When I booked to go to New York for my 30th birthday I knew the saying ‘Go Big Or Go Home’ would apply. Because you only get one 30th birthday and the last time I’d been in The Big Apple was mid-divorce so I thought, you know what, LET’S DO THIS.
And knowing I was visiting Williamsburg for the week there really is only one place you can Go Big Or Go Home at:
The Wythe Hotel is an old factory located on North 11th st and Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a 2 minute stroll to the water (which explains its simply amazing views) and 2 blocks in the other direction to Bedford Avenue which is the place you want to be for bars, restaurants and the L subway to take you under the river to Manhattan (1 stop). It’s around the corner from my old company Vice‘s offices (so I got to hang with some ex-colleagues) and over the road from the Vice-owned trendy Kinfolk bar. It’s across the street from The Brooklyn Bowl (DJ Questlove every Thursday @ 11pm!) and within a 3 minute walk from the Brooklyn Brewery and the Brooklyn Winery. Basically, if you have a slight interest in booze and/or music then it gets 10/10 for location.
Pre-arrival at the Wythe I hassled the lovely folk on reception by phone to make sure they knew it was my birthday – I wanted to book a room with knockout views of Manhattan and they did not disappoint. I booked a couple of weeks before I arrived so the rooms on the higher floors were taken but mine on, erm, the 5th I think, was really brilliant. The category of room I chose was the Manhattan View King.
So let’s discuss the room, shall we? Starting with this minibar of absolutely epic proportions.
I loved how most things in it were locally produced or sourced – except for the Fevertree mixers which I was really happy to see (nothing like a nice British tonic water to make you feel at home, eh?!). The spirits were full-size which meant you had to drink all of it or take them away with you; I cracked open a bottle of raw honey Barr Hill gin and Kirsty and I only managed to get through half of it so I left it with her when I travelled home.
There’s also a fridge where you’ll find wine, champagne and soft drinks as well as a little compartment filled with ice (v handy).
It’s worth noting that there is no room service but you have the option of ordering coffee and pastries in your room for breakfast. I didn’t do this and to be honest it would have been nice if this ~$7 charge was included in the cost of the v. expensive hotel room. I did however have a very happy couple of hungover mornings eating beef jerky from the minibar in bed. Beef jerky and Mexican coca-cola breakfast ftw!!
The floors in the room were polished concrete which were very pleasant to walk around on. There’s underfloor heating in the winter months but as I was visiting in sweltering July I only used the very efficient air conditioning.
The bed was heaven. Everything I look for in a bed, basically. Big, soft, warm. 10/10 would sleep in again. There was a clock radio one side of the bed and a jack to jack on the other which is where you could plug in your iPhone or any other audio device. The music quality from this was one of the most impressive things about the room; I listened to a LOT of loud Beyoncé here during my birthday week.
The bathroom was pretty good as far as bathrooms go with stacks of towels and full-size toiletries and a huge shower. No bathtub but I think this is consistent with the rest of the hotel. There was a handy 1-way mirror in the cubicle so you could gaze at the view while you showered but if there was anyone else in the room they could only see your reflection. I had loads of fun flashing Kirsty through this mirror while we were getting ready to go out one night. FUN TIMES.
The big mirror. I loved this mirror.
Let’s discuss this view, shall we? I would never get bored of this view; across the river to Manhattan, the Empire State building and a bunch of other big buildings. Just beautiful. I took great pleasure in making a point to sit and quietly drink this in for at least five minutes every day.
Downstairs is Reynards restaurant, a really cool place for breakfast, lunch and dinner (Kirsty has at different times sat next to Alexa Chung and Donatella Versace while eating there). I joined the rest of the MacBook warriors in there one morning for breakfast and it was very lovely – the tea was not All That though. Would order coffee next time.
Upstairs you’ll find the rooftop bar Ides which has an absolutely breathtaking view over Manhattan as the sun sets. It gets hideously busy and there’s usually a queue in the lobby downstairs but as a resident of the hotel you can bypass this and whizz your way up to the top. Glorious.
The Wythe is definitely not a cheap option but for a special occasion I’d come back here. It’s achingly trendy and it knows it – so if this makes you feel uncomfortable it’s probably not the place for you. But for Williamsburg location and my decor taste I adored it.
What a hipster wanker ;)