Planning a New York trip, but want to avoid Manhattan’s notoriously expensive shoebox hotel rooms?
You’re not the only one. More visitors are venturing across the East River to Brooklyn to enjoy a more laid back pace and cheaper lodgings.
We look at five Brooklyn neighbourhoods that are worth laying your head – from bohemian Williamsburg to the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights.
Hurry though, before the real estate prices in these neighbourhoods catch up with Manhattan.
This old industrial neighbourhood is a haven for hipsters and emerging artists. The emergence of luxury hotels, classy bars and restaurants have paved the way for the opening of live music venues – and a thriving music scene. The Music Hall of Williamsburg holds regular concerts and poetry readings while MacCaren Park plays host to top movie and music festivals during the summer months and are all worth a visit.
Where to stay: Wythe Hotel
This former textile factory – built in 1901 – has been given a second life as a chic hotel that opened its doors in May.
The Wythe’s owners – Australian hotelier Peter Lawrence and restauranteur Andrew Tarlow – have preserved and salvaged much of the old factory, from the ceilings and bed frames in the hotel rooms, which are made from reclaimed wood to the exposed red brick walls. The result? A vintage meets modern minimalist design and more space for your money. There’s a lot of buzz around the popular Reynards restaurant downstairs, while the rooftop bar – Indes – already has quite a following. With amazing city skyline views from the terrace, it’s easy to see why.
Doubles start at $175 (£112) per night.
This diverse neighbourhood has something for everyone. Whether it’s relaxing in the beautiful Sunset Park checking out the stunning views of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty, or shopping in the Latin American Market, you won’t get bored in this diverse neighbourhood. For a night out, the Living Room Lounge is the best place to let loose. There are also plenty of specialist food joints where you can get decent portions of home cooked dishes.
Where to stay: Park House Hotel
This hotel not only offers you an affordable stay, but also gives you the option of self-catering. Set on the borders of Sunset and Borough Park, transport links in to Manhattan are close by and the rooms are spacious and stylish and all have a kitchenette equipped with modern amenities. Breakfast is available downstairs, which is a good option if you’re not up for cooking one morning!
Doubles start from $149 (£95) per night.
This small neighbourhood is nestled between some of Brooklyn’s most charming neighbourhoods (Cobble Hill and Prospect Heights) and is home to well-maintained sidewalks and tall red brick houses. Atlantic Avenue is a quirky retail haven that will cater to everyone’s needs and the equally trendy Smith Street is also worth a stop for its independent boutiques, locally run cafés, bars and restaurants.
Where to stay: Nu Hotel
This hotel is stylish but has a strong Brooklyn feel to it. The all-white minimalist design is broken up by funky furniture, objects from nearby landmarks and colourful artwork from local painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Each of the 93 loft inspired rooms is unique, with some featuring hammocks and oversized beds. The hotel has a strong eco-friendly policy – from the beds made up with organic cotton sheets to the rooms with cork floors and lead free paint. But the quirkiest thing about this hotel are the chalkboard bathroom walls: feel free to leave a cheeky a message!
Doubles start from $211 (£135) per night.
This family-friendly backs onto Brooklyn’s biggest green space and also houses one of the oldest and largest museums in America: the Brooklyn Museum. Fifth Avenue is where you will find an array of independent boutiques and a selection of trendy dining options, while live music venue Union Hall is the place to hear local talent. Getting in and out of Park Slope is made easy with the vast array of transport links which also makes the buzzing nightlife scene easily accessible.
Where to stay: Le Bleu
This boutique hotel has been one of Park Slope’s first ‘full service’ hotels, offering everything from gym access and complimentary Wi-Fi to free local calls and in-room snacks. As its name suggests, the theme here is blue and each room is suitably decked out in various shades as well as all the modern amenities you may need. At night time the rooftop becomes a lively meeting point, where you can eat, drink and dance, all in view of the Manhattan skyline.
Doubles start from $254 (£163) per night.
This historic neighbourhood is a convenient 10-minute subway ride away from Manhattan. Its most popular attraction (aside from its carefully restored brownstones) is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade that stretches along the East River and boasts amazing views of the iconic New York skyline. Nightlife here is bustling and there’s a range of classy dining and drinking options too choose from. At Pete’s Candy Store, ‘Quizz off’ night is popular with the locals and is a good opportunity to try their highly recommended martinis and cocktails.
Where to stay: Aloft
The great location of this stylish hotel offers you the best of both worlds. Positioned close to the Brooklyn landmarks and just one subway stop away from mainland Manhattan, you won’t be missing out on anything. The hotel is home to some popular social spots, including The Brooklyn Terrace, a mellow club set on the rooftop and the ‘W XYZ’ bar, a buzzing cocktail bar with regular live acts, which are both worth a stop. The decently sized rooms have been stylishly designed and the accommodating staff will be more than willing to help you out with tips on where the locals go.
Doubles start from $229 (£149) per night.
More more information on what to see and do in Brooklyn, click here