The Brooklyn Guide
At this point, Brooklyn is really a city unto itself. The transformation started with Williamsburg, which is what put Brooklyn on the map for this generation of New Yorkers, though each neighborhood has its own little personality and ecosystem—Cobble Hill and Park Slope are great residential neighborhoods for young families, Boerum Hill (which has some excellent shopping) offers beautiful walks among the brownstones, and Bushwick still has a plenty of reliable mom-and-pop type stores nestled in with the trendier businesses. Needless to say, this is a guide that will continue to evolve and expand, as new, exciting spots are popping up at lightning speed.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge60 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights | 877.803.1111
Thanks to a new crop of restaurants and bars, the Dumbo waterfront bleeding into Brooklyn Heights is the buzziest spot to be in Brooklyn right now. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has taken full advantage of their location—a thin strip of land jutting into the water, right at the base of the bridge—and constructed the building entirely of reflective glass and steel. A local- and sustainably driven project, much of the maritime-themed interior furnishings were made right here by Brooklyn artisans like Uhuru, even using reclaimed wood from the beloved Domino Sugar Factory. The end result means each of the 194 rooms have a Scandinavian-style vibe, many with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out across the water onto Manhattan. The rooms—and next-level lobby, conference, and meeting spaces—are outfitted in chic greenery that lends an expansive, nature vibe to 1 Hotel's urban oasis. Another highlight is the rooftop pool, which overlooks the East River, and of course The Haybarn Spa, a calming oasis using the all-organic Bamford product line, hailing from England's idyllic Daylesford Farm.
McCarren Hotel & Pool160 N. 12th St., Williamsburg | 718.218.7500
The highlight at this swank hotel located right on McCarren Park is the saltwater swimming pool (you can rent pool passes for if you're not checking in), with full bar and snack service. Meanwhile, the complimentary bike rentals and rooftop lounge make McCarren Hotel & Pool a slice of vacation in the middle of bustling Billyburg.
The Williamsburg Hotel96 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg | 718.362.8100
One of Williamsburg’s newer hotels, dryly named the Williamsburg is in the same few-block radius as the Wythe, McCarren, and William Vale. The rooms all have floor-to-ceiling windows—the best of which come with private balconies and views of the Manhattan skyline. The bedrooms are mostly done in reclaimed oak, cool brown tones, and brass furnishings, with little pops of color, like a mustard throw blanket or a plush teal couch. The lobby restaurant and bar have plenty of space for laptops during the day and then stay busy well into the night. There is a rooftop bar coming, too.
Urban Cowboy B&B111 Powers St., Williamsburg | 347.840.0525
If you want to imagine what it would be like to live in Williamsburg, but you're looking for a little more hospitality than your typical Airbnb, check out the rooms on offer at this neighborhood bed and breakfast (there are only four), which is housed in a refurbished, rustic townhouse. Raised garage doors open into the main parlor of Urban Cowboy, which has plank wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a reclaimed community table. A few of the rooms have soaring cathedral ceilings, quirky chandeliers, and a clawfoot tub.
Wythe Hotel80 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg | 718.460.8000
Williamsburg has been big for a long time, but the neighborhood’s waterfront is now the place to be, in no small part because of the Wythe Hotel, which is owned by the masterminds behind Marlow & Sons. On-site, you’ll find locavore restaurant Reynards, a rooftop bar, and views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines. The building has a plethora of spaces to rent for parties, including a full-fledged screening room. Oh, and if you're traveling in a band, as one does in Williamsburg, you can book their "Band Room," complete with bunk beds.