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The WIlliam Vale

William Vale – the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn

by Nordh

The days are gone when New York was synonymous with Manhattan alone. Brooklyn is in the midst of an explosion of new luxury condos, upscale boutique hotels and trendy restaurants. The borough that was once dismissed as New York’s dullest and grittiest has morphed into a hip neighbourhood that attracts both New Yorkers and visitors in unprecedented numbers.
 
During my most recent visit to New York City, I set aside a couple of day to explore the borough that was once not considered worthy a spot in the itinerary. I was particularly curious on the latest addition to the Williamsburg skyline – the William Vale.

Floating above the otherwise low-slung Williamsburg neighbourhood, nestled on the cusp of 12th Street and Wythe Avenue, lies this brand new hotel, filled to the brim with picture-postcard NYC moments. Opened in September 2016, the 260,000-square-foot William Vale stands 250 feet and 22 stories tall as it lords over its neighbours. The hotel boasts 183 luxurious rooms along with impressive resort-class amenities, including NYC’s longest outdoor hotel pool, an elevated 5,000 square-foot promenade and a rooftop bar with astounding views of Manhattan.

The William Vale

The Exterior

The William Vale

Courtesy: William Vale

The William Vale

The spectacular exterior design of the William Vale. Architecture by Albo Liberis, interiors by Studio Munge.

Upon entering through the sliding glass lobby doors it quickly became apparent that the hotel is tastefully designed with the artistic aesthetic in mind. The interior design is contemporary, deriving its beauty from its simplicity rather than kitschy and over-the-top furnishings.

 The hotel’s carefully curated interiors feature an elegant palate of finishes, including hardwood floors, a modern colour palette and tastefully selected local art. The ceiling of the white marble lobby is soaring high, and one of its walls is adorned with a large-scale three-dimensional sculpture, created by Brooklyn-based artist Marela Zacarias.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The sculpture pays homage to Brooklyn …

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

… and derives inspiration from Native American heritage.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me
The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

 

Rooms & Suites

The William Vale houses a total of 183 luxurious rooms, 25 of which are suites. Each room comes with a private balcony that offers skyline views of Manhattan’s gleaming building towers and Brooklyn’s hip streetscape.

I stayed in a King with Balcony, which was compact but well-appointed, featuring hardwood floors and modern furnishing. Clean lines of custom metalwork details and a mix of soft neutral textures provided visual interest whilst an earthly palette dominated the rest of the room, evoking a feeling of youthness.

My room was outfitted with a king bed, positioned on an elegant floating bed frame. The 12-inch top fitted mattress and comfortable Frette linens further heightened the luxurious ambience. Storage space was provided in form of a mirrored wardrobe, and an in-room refrigerator was stocked daily with complimentary bottled water.  

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me
The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

Clean lines of custom metalwork details and a mix of soft neutral textures provided visual interest.

The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York
The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York

The bathroom was spacious and showcased quality finishes and fixtures, combining attention to detail with contemporary simplicity. It featuring glass-enclosed rainfall style showers, giant towels, plush robes and bath amenities by L’Occitane en Provence.

The 9 ft. floor-to-ceiling balcony glass windows induced an outdoor feel and flooded the interior with natural light by day, whilst offering panoramic glittering views by night. A sofa, neatly positioned by the glass walls, provided a quiet oasis to watch the East River ferries drift by, while taking in both sunsets and sunrises.

Large sliding glass doors open to the private balconies, fully furnished with comfortable chairs and a small coffee table. The suites offer 309 sq. ft. wraparound balconies with sunbeds, and the two-floor duplex suite, aptly named the Vale Garden Residence, features a 1,632 sq. ft. furnished patio with an open air Jacuzzi.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

After settling into my beautiful room it was time to enjoy some snacks at the balcony.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The low slung neighbourhood of Brooklyn …

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

… in stark contrast to the soaring high towers of Manhattan.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The view from my room – with several iconic beacons of modernity towering over the city, including the MetLife Tower, New York Life Insurance Company, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler & the MetLife Building.

 

Facilities & Amenities

Atop a slab of the William Vale lies the 15,000 sq. feet Vale Park. With its meticulously landscaped lush green spaces, rolling hills and full view of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Williamsburg waterfront, the publicly accessible park offers guests respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The elevated promenade is also home to a retrofitted 1974 Airstream trailer, dubbed Mister Dips. The burger and ice cream stand, run by Andrew Carmellini serves up burgers, waffles fries and ice cream.

On the 3rd floor of the property lies the 5,000 sq. ft. open-air Vale Terrace, fitting a seasonal swimming deck with a 60 feet long swimming pool, making it the longest hotel pool in New York City. Other facilities and amenities include 20,000+ square feet of event space, including a banquet hall, ballroom and salon, conference rooms, meeting rooms and outdoor spaces.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

Burger stand Mister Dips operates out of a charming retro-fitted 1974 Airstream trailer.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

Two staircases lead to the second-level deck of the of the double-decker rooftop bar.

 
Perched 22 floors high lies a sprawling rooftop bar, Westlight, where guests can enjoy a selection of signature cocktails, rare spirits and delectable nibbles. The venue offers an indoor lounge fitted with glass walls, as well as an outer wraparound deck.

