We stayed at the Hotel Williamsburg on our last 2 nights in New York. We'd previously spent 10 nights in Manhattan and decided to get a taste of another borough (Brooklyn). HW is located on North 12 Street (between Berry and Bedford Streets) and was a 5 second walk from the hip and happening Bedford Street. Plenty of restaurants and bars and interesting little stores right on your doorstep.
The hotel itself felt very new, so much so in fact that I don't think it was completely finished during our stay. The pool was still under construction and the outdoor pool area not yet open to guests. It was only the beginning of spring though, so this wasn't a massive impediment.
The room in which we stayed was pretty small and felt a bit badly designed. Sure it looked very cool, but some of the aspects weren't overly practical. There was a very cool armchair, for instance, that wasn't terribly comfortable to sit on. The bathroom featured heated floors, which was a nice touch, however there was a clear glass window in one of the walls, which meant anyone sitting in the room had a view into the bathroom of someone taking a shower/sitting on the toilet! We found this a little odd but assumed it was done this way so as to give the bathroom a bit of natural light. The hotel room itself had plenty of natural light and windows that opened a few inches so as to give a bit of fresh air.
The mini bar was also odd. Amongst the usual mini bar offerings of chocolate, peanuts, juices and booze were two "intimacy packs". The smaller, cheaper pack offered vaginal wipes (!?), a condom and a small sachet of lube. The more exotic pack offered the same, along with a mini vibrator (!?!?). We weren't sure what to make of this, as we'd never stayed in a hotel that offered this kind of thing, although I guess at least they're promoting safe sex!? LOL! We found this aspect of the mini bar amusing, although if you had young children in tow, you'd probably want to hide these interesting little boxes of treats.
HW offered free wifi for guests and complimentary breakfast. The breakfast was nothing to rave about, but considering it was free, you can't really complain. The coffee was pitiful (the brewed stuff) but there was a decent selection of juices, some muffins and danishes, yoghurts and fruit. The service we encountered was friendly and helpful. There is no in-house dining option at HW, but they do have a bar in the lobby.
Cost-wise, I think our two nights ended up being around $650. I wouldn't consider this a cheap option, as I do believe the hotel is held out to be "boutique", but for a couple of nights it was worth it as the location was unbeatable. There was also a subway station a few blocks away (on North 7th Street) so getting in and out of Manhattan and around is no problem. If cabs are more your flavour, then beware, as there's not that many around and you won't easily flag one down on the street as you would in Manhattan. Also, if you're in Manhattan and hoping to get a taxi across the bridge back to Brooklyn, ensure you do so at a reasonable time (ie prior to 4pm or so!) as drivers will tend to stop going to Brooklyn as they can't find fares back in and you'll be turned down. We found this a little annoying and ended up riding the subway, but it was pretty painless in the end!
Location-wise, HW is unbeatable however we found it lacked polish and the "finished off" air of a hotel that had been running for a while. Certain aspects of our stay (mainly the room) felt improperly thought out but overall it was ok. The floor in the lobby is clear perspex/glass with water underneath which was a nice touch. We also requested to leave one suitcase at the hotel prior to leaving New York (we were headed to the Caribbean and wanted to travel light, before returning to NY to stay at HW) and they happily accommodated this request free of charge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Brooklyn's most vibrant neighborhood, McCarren Hotel & Pool is an exciting urban retreat. With 64 modern rooms, an ideal location overlooking McCarren Park and luxury amenities that include a rooftop bar with breathtaking views of Manhattan and one of New York City's largest outdoor swimming pools, McCarren Hotel & Pool is the first full-service lifestyle hotel in this thriving neighborhood. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- McCarren Hotel & Pool Brooklyn, New York