For travelers seeking relatively unknown experiences, Brooklyn offers plenty when it comes to places to stay – including a nature-inspired waterfront retreat and accommodation in a 117-year-old factory building. These are the best hotels in the borough.
A consistently flourishing neighborhood, Brooklyn has enticed many creatives away from pricey Manhattan and into its slightly edgier (and more affordable) embrace. A magnet for filmmakers, the sprawling borough has an artsy reputation by way of restored factories, eco-conscious restaurants and a colorful deluge of contemporary galleries. Comic book fans, bookworms and vegans come here in droves. Join them in one of these dynamic hotels.
The Hoxton, Williamsburg
The first North American outpost from London-based The Hoxton, this hotel promises seafood and striking views at rose-tinted rooftop bar Summerly, and Americana classics in the castle-like Klein’s. The spirit of Williamsburg is reflected throughout the hotel’s former factory setting – you’ll find stacks of books curated by Brooklyn residents, ceramics handcrafted by local artists and bespoke bedding from designer Dusen Dusen. Check into a “Cosy” room for forest-green velvet headboards, tarnished gold fixtures and old-school rotary dial phones, or splash out on the “Roomy” option for all of the above and lots more space.
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Housed in a former manufacturing facility, The Box House Hotel is identified by the classic 1970s taxi cab that sits outside its doors (and provides a free shuttle service). Inside, the former factory’s cavernous spaces now feature bold jigsaw-style art, traditional lampshade chandeliers and stained-glass windows. Rooms range from intimate standards with target-shaped embroidery pieces mounted above queen-size beds to the sprawling penthouse with its private balcony and city views. You are moments from the treasure trove of restaurants in nearby Greenpoint, or you can dine in-house at the Brooklyn Lantern and tuck into buddha bowls brimming with ingredients such as toasted farro and avocado.
Situated in the buzzing artistic hive of Bushwick, this budget-friendly boutique hotel is spun from the same creative fibers that flow throughout the neighborhood. Behind a towering gray facade dotted with tutti-frutti-colored squares, white walls have been brought to life with vivid Brooklyn-inspired murals by local artists. Crash in rooms with pillowy platform beds before rousing to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast. The real draw, however, is the location. You are a skip and a jump from a dozen art galleries and in the heart of an electric nightlife scene – swing by Art Deco cocktail bar The Narrows for libations and live music.
Pod Brooklyn’s 249 affordable guest rooms offer efficiency without compromising on comfort in New York City, a famously cramped metropolis. Compact single and bunk-style rooms feel spacious thanks to large picture windows overlooking the hotel’s four green courtyards, while light dimmers, window shutters and customizable climate control allow you to fluctuate between vampiric lie-ins and chipper mornings that would make Mary Poppins proud. If the sun allows, pop up to the solar-powered rooftop beer garden to sip on sundowners and play games of giant Connect Four. Bedford Avenue station is less than a five-minute walk away, giving you extra easy access to central Manhattan.
Taking its cues from the natural world, this award-winning Brooklyn Heights hotel is driven by an eco-conscious approach. Rooms are awash with reclaimed wood and locally crafted furnishings, such as corrugated leather headboards, while a luxury edge is added with organic king-size beds that sit on the cosmic craters of moon-style rugs. In each room, filtered water taps also fill up bottles made from recycled wine bottles, and yoga mats encourage mindfulness and meditation. The dedication to sustainability is also evident under the ivy-tangled pipes of The Osprey, where you can dine on locally sourced dishes like tender Berkshire pork chops. Steal away to Harriet’s Rooftop and Lounge for incredible Instagram-worthy views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Expect luxury and quirk with no pesky extra costs from The Williamsburg Hotel. Here, complimentary rides in the hotel’s chauffeur-driven tuk-tuk, home-made bacon dog treats for furry companions and discounted access to the rooftop pool are standard amenities. The rooms are equally thoughtful, with bespoke velvet chairs and stretched tobacco-leather headboards, as well as HDMI points and Apotheke toiletries. Indulge in high tea under Hogwarts-style lighting in the Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Seven Seeds, before heading up to the Water Tower for 360-degree views and artisanal cocktails made with ingredients such as clarified milk and cinnamon cordial.
Downtown Brooklyn’s “original boutique hotel” is a pioneer of the borough’s hotel scene. This 93-room property introduced thoughtful features that have become standard in Brooklyn hotels, such as signature bikes for you to use and local hotel art. NU Hotel is also driven by a charitable focus. Buy a Hersha EarthView bottle during your stay, and your money will go towards clean water projects. You can choose from the comfort of twin bunk beds, recline in the Urban Suite’s hammocks or admire the vibrant murals by local artists that twist across the rooms.
McCarren Hotel is home to one of the largest outdoor heated swimming pools in New York City. Be sure to take advantage of the guest-only access to its sky-blue loungers and plant-fringed waters before 11am each day. Retreat to one of its 64 guest rooms and suites to experience luxurious features such as Garnier-Thiebaut linens, private outdoor patios and sweeping McCarren Park views. In-house restaurant Seasoned Vegan serves up a vegan twist on soul food, with dishes such as mac and cheese made with cashew milk, or you can hit the town for carnivore-friendly food at Michelin-star steakhouse Peter Luger, a mile away.
Wythe Hotel’s industrial theme dates back to 1901 when its converted factory building was built. Original windows and pine beams mix with beds made from reclaimed ceiling timbers and heated concrete flooring for a vintage feel in the hotel’s 70 rooms. Modern hotel art and Lemon’s, a trendy rooftop bar serving original cocktails, bring the hotel into the 21st century.
In the upper echelons of The William Vale’s towering structure, you’ll find the Hobbiton-reminiscent hills of a 15,000-square-foot (1,394-square-meter) elevated park and the longest pool in New York fringed by cabanas and flourishes of plant life. Perched on the 22nd floor is Westlight, which is the hotel’s popular rooftop bar with a street-food-inspired menu and a scattering of sun-yellow telescopes. Once you’ve done your tourist duties and visited a signature Brooklyn deli (drop by popular Frankel’s for classic pastrami sandwiches), you can return to rooms with entrancing geometric art and wraparound balconies.