Westlight attracts travelers and locals alike and has become a darling among the guests, who are lining up to get a taste of the Instagram-worthy skyline views of Manhattan and the surrounding neighbourhood. After all, the best view of New York is from above and afar, a view that is often beyond our seeing as we stand amid the looming skyscrapers in the middle of Manhattan.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The best view of New York is from above and afar. Photo taken from William Vale’s 22 floors high rooftop terrace, Westlight.

About an hour before the sun was to set, I ascended to the 22 floor along with my photography gear to see if Westlight would live up to the hype. Plenty of hotels in New York City boast about their rooftop terraces, but I can honestly say that the exquisite views from the wraparound terrace at the top of the property were completely unrivaled.

I wandered over to the edge and grabbed one of the yellow observation binoculars mounted around the bar. As I peered through them I could see in all directions – unobstructed views of Brooklyn, parts of Queens, a slice of Long Island, not to mention the East River and Manhattan. For a photography buff like me, the 360-degree vantage point was golden, as it allowed me to capture the dramatic skyline from different angles.

To the west, the sun was descending into the Manhattan landscape as a few lonely clouds were slowly tumbling. Directly below me stood the rooftops of dozens of properties in the otherwise low-slung neighbourhood, appearing as minuscule ants in comparison. As the stars began to twinkle in the darkening night sky I realized I had lost time of how long I marveled at the architectural wonders of the city, so I quickly whisked up my gear and descended to the 18th floor to befriend my comfy bed.

The William Vale

Westlight offered a 360-degree vantage point which allowed me to capture the dramatic skyline from different angles.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me
The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me
The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me
The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

Top right: New York’s landmark Met Life Tower, built in 1909, is easily recognizable in the skyline with its gold cupola, tall arcade & scalloped arched windows. Bottom: Guests are lining up to get a taste of the Instagram-worthy skyline views of Manhattan.

The William Vale - the Ultimate Urban Retreat in Brooklyn | nordh.me

The yellow, mauve and orange skies blended together as the sun was descending into the Manhattan landscape. A few lonely clouds were slowly tumbling and the stars began to twinkle in the darkening night sky.

 

Location

Nestled just off Wythe Avenue, the William Vale is situated in Williamsburg – Brooklyn’s most coveted area. The neighbourhood offers everything from low key to Michelin-starred restaurants as well as trendy rooftop bars and a thriving entertainment scene. Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg’s main thoroughfare, down the street from the William Vale, and attracts visitors with its eclectic boutique shops, local vintage stores and bohemian flea markets.

For your convenience, I’ve created a map with the nearest bus stops, subway stations and points of interests. Zoom deeper to see more. All these attractions and sights are within walking distance of The William Vale.

The hotel’s location along the waterfront of the East River places it mere blocks from the seven-acre East River State Park; a favourite spot for recreation and relaxation among locals. During the evening, I took a stroll along the promenade whilst being wowed by the unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. I continued to wander further south for about 15-minutes and was met by the beautiful Williamsburg Bridge that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Further away, but still within easy reach lies Manhattan. Commuting to the island is a breeze, as the proximity to the waterfront gives quick and easy access to the East River Ferry (Station N. 6th St. / North Williamsburg). The nearest subway station, Bedford Avenue, is an 7-minute walk, and the L train will take you to Union Square in less than 7 minutes. The L subway line runs straight across Manhattan along 14th Street, and crosses vibrant neighbourhood such as Chelsea and East Village.

The location of the William Vale

 

The William Vale – a Destination in Itself

The William Vale is as much a lifestyle as it is a hotel, it’s a destination in itself. An ultimate urban retreat that offers visitors an escape from the fast-paced and hectic Manhattan.

For a hotel that is new to the hospitality scene, I was pleasantly surprised of what the property had to offer. The impressive array of amenities, in particular the largest hotel pool in New York City and a rooftop bar with a vantage points that boasts the best panoramic views of Manhattan, leave nothing to be desired. The William Vale is a good choice for those in search of a place to unwind, yet still wish to stay in the epicentre of the energetic and artistic Williamsburg.

Take a chance and venture out from the conventional hotel establishments in Manhattan, to instead experience what once was a downbeat borough at the end of Long Island, now emerging as the trendiest neighbourhood in New York.


For more hotel information and booking options please visit the website of the William Vale. To keep connected, visit the hotel’s Instagram account.

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Leave a Comment

24 Comments

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Mo Palepale 2017-01-09 - 00:18

Thanks for the review on this hotel. I think it’s also great how you included the surrounding area. New York is only a 3-4 hour drive for me and I’ll definitely put it on my to-see list.

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Nordh
Nordh 2017-01-09 - 02:50

Thank you for taking the time to leave some feedback, Mo! I always try to include a brief summary on what the surrounding area has to offer, after all, location is everything when choosing accommodation. Having so close to New York City and Brooklyn, you definitely should! I doubt you’d be disappointed with this place. Don’t forget to head up to the rooftop bar – I’m a sucker for a good view, and if you are too, you’ll love it!

