told the pool was closed (the phone service says pool is open for 3 seasons) Why say it on your own phone if it isn't available?
When I entered the room (205) there was a funky smell. I opened the window and the handle came off in my hand! I opened my suitcase (no stand to be had) and the floor was absolutely filthy. NO way it had been swept or cleaned. Loose change, hair, crumbs etc surrounded the bed and underneath the desk.
The bathroom was also dirty. Under the cabinet (where i saw because I dropped my brush) was filled with dirt. There were no washcloths at all! Just hand towels. How do you wash???!! The shower was ridiculous. Only 1/2 stall was covered and if you used the wand it got EVERYWHERE.
The bed was comfortable enough but the molding about it was so dusty I cleaned it myself!
It seems like a place that hopes because it's in a hip part of town nobody will notice how awful it is. The photos look NOTHING like the actual hotel.
No coffee machine, no clock and the television was stuck on one channel and one volume. The halls are painted dark blue and very off putting. Staying as a single woman it was very daunting to come home late to a dark hallway. The lobby is extremely small and the coffee they had was cold.
All the plants were dead and or dying and trash was strewn in the flower boxes out front. There was food smeared on the elevator floor.
I had no time to find another room or I would have. Extremely disappointed.
So at the outset: I really don’t enjoy leaving a bad review. That established, my husband and I were at the McCarren last night on a Staycation. First off: we couldn’t find the entrance. No sign, nothing - just a dried plant wall. Cmon this isn’t some super secret speakeasy! Secondly, there’s no food service to speak of. The restaurant is non-existent, no room service, and we were told no bar. Later we find out there is a small rooftop bar (not sure why we were told there wasn’t one), so we go up only to find a huge birthday party has invaded and the poor (sole) bartender can not cope. So we leave and get a drink and dinner outside (defeated the purpose of a cozy staycation). Anyway, we come back and look forward to a comfortable night in, and I find one pillow cover was badly torn (not even kidding), and one didn’t even fit the pillow - it looked really bad. Anyway continued on with the night... not very comfortable, unfortunately. I also noticed how shabby the lobby looked. The plants were drying and it just wore a unkempt look. I’m sure it’s all better in the summer when the pool scene takes over - maybe winter is just not for the McCarren. Staff was pleasant enough, but very skeletal. All in all, with the competition in the neighborhood (Wythe, Horton, Williamsburg etc) the McCarren REALLY needs to step up if it wants to survive.
stayed for two nights in january! nice view of mcarren park from balcony and very comfortable bed. Daquan was very nice and accommodating. only complaint was that our shower handle was broken and it kept falling off which turned the water off