If you’re planning a trip to New York and want an alternative to the crowds and hustle and bustle of staying in Manhattan, look no further than Brooklyn.

A few weekends ago, I was treated to a stay at one of the chicest boutique hotels on the other side of the East River – The Hoxton, Williamsburg. Just off hip Wythe Ave, the Hoxton Williamsburg welcomes guests with one of the coziest hotel lobbies I’ve seen in recent memory. 

The main entrance to The Hoxton in Williamsburg, NYC
The cheeky main entrance to The Hoxton in Williamsburg, NYC © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

A stylish place to hang or work remote

Featuring lots of nooks and comfy corners to kick your feet up and rest, the spacious yet homey lobby of The Hoxton is the perfect spot to meet a friend or work remotely, whether you’re staying at the hotel or just a neighbor looking for a spot to grab some coffee and catch up on emails.

Right off of the lobby is Klein’s, the hotel’s bar and restaurant on the first floor with a buzzing ambiance and impressive selection of unique cocktails. The hotel is open for weekend brunch as well as dinner nightly beginning at 4pm. I pulled up a stool to the bar for dinner and opted for the “salsa verde” cocktail, a unique twist on a margarita, and it was delightful. The food menu is small but satisfying; the roasted mushrooms were definitely a highlight. The hotel also has an exciting new Israeli kebab restaurant opening on the rooftop early this year. 

the Manhattan skyline view from a room at The Hoxton
An incredible view at all times of day; the Manhattan skyline view from a room at The Hoxton © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

The best views of NYC are in Williamsburg

I always say the best views of the iconic New York City skyline are not from within Manhattan itself, but the other side of the river in Williamsburg. That was definitely the case with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows in my guestroom. Each room comes with some heavy-duty blackout curtains, however, I opted to sleep with them open so I could be woken up by the views of the sunrise over the skyline the morning, something I don’t have from my own apartment.

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The interior of a room at The Hoxton
The well-appointed interiors of The Hoxton rooms © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

What are the rooms like? 

The room itself is what you’d expect for a boutique hotel and comparable in size to most of the hotels in Manhattan within the similar price range. I especially loved the plush bed and green velvet headboard – a statement piece in the modern and sleek rooms. The hotel building is the former factory of the Rosenwach Water Towers, the oldest water tank company in the US, details of which are reflected in the raw concrete finishes found throughout the guest rooms.

A complimentary promotion package that is often part of a stay at The Hoxton
A complimentary promotion package that is often part of a stay at The Hoxton © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

The Hoxton hotel chain frequently offers promotion packages across their portfolio of properties, so be sure to check out the offers page on their website when booking. During my stay they had a partnership with the cereal brand OffLimits which meant a cozy little treat waiting for me in my room.

Domino Park in Brooklyn
Domino Park in Brooklyn, a close walk from the Hoxton hotel © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

Explore the neighborhood: Bushwick Inlet Park, Domino Park and Roberta's Pizza 

The hotel is located right across the street from Bushwick Inlet Park, a green space that just received $75 million in funding to expand upon and upgrade the existing open space and serve as a great spot to soak up those iconic NYC skyline views and maybe join the locals in a friendly game of soccer. 

Just a 10-minute walk from the hotel is Domino Park, another green space on the Brooklyn waterfront built on the former site of the Domino Sugar factory (hence the name). The park features a playground, sand volleyball courts, lots of green space to lounge and a new adjacent strip of restaurants and bars like Roberta’s pizza and Other Half Brewing. 

While the holiday season is usually pretty chaotic in New York with the expected hustle and bustle of locals and tourists alike, you’d never know it from the quiet streets in Williamsburg. A stay at The Hoxton, Williamsburg offers a much quieter alternative to the hubbub of The Big Apple, while still only being one subway ride away from all the action in Manhattan. 

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The Caesar salad at Klein's restaurant, Hoxton
A tasty Caesar salad at Klein's restaurant inside the Hoxton Williamsburg © Caitlin Riddell / Lonely Planet

While you’re in the area check out a few of my favorite local establishments:

  • Dolly’s Swing & Dive – the perfect neighborhood dive bar that pays tribute to the iconic Dolly Parton

  • Cafe Mogador – a family-run Moroccan and Middle Eastern restaurant with the best hummus and halloumi

  • Shelter – the coziest restaurant in Williamsburg and my favorite spot to frequent during the colder months.

  • Brooklyn Brewery – a local microbrewery offering tastings and tours

  • Rule of Thirds – a delicious Japanese restaurant in Greenpoint with a huge U-shaped bar that serves as a great spot to meet up with friends 

Caitlin Riddell stayed at the Hoxton Hotel by invitation.

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