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  • Mei Anne Foo

Hotel Review: The William Vale, Brooklyn, New York

Capitalising on Brooklyn’s new hip factor, The William Vale is an unashamedly ambitious and avant-garde hotel in the once industrial New York borough.

Manhattan is New York City’s borough of hotels, but it’s just a matter of time before Brooklyn catches up. Developers have latched on to the fact that this is a place where well-heeled explorers and international visitors might want to stay, and they’ve started slapping up luxury hospitality offerings right, left, and centre.

Nowhere has this influx been more evident than in the trendy neighbourhood of Williamsburg, currently home to concerts and festivals, as well as new restaurants and bars. Capitalising on Williamsburg’s elusively chic vibe, The William Vale hopes to be the area’s all-inclusive service hub, offering dining and leisurely components.

The 22-storey hotel, opened late last year, is unashamedly ambitious. The avant-garde tower rises amid its squat surroundings. It may look like an over-polished artistic jewel that sparkles far too brightly at first glance, but the building’s innovative design very much pays homage to the historic district. It avoids the reiteration of industrial-style aesthetics already found in other recent developments, opting for a more futuristic shape. A truss outline on the edifice plays off physical components inspired by unique local bridges, water tanks and braced tower structures.

The result consists of dramatic angular beam-works and a distinctive profile to accommodate the 183-key establishment. All rooms include L’Occitane bath products and Brooklyn Roasting Company espresso machines, plus a balcony with uninterrupted views of Manhattan’s iconic statuesque skyline or Brooklyn’s low-slung manufacturing warehouses and Lego blocks of old breweries. The best vistas however are cherished from atop The William Vale’s rooftop bar, Westlight. Dotted with bright-yellow tower viewers, evocative of iconic NYC cabs, guests can catch the lingering spell of a sunset colouring the East River and Gotham sky while sipping on surefire cocktails and snacking on yummy bites.

Other hotel amenities include a 60ft pool, the longest in the city, with an adjacent terrace on a lower floor. If you don’t feel like having to soak and share, opt to stay at the hotel’s trophy Vale Garden residence, which has its own large hot tub and private garden.

Coupling with the community is vital for The William Vale, which features artworks by home-grown talent throughout the walls. There’s also an ever-changing cultural calendar of events, open to both hotel guests and Brooklynites alike.

It is said that the glitz and glamour encircling the Manhattan circuit has finally arrived at Brooklyn’s hipster-gritty streets. And in the middle of the borough’s massive gentrification, The William Vale leads with its flashy set-up, all part of the insistent cycle of change that is New York City.

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