The 8 Coolest Brooklyn Hotels
As NYC’s hipster borough, Brooklyn has a lot going for it—buzzy bars, underground coffee shops, boho-chic boutiques, the list goes on. And now a host of funky hotels are upping its cool factor even more. Here, the nabe’s 8 best crash pads.
Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
One of the city’s hottest openings is coming this February, courtesy of the swank 1 Hotel brand. Set right on the waterfront, the hotel marries green-minded design (think: living walls, reclaimed materials, natural art sculptures) with an uber-local angle like the ground-floor grab-and-go cafe stocked by Brooklyn purveyors. Besides the 194 rooms and spacious suites, which all have sliding floor-to-ceiling windows framing panoramas of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline, there’s also a roster of on-site amenities, including a state-of-the-art Field House fitness center (plus a yoga and barre studio), Bamford Spa and a seasonal restaurant to open in late-spring. But we expect most will make a beeline for the 4,000-square-foot rooftop, a garden-like oasis with a plunge pool, buzzy bar, and firepit area.
The William Vale
This cutting-edge skyscraper is the first of its kind in Brooklyn—and it’s really making a statement. First, let’s talk food: Andrew Carmellini (of The Dutch) is spearheading the kitchen at Leuca, a Southern Italian restaurant serving homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas, as well as Westlight, the 22nd-floor alfresco lounge. Then, there’s the 15,000-square-foot public park on the roof, and New York’s longest hotel pool a few floors down. And let’s not forget the guestrooms, which have large balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows that put the city front and center.
Ever since it opened five years ago, the Wythe has become the borough’s sweetheart of boutique hotels. Formerly a sugar-barrel factory, the cool industrial space nods to its roots through details like original brick, reclaimed wood ceilings and cast-iron columns as well as handmade wallpaper (sourced from local artisans) in the 72 loft-like rooms. Hipsters flock to the rooftop bar to sip cocktails and take in views of the Empire State Building, before dining at Reynards, where farm-to-table fare like New York-raised lamb is roasted in a wood-burning oven.
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NU Hotel Brooklyn
NU’s artsy digs are definitely befitting of Brooklyn’s quirkier side. There’s funky public spaces—like the indoor/outdoor sidewalk café, with geometric booths, neon chandeliers, and craft cocktails—as well as playful guestrooms with custom-designed hammocks, chalkboards in the bathrooms, and edgy Brooklyn-themed murals painted by local artists. Oh, and gym rats will fall head over heals for the impressive fitness center, which has machines, free weights, boxing equipment, yoga mats and more.
McCarren Hotel & Pool
McCarren is more about the scene than the sleep. For starters, this party-pad has one of the hottest addresses around—across from McCarren Park and just off Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. Add a buzzy rooftop bar, outdoor pool and the stylish Oleanders restaurant, and it’s no wonder how the hotel became an instant and everlasting success. It’s especially popular in the warmer months, when a fun, young crowd comes to dance at the poolside DJ sessions, tan on the sundeck and sip inventive cocktails.
The new budget-friendly Pod Brooklyn, debuting this spring in Williamsburg, may not have much space, but it makes up for it in style. The Brooklyn outpost will be home to a second Salvation Taco eatery (the first is at Midtown’s Pod 39), a rooftop cocktail bar, sidewalk café, and three courtyards to kick back with friends. So, though the guestrooms average around a tiny 100 square feet, we trust you’ll be too busy exploring the area outside to really care.
If you’re looking for home-away-from-home comfort, the Franklin Guesthouse is it. Opened in spring 2016, this cozy abode puts you at the heart of charming Greenpoint (Brooklyn’s northernmost nabe) and in walking distance to the enclave’s many art galleries, trendy bars and cool-kid coffee shops. And don’t worry, unlike most of Manhattan’s mini digs, the Franklin Guesthouse offers spacious apartment-style suites, complete with retro-inspired décor, hardwood floors and contemporary art. Plus, there’s inviting amenities like a fitness center and sauna to relax in after a day wandering around the Big Apple.
Downtown Brooklyn has lacked a stylish stay for years, but not anymore. Enter the Dazzler, a new boutique spot opened at the intersection of DUMBO, Fort Greene and Brooklyn Heights. Inside, you’ll find 174 chic rooms, with Carrara marble bathrooms, an inviting breakfast nook, and a small gym (not that you’ll need it with all the walking you’ll be doing). But the hotel’s real showstopper is its laid-back indoor/outdoor beer garden, which pours local craft brews and lagers.
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