The William Vale: Tried, Tested & Recommended

Expert Rating: 9/10

One of New York’s hottest hotels. Plum in the middle of Williamsburg (AKA hipsterville), it spans 14 floors of Brooklyn’s most stylish new building. There is a huge outdoor pool deck, groovy rooftop bar with 360 views, two top chefs and futuristic rooms have a balcony and cinematic views of Manhattan.


Location: 9/10

The William Vale sits between McCarren Park and the waterfront on the quieter end of New York’s trendiest neighbourhood, Williamsburg. The hotel is a short walk to Billyburg’s stores, restaurants and music venues (Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, Knitting Factory) and the Nitehawk Cinema (a dine-in cinema). In summer check out the outdoor Smorgasburg food market on the East River State park. Citibikes can be rented nearby for short hops to neighbouring hoods; Greenpoint, Bushwick and Dumbo. The L and G subways to Manhattan are five minutes walk away as is the N6th St ferry to Manhattan.

Style & Character: 8/10

This 183 room (and 25 suite) hotel occupies the bottom two floors and the top 11 floors of this iconic stretchy-looking building by New York architects Albo Liberis. Canadian firm Studio Munge’s interiors are light and futuristic with lots of discrete geometric details, dove greys and blond wood. Floor to ceiling glass walls offer incredible views. The only disappointment is the lobby lounge which feels a bit dull, unlike the futuristic rooms.

Service & facilities: 9/10

The hotel boasts the largest hotel pool in New York, on a 5,000 square-foot outdoor pool deck surrounded by plush loungers, (sadly only open for four months from June to September). Westlight is the most dazzling rooftop bar in New York with a 360-view of Manhattan and Brooklyn. A high-tech gym overlooks the pool and, out front, there’s an elevated park with grassy knoll and underneath a shopping concourse with stores and cafés. The full-service concierge desk offers good insider local tips. On-site parking is just $22 (£17) a night (half the price of a Manhattan hotel).

Rooms: 9/10

Staying at the William Vale can feel like you are on the set of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Sliding white glass doors edged with black open into the bathroom, and in the evening the bathroom glows like a giant cube. There are futuristic glowing edge details on the balcony and even the wardrobe with its zig zag doors eerily emits light.

The star of each room is the huge private balcony with chairs and a table for eating, sunbathing or viewing the sunset over the East River. There is a large flat TV, phone dock, Frette linens, L’Occitane en Provence toiletries and a fridge you can have custom filled with your favourite drinks and snacks.

Food & Drink: 9/10

This hotel has food and drink for every mood, curated by two of the city’s top Michelin-starred chefs. Andrew Carmellini provides the room service and runs Leuca, a modern Italian restaurant. Breakfast options include house-pressed juices ($8/£6), pastries (from $3.50/£3), and dishes like mushroom, herb and cheese frittata or lemon-ricotta pancakes with pine nut butter (both $15/£12). Enjoy dinner casually in the extensive bar area or feel a bit more glam in the moodily-lit dining room. Dine on the likes of wood-fired pizzas (from $15/£12) to wood-fire-roasted lobster ‘in purgatorio’ ($44/£35). Finish the night with sweet treats like Sicilian pistachio cake with ice cream ($11/£9).

Wylie Dusfresne is a spinmaster of flavours. Hi Du’s Donuts on the concourse serves New England-style cake donuts and crullers in flavours that riff on American classics. Brown butter key lime or peanut butter yazu anyone? And in the park, Mister Dips’ 1974 airstream trailer serves $6 (£5) burgers, fries and dips. For nighttime glamor, Westlight, the hotel’s hugely popular rooftop bar offers amazing views, drinks and small plates like lobster summer rolls  and baby back ribs by Carmellini’s kitchen.

Vale for Money: 8/10

Double rooms from $375 (£295) in low season; and from $425 (£334) in high. Breakfast mains from $11 (£9). Free Wi-Fi.

Access for guests with disabilities?

There are 10 rooms accessible by wheelchair.


Cots on request at no extra cost and roll-out beds are available in the suites