Williamsburg’s first boutique hotel opens

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Williamsburg, opened on N. 12th Street this week, combining a sleek, big-city aesthetic with small-town hospitality.

Minneapolis-based hoteliers Jim and Ben Graves, the father-and-son braintrust behind the northside’s newest nightspot, have outfitted the 64-room hotel with supple leather and steel furniture, soft industrial lighting, and a dash of Minnesota niceness.

“Anyone can build four walls, but we are going to bring great service,” said Ben Graves. “We look forward to bringing Midwestern hospitality to Williamsbu­rg.”

Guests check in at a compact but elegant lobby, which has a small stream running under its pane glass floor.

Rooms at the eight story hotel, starting at $295 a night, are equipped with bamboo hardwood floors, teardrop-shaped leather side chairs, retro chic record players and bottles of craft vodka, whiskey and other spirits.

The most luxurious room costs $3,500 a night for an swanky two-bedroom pad that could play host to a Justin Timberlake afterparty (it’s too classy for Ashton).

But it’s not just for out-of-towners.

Brooklynites can simpress a date at the hotel’s cocktail lounge and sip Tobey Maloney’s refreshing rum and gin creations or lure a group to its cozy ground-floor restaurant Pillar and Plough, which opens on Nov. 20.

Gone is the high-concept street food idea the Graveses tossed around last year.

Instead, the Graveses brought in Andrés Grundy from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon to compose a seasonal menu featuring prime rib, barbecued skate wing, razor clams and crab in a seafood broth, and roasted vegetable salads — all of which should come in under $20.

When the weather gets a bit warmer, the hotel’s outdoor courtyard swimming pool could be the game changer that convinces pale condo dwellers to shed some layers and finally get a tan.

And the hotel’s airy rooftop bar which will be serving drinks until 4 am is destined to become the last stop for many delirious Williamsburg party nights.

Next spring, the hotel will get some competition as DUMBO’s Walentas family opens its boutique hotel a mere two blocks away — but the Graveses think their Midwestern charm is their hidden asset.

“A couple of people gave our staff hugs when they checked out,” said Jim Graves. “They said it’s their new home when they come to the city.”

Hotel Williamsburg [160 N. 12th St. between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218-7500]. For reservations, e-mail or visit

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.

Updated 11:57 am, November 9, 2011: Whoa, nelly! Hotel Williamsburg is not the borough's first boutique hotel, just the newest. Sorry, Nu Hotel on Smith Street. And a prior version of this story had Jim Graves's first name wrong. Did we fix that, too? You betcha!
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Reader Feedback

InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
Aaron Short
Do you even live in Brooklyn? @ least do some fact checking…..

These are two of the finest boutique that exists!

hotel le bleu
370 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Hotel, Nu
85 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Nov. 9, 2011, 10 am
Williamsburg from Dennis says:
Ugh. Just ugh.
Nov. 9, 2011, 3:54 pm
BurgBandit from Da burg says:
The whyte hotel will kick this ones butt, even though this one has a pool they better drop prices during the winter.
Nov. 11, 2011, 6:46 am

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