Williamsburg has been a big deal for well over a decade now, it’s true, but from a boutique-hotel perspective this neighborhood is just getting started. And while the Wythe Hotel may not have been the first, it’s the one against which all future Brooklyn boutiques will be measured. Not because it won’t ever be topped, necessarily, but because it’s rare for a hotel to so completely exemplify the character of the neighborhood it calls home.
Here in Williamsburg that means a location between McCarren Park and the gentrifying waterfront, in a 1901-vintage factory building that’s been lovingly (but not too thoroughly) renovated. And in the kitchen, it means a bit of Brooklyn culinary royalty: Jake Leiber and Aiden O’Neal, of the beloved Chez Ma Tante, are the chefs behind Le Crocodile, a neighborhood brasserie serving earnest French fare in a setting inspired by their Parisian and New York favorites. (They’re also responsible for Bar Blondeau, the 6th-floor bar with an unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline.)
Rooms are comfortable, spacious by New York standards, and while they stop well short of proper luxury-hotel territory, they’re perfectly suited to the setting and clientele. Poured concrete floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, distressed brick walls and subway-tiled bathrooms strike just the right note. And there’s a lot of pleasure to be found in the tactile details of the place — the fixtures, the finishes, the bath products and even the minibar items display an admirable attention to detail.
We could go on cataloguing the details in an effort to make the case, but at a certain point you’ve simply got to see it for yourself. (You can hardly miss it, what with the fifty-foot “Hotel” sign that towers over Wythe and North 11th.) For anyone who’s still wondering what Williamsburg is all about, this is the place for a crash course.
How to get there:
Wythe Hotel is a quick 7-block walk from the Bedford Avenue subway stop, which is less than 10 minutes on the L train from Union Square in Manhattan.