A 25-minute drive or subway ride to Midtown Manhattan attractions
Hotel lacks a spa
Rooms don't have desks
Opened in 2016, the 183-room William Vale is a luxury property in Brooklyn's hip Williamsburg neighborhood. It has stunning views of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn from numerous vantage points. The hotel embraces its setting, with rooms that are trendy, modern, and outfitted with eye-catching locally produced art. High-end amenities include flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, L'Occitane toiletries, and furnished balconies, but rooms notably lack desks. The Italian eatery Leuca receives excellent reviews, as does the rooftop bar with breathtaking cityscape views. An outdoor pool with food service is open during summer months plus there's a modern gym, but unfortunately, there's no spa. Rates are reasonable, though the 25-minute drive or subway ride to most Manhattan attractions may deter some travelers. For a similar stay in Manhattan, consider The James New York.
Hip luxury hotel showcasing local artists and panoramic views of three NYC boroughs
The William Vale opened in 2016 and climbs 23 floors over its low-rise Williamsburg neighbors to provide stunning views of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens from throughout the hotel. Inspired by the neighborhood's warehouse past -- and its current status as one of the city's trendiest spots -- the design throughout is hip and sophisticated. Nods to the area include artwork made by local Brooklyn artists in all guest rooms, as well as a striking colorful piece by Marela Zacarias that spans two floors in the lobby. Though the small lobby has a decent amount of comfy seating in neutral tones, we only saw a handful of guests hanging there on their laptops and phones. Instead, most travelers -- and plenty of locals -- can be found at the ground-floor Italian restaurant or the 22nd-floor bar, Westlight, which has handsome retro furniture, geometric-patterned floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows opening to jaw-dropping city vistas. For now, this hotel offers competitive rates -- especially for an New York luxury property -- but business travelers and tourists looking to spend a good amount of time in Manhattan may end up dropping a pretty penny on cab or subway rides.
Surrounded by bars and restaurants in Williamsburg, just a block from the East River
The William Vale sits in what's still considered one of the hippest neighborhoods in Brooklyn -- Williamsburg. There are numerous restaurants, bars, and boutiques within a 10-minute walk of the hotel, and the popular Brooklyn Brewery is just across the street. Guests are just a five-minute walk from McCarren Park, which has a running track, tennis courts, and a dog-friendly area. The closest subway stations are the L at Bedford Avenue and the G at Nassau, both located an eight-minute walk from the hotel. Most Midtown Manhattan attractions and offices will require at least a 25-minute subway ride or taxi to reach. The Financial District is roughly 30 minutes away by either cab or public transportation, as are Times Square and Central Park. Parking is available on-site for a fee, or there's street parking nearby. JFK International Airport is 45 minutes away by car, while LaGuardia Airport is around 30.
Bright and art-centric, with modern amenities and furnished city-view balconies
The 183 rooms are impeccably contemporary, but the most impressive design element just might be the floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to furnished balconies overlooking Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens. Interiors consist of light-wood floors and furniture with gold or black detailing, plus geometric-print rugs and fun accents like spherical lamps, houndstooth throw pillows, and magenta orchids. The mostly neutral palette gets a dose of color from purple ombre curtains and Brooklyn-sourced artwork. Beds are comfy and all rooms have at least a chaise lounge, while suites have separate sitting areas. Possible problems for business travelers? There are no desks -- bedside tables in front of lounges were used as makeshift workspaces during our visit.
High-end amenities include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi (or upgrades for faster speeds), stocked or empty mini-fridges depending on guest preference, and Keurig coffeemakers, plus wardrobes with safes, slippers, and ironing facilities. Luxurious bathrooms have rainfall showers, deep shower/tub combos, or separate showers and tubs in addition to L'Occitane toiletries, bathrobes, and hairdryers. The most jaw-dropping option is the Vale Garden Residence (Penthouse), which is a bi-level suite with two bedrooms, a large living room, and a huge wooden terrace with a hot tub, marble dining table, and couches.
Excellent dining options and season pool, but no spa
The hotel's drawcard for both guests and locals is the 22nd-floor rooftop bar, Westlight, which has stellar panoramic city views from floor-to-ceiling windows or the seasonal outdoor terrace. Guests get priority for drinking and small-plate dining here, but expect to see queued New Yorkers waiting to be shuffled up in a separate elevator for non-guests. For a more filling meal, the ground-floor Italian eatery, Leuca, is run by chef Andrew Carmellini and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The spacious, well-reviewed restaurant has two dining rooms plus a private area, and is outfitted in a mix of leather studded chairs, hand-painted ceramic pottery, and cube-patterned tile. A food truck, Mister Dips, is stationed outside during the summer months, serving a small menu of burgers and soft serve.
A 60-foot outdoor pool is open during warmer months and is surrounded by ample cushioned loungers. The pool deck has more lovely city vistas, and food and drink service is available. A small, but modern, gym has cardio machines and free weights, though there's no spa, which is surprising for a hotel of this caliber. Multiple meeting and event spaces are on-site, and occasional events such as flower-arranging workshops or panels are open to the public (most for a fee). There's no proper business center, but Wi-Fi is free and decently fast throughout. Guests can also upgrade for a faster connection. On-site parking is available for a fee.