Penny Williamsburg Buzzes With Local Delights

The buzzy Brooklyn neighborhood’s latest hotel fixture is an ode to everything that makes the borough cool—and a particularly adorable chihuahua.

Opening Shot is a column that peeks inside new hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops with dreamy interiors.


Location: Brooklyn

Designer: Stonehill Taylor

On Offer: From Stonehill Taylor and Sydell Group, which brought us Freehand, NoMad, and the LINE hotels, comes a hotspot in the heart of Williamsburg. Penny’s difference is academic—the hotel includes some 100 dorm rooms for Bard College grad students amidst its 118 guest rooms, but this is no frat house. From 200-square-foot Queen Rooms to the “Your Majesty Suite” at almost four times the size, each spot emphasizes a residential sense and local sensibility. Chair cushions, for instance, come from nearby Dusen Dusen, while the books are courtesy of The Strand. A pair of neighboring arts organizations—LAND Gallery and Pure Vision Arts, who secure studio space and resources for artists with developmental disabilities, then represent their work—help curate the programs both in-room and in public spaces.

Standout Features: Guests who linger in their apartment-style rooms can hop up to the ELNico restaurant and bar on the rooftop to watch Brooklyn buzz around below, perhaps over one of beverage program director Leo Robitschek’s Panamericano blends of La Diablada Pisco Moscatel, Cocchi Americano, Cantaloupe, Blanc Vermouth, and hazelnut. Chef Fer Serrano’s menu draws on her Mexican heritage, from a tlayuda of market veggies and pomegranate to large plates of fried octopus. And while the skylines of Brooklyn and Manhattan surround diners, the best view may be in the lobby, where guests can check out a portrait by Bard graduate Michelle Devereux of Sydell founder Andrew Zobler’s chihuahua—Penny, herself.

(All photography by Alice Gao.)

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