I’ll be honest. I never thought I was quite “hip” enough for Brooklyn. But after reading “New York Now” in Travel & Leisure last August, I knew I had to get over myself. For it was in this article that I was introduced to The Wythe Hotel, a former textile factory situated on the Williamsburg waterfront that was converted into a 72-room ever-so-chic eco-friendly hotel. Lucky for me, I was able to score a room after the NY Gift Show a few weeks ago and my expectations were blown away.
From the moment I walked through the door, I knew I belonged. The lobby area, designed by Workstead, a Brooklyn-based firm, was effortless. The wood floors, wood benches, floor to ceiling windows and columns throughout the area were reclaimed from the original structure dating back to 1901. I was greeted by an ever-so-hype gentleman (with thick tortoise glasses, of course) who checked me in to my historic queen room on the 5th floor with views of Brooklyn. Upon opening my door, I was struck by the “less is more” design aesthetic. In reading a review, the owners/developers claimed that by “doing less allows the natural essence of the building to shine through.” And shine through it did. The wood bed, again made from re-claimed wood, was simply dressed in white linens, my favorite. What caught my eye though was the nouveau toile wallpaper designed by Dan Funderburgh and printed in Brooklyn. (Just love how Brooklyn shines throughout the hotel). Nothing like seeing a pair of New Balance in your toile wallpaper to make you feel oh so hip.
My night ended at Ides, the rooftop bar on the 6th floor, oddly enough named for the owner’s daughter, and a play on the old adage “beware of the ides of March.” Sipping my cocktail with a dear friend and taking in the views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline, I knew my head may hurt a bit in the morning, but it would be well worth it. All in all, I plan to return to The Wythe again and again as I realized being hip really comes down to embracing yourself and the surroundings around you.