Checking In: Penny Williamsburg, Brooklyn


It’s all in the details at this minimalist hotel in the heart of Williamsburg.

In Brooklyn’s on–trend Williamsburg neighbourhood, the new Penny Williamsburg is a modern hotel that seamlessly blends style and a sense of community.

From the moment you step into Penny Williamsburg, the aesthetic reflects a careful balance between minimalism and bold design. Spot ever–changing locally sourced art in the white–on–white lobby: The hotel features pieces by local artists with developmental disabilities and works in partnership with local non–profit organizations LAND Gallery and Pure Vision Arts.

November 29, 2023
Colourful artwork adorns the wall above the bed within a suite at the Penny Williamsburg
A cozy bench bridges the gap between the bed and the kitchenette in a standard room at the Penny Williamsburg

The vibe here is laidback, and the staff at Penny Williamsburg are casual yet genuine, welcoming you like a friend staying over at their pad (you can even borrow a bike to go for a ride around town). Bring a furry companion along for the stay if you like, since the hotel welcomes pets.

The hotel's small but stylish guest rooms are thoughtfully designed and well–curated. Oversized windows allow for plenty of natural light, while colourful posters add personality. Throw on the wildly comfortable bathrobe (the cult favourite Cloud Cotton Robe by Parachute) and linger in bed with a DIY pour–over coffee. There’s no need to overplan in Williamsburg: Just step outside and you will find a dozen ways to fill your day within a few blocks, from shopping at Awoke Vintage to perusing The City Reliquary Museum or browsing vinyl at Superior Elevation Records.

The indoor dining room at elNico is covered in greenery

When the sun begins to set, make your way back to Penny and head upstairs to elNico, the hotel’s greenery–filled rooftop bar and restaurant. It’s the ideal happy hour spot thanks to a menu of classic–with–a–twist cocktails like the tamarind Paloma or cranberry–hibiscus margarita, along with panoramic skyline views from floor–to–ceiling windows (and outdoor seating in warmer months). For dinner, order a selection of tacos or one of the large sharing plates that lets you pack your own tortilla with ingredients like flank steak, shishito peppers, bone marrow and salsa borracha.

A rhubarb margarita from elNico
The Rhubarb Margarita from elNico.     Photo: Eric Medsker
Large sharing plates from elNico that come with tortillas, flank steak, shishito peppers, bone marrow and salsa borracha
Large sharing plates from elNico.

Worth reserving (well) ahead of time: Nearby Michelin–starred restaurant The Four Horsemen guarantees a dining experience you will remember. The buzzed–about restaurant is known for its carefully curated wine list and an ever–changing menu of delicious — and unique — dishes that will haunt you in the best way (braised leek toast with whipped ricotta and anchovies; fresh pasta with ’Nduja Bolognese).

Penny Williamsburg is not over–the–top, but that’s exactly what the hotel is aiming for: Cool, curated and casual is just the right combo in a neighbourhood that reflects the same ethos.