Planning a trip to New York City? We suggest you skip tourist-heavy Manhattan and opt to stay in Brooklyn. Just a few reasons: Most of its hotels are close to the East River esplanades, which have iconic skyline views. And even though it's the city's most populous borough, Brooklyn feels less hectic than Manhattan and has a much more authentic, local feel. Plus, Brooklyn has plenty of its own top-notch restaurants, bars, parks, shops, and attractions. And when Manhattan beckons, it is only a short cab, ferry, bike, or subway ride away.
Best of all, Brooklyn offers a fantastic variety of accommodations, from budget to mid-level to luxe, all for less than similar options in Manhattan. Here, we recommend two picks at each budget level: one in the trendy North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and one in Greater Downtown Brooklyn.
North Brooklyn: Pod Brooklyn
Pod Brooklyn, the newest hotel to open in Williamsburg, is also its most budget-friendly option. In low season, nightly rates go as low as $76. Despite the relatively small square footage, the rooms are smartly designed and feel welcoming. Plus, the property offers plenty of public spaces, including four rooftop areas, a work and play room, and a craft beer and burger restaurant. Moreover, its location on Metropolitan Avenue is within steps of dozens of bars, restaurants, two cinemas, and is four blocks from the waterfront.
Downtown Brooklyn: The Tillary Hotel
Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Fort Greene Park are all within a 20-minute walk (or a 5-minute cab ride) of the Tillary Hotel. Take advantage of the boutique property’s advance purchase deal, which takes 35 percent off rates. That puts a classic king or queen room for late fall travel in at $90 per weeknight, or $147 per weekend night. Start your day off at the chic, onsite cafe. After a day of exploration, have a night cap at the Whiskey Bar & Deck, which offers elevated outdoor seating with neighborhood views.
North Brooklyn: Henry Norman Hotel
Keeping with the small neighborhood feel, the boutique, 50-room Henry Norman Hotel is housed in a converted 19th century warehouse. Natural oak hardwood floors, local art, and free wifi run throughout the common spaces and loft-like accommodations. Just up the street, stroll through Monsignor McGolrick Park, or perk up with a latte at the original Café Grumpy location, as seen on the HBO series, Girls. Last-minute stays are available from $161 per night.
Downtown Brooklyn: NU Hotel
Technically in the Boerum Hill neighborhood, NU Hotel is billed as the area's original boutique hotel. It’s convenient Atlantic Avenue location puts you within 10 minutes of Brooklyn Bridge Park to the west, Barclay’s Center to the east, Smith Street (considered Brooklyn's original Restaurant Row) to the south, and Downtown Brooklyn to the north. Inside, expect a modern aesthetic with minimalist design and pops of art influenced by local street artists. Book low-season weekend dates from $198 per night. The rate includes free wifi and daily breakfast.
North Brooklyn: The William Vale
Williamsburg’s first true 5-star hotel is a game changer. The William Vale’s high-rise glass tower, perched on an elevated green park platform, is a modern contrast to the surrounding old industrial buildings. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and open-air balconies, ideal for admiring sweeping views of the Empire State Building. Highlights among its many amenities include the city’s longest outdoor hotel pool, a 22nd-floor rooftop bar, and three unique dining concepts helmed by renown local chef, Andrew Carmellini. Book a holiday season weekend stay from $356 per night. Check the hotel’s special offers page for seasonal deals.
Downtown Brooklyn: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
With Brooklyn Bridge Park and the East River as it’s backyard, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hotel with more jaw-dropping city views. At just over a year old, the new-build 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge adds 5-star flair to Brooklyn’s increasingly upscale D.U.M.B.O. and Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods. Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path, and three subway lines are all within a short walking distance. However, it's tempting to stay put at the hotel and enjoy its rooftop bar, meals at The Osprey restaurant, or simply kick back and admire the panoramic city views. Holiday weekend stays from $366 per night.