11249 Travel Guide
King & Grove Williamsburg, or, as it was formerly known, Hotel Williamsburg, made a pretty big splash when it first opened in 2011 as Williamsburg's first proper boutique hotel. With a nice big flashy outdoor pool deck, a rooftop, and even a trendy restaurant with locally-sourced ingredients, all the elements seemed in place.
Then things started to go wrong. First, the restaurant got shut down after being open for just one month. Shortly after, the hotel announced it had been taken over by King & Grove, with "exciting changes" on the way (that we've yet to see).
Then, last May, The Wythe Hotel opened two blocks away, trumping K&G Williamsburg in almost every way (original design, hip crowd, view-tastic rooftop bar, and a restaurant that actually stayed open).
Now, a year later, we're wondering what's up with King & Grove Williamsburg?
What you're looking at is the view from a Baby Queen room at The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. This is one of six rooms in the hotel that essentially backs up to a brick wall. Which would normally relegate it to severe anti-view status (anyone remember this eyesore we found last year in Baltimiore?). Luckily for guests, the Wythe has commissioned a local artist to liven up the view with some sweet graffiti. Problem averted!
Graffiti or not, though, it's still a brick wall. And if you can book a "Manhattan View King room" (not pictured here), then you absolutely should. Street art is nice, but we'd take some skyscrapers over a popsicle-wielding cartoon character any day.
Click through to see photos from inside the room!
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The other day we were wandering around inside Brooklyn's The Wythe Hotel when we headed to the back of the lobby area, and discovered that the floor-to-ceiling bookcase, which sat empty on our last visit, had finally been filled—and boy, did someone get creative.
Looking through each shelf, we spotted everything from the Idiot's Guide To Learning Yiddish to the entire The Hardy Boys series to cookbooks to vintage board games like Monopoly, Connect 4 and the MAD Magazine game.
But as we recall, we also stumbled upon a nifty collection of books earlier this summer over at the The NoMad—so is this all part of some new trend? Wasn't print media supposedly going the way of the dinosaurs? Well, apparently not if NYC's two biggest new boutique hotels have anything to do with it.
What's the one thing Brooklyn's new Wythe Hotel loves more than anything? The answer, dear friends, is Brooklyn. The Wythe Hotel is more than proud of its location in the Williamsburg section of town, but nearly turns itself into a shrine to all things Williasmburger, from the art on the walls to the wood tables in the hotel's Reynard's restaurant, everything possible is made by Brooklynites to reflect the spirit of the borough.
Take for instance, the wallpaper found in the guestrooms. Walk into your home for the night and notice the toile design...then get up closer to see that the toile actually depicts little street scenes of Williamsburg, from the street signs to the architecture of the Greek Orthodox church on the next block.
And though this is a custom Dan Funderburgh design for The Wythe, Flavor Paper has made it (and the 3 other Wythe Hotel wallpaper patterns) available in their online shop.
It's pretty clear when you walk into the lobby at the new Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn just what kind of crowd they're aiming for: hip, bespectacled twenty-somethings mix with hip, older artsy folk, all of whom are mainly interested in one thing: hanging out in the bright, funky space of the brick-walled lobby, which reminds us of a cleaner, less cluttered Ace.
Which isn't to say the lobby is even that sprawling; it's just that the ceilings are ridiculously high (also, kind of like the Ace). This is also the case in the rooms, which opened for business last week with starting rates of $170/night. Not bad. And whether the people we spotted recently were legitimate guests, or just hangers-on admiring the cool space, everyone seemed to be pretty at ease in the hotel.
Here's a look at some of our favorite features in the lobby...
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Brooklyn's newest boutique hotel, The Wythe, is giving us more and more reasons to get excited about its May 1 opening, while its neighbor, the Hotel Williamsburg continues to struggle with a bit of an identity crisis.
We took a peek inside recently, and the space is huge. A modest main entrance opens into a large, bright hall where the lobby and check-in desk will be. Seamlessly, that transitions into the restaurant, Reynards, where giant windows and exposed brick give the place an artsy vibe (see another photo below).
From our first impression, it feels less like they've tried to turn a converted factory into a boutique hotel, and more like they've fashioned the hotel around these pre-existing, rugged interiors. Granted, they've also slapped on a big, flashy sign to the outside of the building that says "hotel," but even that has a fun, festive look to it.
With less than two months to go until opening, we imagine things are pretty busy down at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, where rooms, restaurant and lobby are all currently in the final stages. But as we wait to see a finished product, we're curious about what this place will look like inside.
So we went hunting for a few clues.
The website boasts that all the rooms will be equipped with custom beds (made from the building's actual recycled pine), free WiFi, and thirteen foot ceilings. According to a rep for the hotel, the actual number is twelve feet, which is the lowest ceiling height in all the rooms—not bad! Many rooms, including the lobby, are even larger. And since rooms will also have floor-to-ceiling windows, the more height, the better the view.
Remember when we spotted construction going on for Brooklyn's newest hip hotel, The Wythe back in November? Well, it looks like things have really picked up since then, as the 73-room hotel is now taking reservations for May 1, and also has a slick new website showing off the rooms, upcoming outdoor terrace, and restaurant, Reynards (hence the fox motif).
No follow-up mention on the alleged 60-seat movie theater, but we can be patient. With all the drama going on at Hotel Williamsburg, this might be the main attraction for Brooklyn for the rest of the season.