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Alison 2017-01-09 - 02:05

Is it bad that the first thing I thought of when I saw the concept images for the place was J. G. Ballard’s High-Rise?

It certainly seems great though. Love the homage paid to the hipster crowd with the burger van on the roof. That’s a nice touch. And the views are certainly unmatched.

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LC of Birdgehls 2017-01-09 - 03:09

Not a bad view at all! I haven’t spent that much time in Brooklyn (have only stayed in Manhatten and Harlem), but I hope to explore it further the next time I head to NYC. Lovely sounding hotel.

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Joi 2017-01-09 - 07:23

NEW YORK CITY its awesome, i cant believe i lived in the us for 10 years and didnt visit new york; i regret it; nice pictures; im glad you enjoyed the trip. great photos

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Stacey 2017-01-09 - 10:41

I am a native New Yorker but I haven’t been back to the city in years. I look forward to checking out the neighborhood, especially the William Vale. The view looks amazing and it was an interesting place even when I left so I suspect the shopping and restaurants have gotten that much better.

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Hra 2017-01-09 - 14:31

wow!! what a lovely hotel!! Perfect exterior and awesome view!! I haven’t been in Brooklyn but i hope so 🙂 Thanks for sharing

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NowThatsAHoneymoon 2017-01-09 - 15:19

I have been to New York once and we stayed in Manhattan. This hotel is really beautiful and the interiors very chic. Thanks for the review!

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Maggie Minor 2017-01-09 - 15:37

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photographs of this elegantly designed hotel. Being an artist myself I especially loved the bright colorful wall sculptures in the lobby and how their fluidity complimented the straight lines of the building.

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Nordh
Nordh 2017-01-09 - 15:53

Thank you for your input, Maggie. Yes, the sculpture was a favourite of mine, it stood in stark contrast to the otherwise bright walls, which made it pop even more. On a different note, I couldn’t help but checking your website upon mentioning you do art. You too have some lovely wall sculptures, but above all, I favour the abstract canvas (#22, brown).

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Swati & Sam 2017-01-09 - 19:23

No matter how many places we see in this world, we can never get enough out of NY city. It is our favorite city in the world. We have been there so many times. A great review of the property with some great pictures both of the property and the NY skyline. We have always thought of Brooklyn as a sleepy place compared to the other boroughs.

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charmaine macdonald 2017-01-09 - 23:54

Great visuals!

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Perla 2017-01-10 - 22:37

I managed to visit New York last summer first time in life, mostly in Manhattan district, and I was very very impressed by the beauty of the buildings. I hope I’ll come back this year and see Brooklyn too.
I can see this hotel offers an amazing view over the city.

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Barbara 2017-01-10 - 23:29

I love this hotel – but I especially love the view! Very hip and luxurious – what more could you ask for 🙂

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Iuliana Marchian 2017-01-11 - 00:35

As a former architect I can say that this is a great architecture and also the interior design is very modern, following the concept of “less is more”. Do you know who the architect was?

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Bhushavali 2017-01-11 - 08:04

The hotel looks spectacular! Those colorful sculptures all over the hotel make the place so quirky. The view, the cityscape looks awesome! Esp at night it looks way too gorgeous!

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Maia 2017-01-11 - 11:56

I think this is such a beautiul city! Can’t wait to et there one day… great post!

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Ess 2017-01-12 - 10:41

The Manhattan views are to live for. Beautiful pictures and a lovely review of the hotel. I like the simplicity but modern touch of the interiors and how stunning the sculpture looks. Thank you for sharing!

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joleisa 2017-01-12 - 11:11

Loving this post. Great descriptive writing but my favourite is the stunning photography! Award winning I say. I have visited NY once when I took a ferry ride one night. Beautiful skyline. I love the fact that you make me want to visit this property of great simple smooth lines and artistry. Will come back soon.

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Sandy N Vyjay 2017-01-12 - 12:09

Wow! Such a spectacular hotel. The Exterior and Interior is so fascinating.
The room looks cozy and luxurious. Thanks for the review and such stunning photos.

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Adrenaline Romance 2017-01-12 - 13:44

What a beautiful cityscape! We wish we will have a chance to visit New York; we haven’t been outside our own country!

Gentrification seems to be the in-thing today. Here in the Philippines, once sleepy towns and slums are being slowly developed to become bustling commercial areas and business parks.

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Tiina A 2017-01-12 - 18:56

Beautiful pics! New York City is always so good, no matter is it summer or winter or something in between. You definitely made a fantastic choice with the hotel. I love the interior and how they have so colorful art on the walls and the rest of the spaces are very neutral.

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Sarah 2017-01-12 - 21:53

Despite living in Boston, I have not explored NYC as much as I should given my close proximity! After seeing these photos, I think I’ll make it a point to book a long weekend and stay in this hotel! The view is unreal as is that sunset!

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Sheena 2017-01-12 - 22:25

Wow, The William Vale house looks amazing – definitely a destination in itself. The exterior architecture is so striking & I love the clean minimalist decor inside. Not sure if I could ever afford to stay here but I’m definitely keen on a drink in its rooftop bar!

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