Anthea Gerrie discovers an affordable base for a hip Brooklyn neighbourhood at New York’s Hotel Indigo Williamsburg
Sitting at that rare confluence of hip yet still affordable, the Hotel Indigo Williamsburg offers a great base for exploring the closer shores of Brooklyn which increasing numbers of creative New Yorkers now call home.
Actually walkable to Manhattan via its eponymous bridge, Williamsburg is an old Jewish neighbourhood transformed into a lively new multi-cultural residential district with a busy commercial life, awash in ethnic restaurants and some of New York’s most desirable shopping. And for sightseers in a hurry, the Indigo sits next to subway stops on two different lines which bring the major attractions of the Big Apple within a 10-minute train ride.
In keeping with the ethos of the Indigo brand – stylish but with individual quirks particular to each hotel – rooms at the multi-storey Williamsburg property, which also houses apartments, field a pleasingly retro vibe. Hardwood floors pay homage to the neighbourhood’s many warehouse conversions, but are softened with attractive rugs and bed coverings – and there are 26 suites whose living-rooms offer dedicated workspaces as well as sofas armchairs, fridges and coffee stations.
At lobby level a large horseshoe-shaped counter beneath a soaring double-height ceiling is a convivial place for coffee from a rated local roaster or evening drinks, with adjacent tables where an appealing all-day menu is served to guests. Particularly enticing choices were on offer in the attractive “winter chalet” set up in the lobby during my visit – hot toddies, pumpkin soup, cheese or chocolate fondues, served alongside other winter-warming dishes and cocktails until February 29 – but American food showing the southern influence of the kitchen is available all year round.
A more formal restaurant will provide a new dining offering when current renovations are complete, and summer guests can enjoy wings, tacos and other tasty guests at a fourth-floor outdoor swimming pool with bar and terrace.
A particularly attractive year-round feature of the Indigo Williamsburg is a courtyard garden with Adirondack chairs and fire pit for outdoor refreshment and relaxation behind a gate locked at night for security, although the area is considered safe and walkable. Between here and the subway a bodega – that uniquely American mix of convenience store, off-licence, deli and ATM – makes getting out cash or picking up snacks to bring back to the room a breeze.
Walking by day with a local is a great way to see the area – Amalya, a designer of sustainable fashion when not taking guests round the neighbourhood from Like A Local Tours, gave me a snapshot of Williamsburg’s changing face while showing me her favourite vintage shops – check out Stella Dallas and Malin Landaus, as well as the non-vintage Shoemarket for great earrings, scarves, socks and hats as well as designer shoes with a Scandi vibe.
Walking back to the hotel on my own, I was surprised to come across a branch of Hermes between the bric a brac and second-hand stores – a sign that the gentrification of Sixth Street, which starts right opposite the hotel at the junction with Metropolitan and Union avenues, is virtually complete.
If location is all for a hotel, the Hotel Indigo Williamsburg has it in spades – and although there is a fitness centre open 24/7, the icing on its cake is a fleet of complimentary bikes for guests who may want to explore other hip corners of the borough close to the river. These include DUMBO, full of fun eateries beneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, and long-gentrified Brooklyn Heights just beyond, with its elegant Victorian brownstones and promenade.
Tell Me More About Visiting Hotel Indigo Williamsburg In Brooklyn New York
Hotel Indigo Williamsburg 500 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211
Tel: +1 718 577 2525
Rooms from $250
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