Brooklyn has long since surpassed Manhattan as the cool kids’ borough, and this 64-room hotel overlooking McCarren Park in Williamsburg is where many of them hang. Set around one of the largest swimming pools in the city, and with a funky rooftop bar, it has a laid-back vintage motel vibe. 

I love Williamsburg but only stay here if you know Manhattan well already. Local highlights include Brooklyn Brewery, classic cocktail haunt Hotel Delmano and McCarren Park. You’re also only five short blocks from the Bedford Ave L Train, which can whisk you into Manhattan in 10 minutes.Acclaimed designer Fernando Santangelo (who worked on the redo of Los Angeles’s Chateau Marmont) has transformed the lobby into a cross between a jungle scene (all lush forest murals) and a Seventies nightclub, with marble floors and black mirrored walls. The pool area has terraced seating, pastel-coloured sun loungers and assorted topiary including palms and potted ferns. It’s a fun feast for the senses.

You'll want to start with the saltwater swimming pool, located directly off the lobby, one of the largest in New York and where they serve pitchers of signature cocktails from May until September. Then there are free bike rentals, seasonal morning yoga and in-room dining from the hotel's restaurant, Oleanders. Ask the concierges for local bars and cafés to visit – they will have a long list. The rooms are nice digs. All beds come with Frette linens, Davines bathroom amenities and glass-enclosed rain showers, but I am particularly partial to the Deluxe Doubles, which have two full beds and views of either McCarren Park or the scene around the pool below. At the end of the day you can't be cool, a loverof the NY social scene and enthusisat of the living a good social life and not experience even a piece of McCarren's. I suggest you start planning today...

McCarren Hotel & Pool - 160 N 12th St, Brooklyn - 00 1 718 218 7500