Sometimes we just can’t resist taking a look around upscale hotel designs, so to go with our feature on New York, we’ve stepped across the borough to see the Williamsburg Hotel, a new-build eleven-storey development in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.
A Brooklyn Landmark
From London architects Michaelis Boyd, The Williamsburg is designed to be an after-dark hotspot and boasts a ballroom, 3 bars (one in a replica water tower!) and a rooftop pool. Like the Stockholm hotel we recently featured, it’s packed with unique art pieces and bespoke furniture. Michaelis Boyd started life in Notting Hill and focused on the luxury residential space. Their attention to detail shows throughout: for all this is a large development (150 rooms) it’s a far cry from your generic business hotel style that most American cities seem to be dominated by.
If you can’t wait to visit, the lobby bar and guest rooms are already open, but we’ll have to wait until winter for the restaurant (Christmas shopping in New York, anyone?) and later this summer for the rooftop pool and the ballroom, although personally we’d rather be swimming than swinging.
When this old world starts getting me down/ And people are just too much for me to face
As fans of all things industrial chic, we just love the warm, worn brick of the exterior and the lettering of the hotel sign, the rich use of glass and steel of the kind that’s designed to weather. It’s all very considered and in keeping with the Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Inside, king of all things leather, Londoner Bill Amberg (he’s based in Paddington) contributes bespoke furniture to sit alongside artwork commissioned from local artists.
From the hotel entrance, there’s a dramatic terrace which leads to the cellar level which is at the heart of the hotel. The terrace is designed with rich planting, architectural lighting and curved concrete benches trimmed with bohemian cushions for summer night stargazing and cocktails.
The cellar bar is built with antique picture frames laid in a chevron pattern and an art installation composed of thousands of coloured threads designed by a local street artist Eric Rieger. Around the bar are armchairs and banquettes and in one corner a feature fireplace for cosy whisky-sour fuelled nights in.
Like the hotel we featured in Vienna, the hotel reception here includes a store full of quirky artefacts, but in a step reminiscent of Timorous Beasties, the wallpaper here is of quintessential Brooklyn scenes and is designed by Mike Diamond, better known as rapper, drummer and founder member of The Beastie Boys (maybe the shop should be called Paul’s Boutique?).
The guest rooms are amazing. They all have floor to ceiling windows with views of the East River, Manhattan and of course Brooklyn. Many have private balconies and each is unique — some are finished in whitewashed timber and some have dark grey plasterwork. Leather, marble and brass complete the upscale finish.
Up on the Roof
Right now they are working on turning the entire roof into a 40-foot outdoor pool, roofgarden and Watertower Bar, all of which overlook the Brooklyn skyline. The bar is designed to recall the industrial past of the neighbourhood, where wooden water towers were built and will be made of charred timber boards and steel with coloured glass set in in a sort of modern church meets temple to rooftop hedonism style and will have panoramic views towards Manhattan.
- Bookings: The Williamsburg Hotel
- Location: 96 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA (corner of Wythe Avenue and North 10th Street, Brooklyn)
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All photography (c) and courtesy Annie Schlechter