In London terms, Williamsburg is like the Dalston of New York City. It’s gritty, it’s urban, it’s unquestionably cool. Just a few nights on this side of the Brooklyn Bridge explains its appeal to those living in ‘the Big Apple’, and why hotel groups like The Hoxton set their sights on opening here.
It offers something more ‘real’ than the noisy, fast-paced, tourist-laden streets of Midtown and more charismatic than the gloss of the Financial District. Coffee – nee, good coffee – can be found at inconspicuous holes-in-the-wall, florists dopplegäng as cafés by day and serve craft beer from local breweries by night, and al fresco cocktails in jar-shaped vessels feature witty names that reference pop culture. All are best enjoyed on garden benches in the district’s pop-up terraces, most of which drip with oversized garden plants. You get the picture….
The Hoxton Williamsburg is where to stay, not just on your first visit to Brooklyn, but time and time again.
The Packing Edit
Walk down the steps and into the lobby at The Hoxton Williamsburg and you’ll be greeted by a typically bright and airy meeting/working/social hangout and a plethora of interior touches that will send your internal ‘Home Inspiration’ Pinterest board into overdrive. Between 7AM and 12PM, the coffee bar whirs into action, serving up the classics as well as an NYC favourite and a summer must-try: cold brew. You’ll find a mix of locals and guests here making the most of the sturdy WiFi connection and secret charging points or relaxing by the fire with a magazine.
Hotel rooms in New York City have a reputation for being small, but certain well-designed dwellings make things comfortable no matter the dimensions. The Hoxton places focus on the bed and there’s no compromise on size or comfort to allow for unnecessary add-ons. Hidden drawers, fold-away tables, hanging mirrors, and charging points dotted across every wall are just a few of the considered details that master the art of shape-shifting.
The Little Extras
Locality is key and every element of the hotel is chosen to capture the essence of Brooklyn. Look out for personalised postcard recommendations of what to do; it’s a common feature across the Hoxton properties and one of the group’s most charming attributes. Added bonus: it takes the heat off finding hidden gems in a place as layered as this. Check back daily, as they’re likely to change, and craft your itinerary thanks to those in the know.
All artwork on display is hand-picked to celebrate up-and-coming local artists, and the linens in every room are sourced from Brooklyn-based designer, Dusen Dusen. Any Hox Shop is also always worth a browse. Try typically American snacks and help yourself to chilled water in the fridge.
The Food + Drink
Laser Wolf rooftop restaurant serves views across the city as a picturesque complement to it’s Israeli menu. The concept mimics the Hoxton’s welcoming attitude; food is designed to share, presented on oversized circular platters dotted with 11 different side dishes. No need to choose, that’s done for you for the most part – it’s just a question of which grilled veg or meat you wish to add. It’s a sociable way to dine, and it matches the restaurant’s casual vibe, making it ideal for large groups, celebrations, and friends who simply want to enjoy each others’ company without the distraction of choosing what to eat.
The To-Do List
There’s so much to uncover in Williamsburg that it’s best advised to leave any promise to ‘do it all’ at the arrivals gate. Instead, take the 15-minute walk from The Hoxton to the water’s edge to admire the Manhattan skyline before passing through Smorgasburg outdoor food market on a sunny Saturday.
Pack a hotel postcard recommendation or two and make your way to one of the local craft beer breweries, yoga classes, or antique stores for one-of-a-kind finds.
The Le Labo perfumery on 6th Street has a coffee shop attached (of course it does), and it makes a mean iced latte, whilst Awoke Vintage on 5th has one of the best selection of Levi’s 501s around.