The hype is real. When it comes to restaurants, nightlife, the art scene and independent boutiques, Brooklyn is giving Manhattan a run for its money. Whether you want to find the most Instagrammable street-art murals in Bushwick, attend a concert at the Barclays Center or BAM, do a bar crawl at Williamsburg’s hippest cocktail dens and divey watering holes, or just soak up the views during a leisurely stroll in Brooklyn Bridge Park, there are more than enough things to do in Brooklyn to keep you busy for a weekend. Over the last few years, the borough’s hotel scene has exploded, with some of the best boutique hotels in the city opening on this side of the East River. These six will give you a taste of the Brooklyn life.
THE WYTHE HOTEL
Before Williamsburg was considered a desirable neighborhood for tourists, hotelier Peter Lawrence, real estate developer Jed Walentas and restaurateur Andrew Tarlow decided to take a chance on it. They got their hands on an abandoned cooperage on Wythe Avenue and set about transforming it into the borough’s most trendsetting boutique hotel. They tapped local artists such as Steve "ESPO" Powers to create street art — style murals and Tom Fruin to fashion the emblematic "Hotel" sign that graces the exterior. Inside, the 70 rooms and suites bear custom Brooklyn toile wallpaper and one-of-a-kind artworks assembled by in-house curator Kimia Kline . The Ides bar on the rooftop is a magnet for locals and visitors alike, who come for the sweeping skyline views and great drinks, while the ground-floor restaurant, Reynard, serves the kind of farm-to-table fare that Tarlow is known for (his restaurants Diner and Marlow & Sons were pioneers in Williamsburg’s dining scene).
Rates start at $250 per night.
WHERE 80 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
INFO 718-460-8000, wythehotel.com
THE WILLIAMSBURG HOTEL
Just a block south of the Wythe, the newer Williamsburg Hotel was purpose-built from the ground up. It, too, features exposed brick, but that’s about where the similarities end. The sunken lobby lounge is anchored by an eye-catching rainbow-hued yarn installation above the bar — which, in addition to cocktails, serves weekend high tea, with pastries made in-house at the Brooklyn Bread Lab. The ground-floor restaurant, Harvey, turns out wood-fired pizzas, fresh veggies, and mains like roasted chicken and a decadent Waygu burger. Rooms feature marble, brass, and leather accents, and pops of color. Request a room facing the East River for the best views. During the summer, the rooftop pool opened with morning hours exclusively for hotel guests and a series of parties with visiting DJs. The highly anticipated Water Tower bar (in — you guessed it — a replica of one of Brooklyn’s iconic water towers) is to open soon.
Rates start at $295 per night.
WHERE 96 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
INFO 718-362-8100, thewilliamsburghotel.com
THE HOXTON WILLIAMSBURG
"It Brit" brand the Hoxton brings the latest, buzziest new hotel to Wythe Avenue. The Hoxton aims to lure locals as well as out-of-towners with a cozy lobby lounge that seems made for co-working, a coffee bar with pastries by a Jean Georges alum, casual all-day dining at Klein’s and a seasonal rooftop bar serving New England-inspired coastal fare with fantastic views of Manhattan. Despite Hoxton’s British roots, it partnered with local restaurants and designers, including Brightside Hospitality (the team behind Williamsburg and Greenpoint mainstays Five Leaves, Café Colette, Union Pool and Hotel Delmano). Rooms are on the small side but feature a clever space-saving design and bedding by local designer Dusen Dusen.
Rates start at $159 per night.
WHERE 97 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
INFO 718-215-7100, thehoxton.com
1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The 1 Hotels brand is all about eco-chic style, but the Brooklyn Bridge outpost takes it to a whole other level. Walk into the lobby and you’ll immediately be struck by the living plant wall and inviting furniture made with reclaimed wood. The design throughout the property mixes industrial and organic elements. Rooms are decked out with organic cotton bedding, greenery and filtered water taps with recycled glasses meant to cut down on the use of plastic. Some of the corner suites even have hammocks with views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Five restaurants and bars offer plenty of choices, from farm-to-table American comfort food at the Osprey to cocktails and snacks on the rooftop bar with panoramic views of lower Manhattan. You can indulge in a relaxing treatment at the Bamford Haybarn spa, get your "om" on with a hot yoga class at the new outpost of POE Yoga, or simply step outside and go for a walk or run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Rates start at $550 per night.
WHERE 60 Furman St., DUMBO, Brooklyn
INFO 347-696-2500, 1hotels.com
THE FRANKLIN GUESTHOUSE
This 30-room boutique hotel is a good option if you’re looking for a more residential feel. Located on Franklin Street in the charming neighborhood of Greenpoint, it’s got easy access to the ferry, plenty of great restaurants, hip bars, independent boutiques, and the subway. The rooms and suites are inspired by Brooklyn lofts, with high ceilings, modern décor and contemporary art. Most suites have a kitchenette stocked with dishes, pots, pans, a coffee maker, fridge and dishwasher. There’s a gym, sauna and steam shower in the basement. The restaurant is being redesigned and rebranded, but there are lots of great places to eat nearby, such as Bakeri for freshly baked bread, sandwiches and pastries; Glasserie for excellent Middle Eastern cuisine and Cherry Point for great burgers and other American pub fare. The best part? A complimentary house car will drop you off anywhere within a mile radius of the hotel.
Rates start at $349 per night.
WHERE 214 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
INFO 718-383-3900, franklinguesthouse.com
THE TILLARY HOTEL
Smack dab in Downtown Brooklyn, the Tillary Hotel is strategically located with easy access to DUMBO, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, so it’s a great choice if you’re planning to attend a game or concert at the Barclays Center or BAM. The hotel was recently renovated with a sophisticated urban design and a bit of a midcentury edge. Soundproof windows mean you’ll get a good night’s sleep atop beds outfitted in Frette linens. The main restaurant has not yet launched, but you can get coffee, grab-and-go breakfast items and snacks from local purveyors at the T Room. The Secret Side bar serves cocktails, beer and bar bites upstairs, with a terrace open during the warmer months.
Rates start at $139 per night.
WHERE 85 Flatbush Ave. Extension, Brooklyn
INFO 646-491-9057, thetillaryhotel.com