Softly opened in August 2022, Penny Williamsburg is a new hospitality concept located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Created by Sydell Group, known for NoMad, Line and Freehand, the property is a hybrid between a hotel and a home for graduate students of Bard College.
The design of the property is playful and idiosyncratic, reflecting the convivial and casual spirit of its surrounding community. Central to the ethos is an in-room and public space art programme, which involves a collaboration with two local, non-profit community arts organisations – Land Gallery and Pure Vision Arts – that provide resources, studio space and representation to artists with developmental disabilities. To further support and showcase the works of underrecognised artists and support a facet of the local art community, the ground floor is a functioning art gallery, and $1 from each hotel reservation will be donated to the organisations. Additionally, the property features installations by Yuko Nishikawa and other local artists. The portrait of Penny that graces the front entry of the hotel was commissioned by artist and Bard graduate Michelle Devereux.
Another central element of the hotel’s design is a focus on an extensive plantscape designed by Brooklyn landscape design studio, Verdant. From cascading greenery on the exterior façade to a private courtyard and patio on the ground level, and terrace meadow to plants in every guestroom, the property was envisioned with a green thumb sensibility.
The 118 rooms offer views of Williamsburg, while a selection of layouts include a Queen room, a Supreme Queen room and a 660ft² Suite with two Queen bedrooms, living and dining areas and a private terrace. Each is outfitted with hardwood floors, a selection of art books curated by independent NY bookstore The Strand, and a functioning kitchenette complete with sink, mini fridge / freezer, microwave. Additional amenities include a Stagg EKG electric pour-over coffee kettle with fresh-ground Devoción coffee delivered in-room each morning – with tea available on request – bikes to borrow and in-room yoga/exercise supplies.
Opening in early 2023 on the 11th Floor, a yet-to-be-named rooftop will act as both the hotel’s lobby and a gathering space for guests and locals. The venue offers indoor and outdoor space, two private terraces overlooking the Williamsburg skyline and surrounding area. The rooftop bar and restaurant will serve a casual menu accompanied by a craft cocktail programme led by Leo Robitschek, creator and leader of the NoMad bar programme and former Bar Director at Eleven Madison Park. Constructed with entertainment in mind, the space features a custom built-in DJ kiosk and an area for live music, performances and cultural events. It can also be hired for exclusive use.
Photography: © Alice Gao
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