Friday, April 24, 2015


When the word staycation first became popular, I thought it was, frankly, lame. So many of those made up words conjure up really cringe-worthy thoughts in my head—like jeggings. However, as the combination of staying home and vacationing, the staycation itself is actually a pretty glorious concept. Treating yourself to a night or weekend at a hotel without having to get on plane or pack up a car is surprisingly gratifying. Here in New York especially, when you live in a tiny apartment (and/or a room with no windows), a night—and day—spent in a bed bathed in sunlight and dressed in luxe, all-white linens can revive the spirit in unexpected ways.

I recently decided to treat myself to just such a staycation... Across the East River in Brooklyn. I've come to love how easy it is to pop over to Williamsburg on the L train and wander the streets between Bedford and Wythe, exploring boutiques, bowling alleys, concert venues and of course—the kind of tiny, buzzy restaurants that take as much care in their decor as the do with their menus.

All these things plus a luxurious, relaxing stay in a hotel? I told you the term staycation is cooler than it sounds...


WHERE TO STAY: It doesn't get much cooler or more indulgent-meets-stylish than The Wythe Hotel. Created from a turn-of-the-century industrial factory, the bones of the building have been restored and improved upon with lofty cement floors, natural wood ceilings and most importantly—floor to ceiling windows that showcase stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. The decor details are thoughtful and minimal, and the mini bar is stocked with small batch, high-end and local liquors and snacks. Lest you miss a single minute of those views, the bathroom of the Manhattan View King Room boasts a strategically-placed window that allows you to look out from the shower. In short, you might find your room so airy and lovely that you have a hard time leaving it. In that case, cue up a Spotify playlist, plug your phone into the surround sound jack next to your bed and let the changing light be your entertainment. (I found this experience is also greatly enhanced with good company and a nice bottle of rosé.)

Situated at an intersection of Wythe Avenue that includes Kinfolk 94, Brooklyn Bowl and the Brooklyn Brewery, the hotel's location is perfect for spending days and nights on foot, walking from drinks to dinners to brunch and shopping, etc. And, like any destination hotel worth it's salt in New York, The Wythe has both a phenomenal ground-floor restaurant (Reynard) and a scene-y, gorgeous rooftop bar (The Ides) that is not to be missed. 

WHAT TO PACK: For a quick overnight, don't overthink it. Depending on whether you're staycation-ing with a romantic companion or your friends, the only real difference might be in sleepwear—but I say pack a nice matched set and a sweet shortie pajama set either way. From there it's as simple as a day outfit of your favorite most wearable jeans (I'm addicted to these at the moment), a pair of easy kicks for strolling and shopping and a sleeveless top and/or sweater (weather depending). For evening, pack an easy dress (that won't wrinkle terribly in your bag) for drinks and dinner along with dressier shoes—a stacked heel bootie or sandal is perfect. The dress will make the occasion feel special enough, so skip the jewelry and keep things pretty and simple. (This is Brooklyn, not Boca.) Oh, and I always have a portable Bluetooth speaker on hand to keep the perfect soundtrack going at all times (though at The Wythe you don't need it!).


THE IDES @ THE WYTHE HOTEL: After checking in and checking out your stylish room, take note to cruise to the sixth floor right around sunset for expertly mixed cocktails and a first-rate view of the Manhattan skyline as it begins to twinkle.

THE GUTTER: After loosening up your muscles with a cocktail or two at The Ides, walk around the block for a pitcher of beer and a couple of games of bowling at The Gutter.

ALLSWELL: This favorite Bedford Avenue brunch spot just happens to have a killer late night menu. Stop in post-bowling for their epic chicken sandwich and a nightcap.


FIVE LEAVES or ENIDS: After taking coffee in your room (that's the only in-room service available at The Wythe), head out for brunch at the other end of McCarren Park, to either Five Leaves (a delicious Australian outpost ideated by the late Heath Ledger) or Enids (amazing Bloody Mary and lively brunch vibes).

SPRITZENHAUS or BERRY PARK: Depending on the weather, indulge in an afternoon beer and bite at either Spritzenhaus (beer hall with great light and plenty of games) or Berry Park (beer hall with an excellent rooftop situation).

GANT / CATBIRD / JUNK: What would a #treatyoself staycation be without treating yourself to a little shopping, too? For the guys, check out the clean-cut cool menswear (and gorgeous space) at Gant, and for the ladies, pick up some dainty bits and baubles at Catbird. And for everyone? Ogle the awesome vintage offerings at Junk on Driggs Avenue.

MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG: If you and your fellow staycationer(s) are big music lovers, why not plan your adventure around a show you want to see? The Music Hall is easy walking distance from The Wythe and has affordable, awesome shows nearly every night of the week.

*The Wythe Hotel generously provided a press rate for my stay. Rooms can be pricey, but I recommend following @wythehotel on Instagram because they occasionally post about day-of discounted rates!

[Image credits: Wythe Hotel,  MA Architects / Gant Store, GQ online]

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