The Williamsburg Hotel, which recently opened in Brooklyn, is as much a part of the neighborhood from which it takes its name as the neighborhood is a part of the hotel.
“The inspiration behind the space came mainly from the surrounding area and its rich industrial past,” say Tim Boyd and Alex Michaelis, the owners of London-based design studio Michaelis Boyd responsible for the design of the hotel. “Our idea was to create a destination center for creativity appealing to the young creative entrepreneurial neighborhood of Brooklyn.”
The borough’s influence is evident throughout the hotel: Flavor Paper wallpaper featuring various aspects of Brooklyn culture (including a Nathan’s Famous hot dog and images of Notorious B.I.G.) adorns the walls, and the neighborhood's signature industrial style heavily inspired the decor. A prime example: Later this fall, the hotel will open a rooftop bar in a replica of a water tower as an homage to a former nearby factory that manufactured the iconic New York structures.
Standing at eight stories and encompassing 150 rooms, The Williamsburg is opening in phases. The rooms and stunning hotel lobby bar—where you can enjoy a cocktail and listen to live jazz with local singer Katherine Ella Wood—are available now, while the restaurant will officially open this coming September.
But next year is when the full luxe amenities really start to roll out: 2018 brings the opening of the aforementioned water tower bar, rooftop pool, and the neighborhood’s first grand ballroom. Able to accommodate 400 guests, the 3,500-square-foot ballroom is slated to open in January 2018 and is already highly anticipated.
“I describe it as The Great Gatsby in industrial Williamsburg,” says hotel owner Toby Moskovits. “When you walk in you know you’re in Williamsburg, but it’s both elegant and authentic enough to host a wedding, a corporate event, a fashion show… it’s truly going to be an amazing addition to the neighborhood.”
For now, there is more than enough to tide guests over. Stepping into the hotel, you are greeted by a dramatic cascading staircase leading to the downstairs bar and restaurant area, which is outfitted in brick, glass, and steel.
“It was really about using authentic traditional and industrial material in more contemporary ways—we were looking for a new take on Brooklyn design,” says Moskovits of the decor inspiration, which she describes as “the elegant voice comes to Brooklyn.” “We connected with Michaelis Boyd to get that Brooklyn aesthetic with a British overlay. The goal was to bring someone in who was an outsider for a fresh voice.”
[In this image: H&A Clarke terry towels; Decibel mounted shower arm and flange; Palmer Industries sink legs; Pyrolave wall tiles.]
The fresh take on tradition manifests itself in old-school elegant features with contemporary finishes. Think: Stand-alone bathtubs with bold brass faucets, classic subway tiles in vibrant turquoise, and white-washed wood wall paneling with hardwood floors in the bedrooms offset by modern tiling in the bathrooms.
This combination of old and new ultimately creates a space that has all the luxe amenities of a hotel with the cozy feel of a residential space. The floor-to-ceiling windows with knock-out skyline views aren’t bad either.
Specifically aimed at global entrepreneurs, The Williamsburg is ideal for both visitors to the area and New York locals looking for a tranquil yet energizing place to switch up their work environment.
Need to get some work done? Order a coffee and set up camp at the booths by the lobby bar, a generally quiet space (at least in the morning) with free wifi. “Brooklyn’s history and deep connection to innovation and economic transformation is a crucial part of who our clientele is and who we’re catering to,” says Moskovits.
While the entrepreneurial emphasis is clear, this is a hotel that knows how to balance work and play. Besides the numerous rooftop amenities opening soon, we’re also looking forward to the upcoming January 2018 launch of the speakeasy-esque Clandestine bar, which the Michaelis Boyd design duo say is a feature they’re particularly excited about.
“Enter through the back of house corridors to this secret and exclusive bar,” say Boyd and Michaelis. “The space is dimly lit with rich dark red velvet curtains and a low vaulted ceilings; a hidden treasure.”
Want to stay updated for when the Clandestine bar (or any of the other amenities still to come) opens? Get more information and book your stay here.