Staying at The Condor Hotel in Brooklyn, NY
Up until this past fall, every time I’d been to New York, I’d stayed in Manhattan. Leading up to my mini-cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas though I decided I wanted to check out the Brooklyn side of things.
Up until a few years ago your choice of hotels in Brooklyn was mainly limited to chains far from the hip hub-bub of Williamsburg. Not ideal for the tourist who doesn’t want to schelp too far on the subway to get to attractions. Things are changing now though and travellers have a handful of places to choose from on the eastern bank of the East River and Brooklyn itself is an attraction. The Condor Hotel, my home for two nights, looked to be a well designed, boutique hotel in South Williamsburg, yet much more affordable than its island counterparts.
Even though I’d looked it up on Google Maps before I arrived, the location was still somewhat of a surprise to me. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the G train Flushing Ave. subway stop. First, you walk along the northern edge of the Marcy Projects (where Jay-Z grew up) and then once you cross Nostrand Ave you’ll find yourself in Williamsburg’s Hasidic neighbourhood. Wasn’t expecting that. They’re a very exclusive community so don’t expect smiles and hellos from the locals you’ll pass on the street.
Once I arrived at the hotel front desk I was greeted by friendly staff along with cookies and coffee. The hotel was smaller than I anticipated but, to me, that’s a bonus. Franklin Ave, where the Condor Hotel is located, is a quiet street but any noise like fire trucks going by on Flushing Ave can be heard.
I was given a spacious king room with a kitchenette. You don’t get that in Manhattan! A mini fridge is always appreciated in a hotel room and a microwave and proper kitchen sink are even better. I always feel a bit weird filling the coffee maker from the bathroom tap, so this was a good change.
There was one quirk with my room that I didn’t sort out until my second night. It seems the room had originally been designed for two twin beds with the light switch for the overhead accent light between them. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I managed to turn that light on, let alone turn it off again so I could sleep. After futzing about with the switches for five minute I gave up, and too stubborn to call the front desk, put on my eye mask and went to sleep. The next night I was sitting on the bed, leaning up against the pillow when I shifted and the overhead light went off. What the…? I moved some pillows and discovered the light switch hidden behind them. UX was a bit off here.
Before I set out to explore Brooklyn, I had to check out the living room and garden. While every room has a tv, if you feel like being a bit more social you can hang out on the leather couches on the first floor and read magazines. Sort of like an upscale hostel common room. There is also a lovely little garden which looks like a great place to hang out during nice weather.
In the morning, the included breakfast is served downstairs. It’s a help yourself continental style breakfast but they had one of my favourite things… waffle maker! My mother used to love these when staying at hotels and so now I always think of her and smile whenever I get to make hotel waffles. Besides waffles, you can expect toast, bagels, croissants, muffins, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, cereal, and boiled eggs. I’m always happy when there’s some type of protein included with a continental breakfast.
Overall, the Condor Hotel is a great choice that will give you lots of space and great amenities with good value for your money when visiting New York. Plus, you get to experience a cool neighbourhood.
Have you stayed in Brooklyn before? What’s your favourite neighbourhood?
- Where: 56 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY
- Cost: Rooms can range from $180 – $490
- Number of Rooms: 35
- Amenities: free wifi, free continental breakfast, garden, living room
- Rating: TripAdvisor 3.5*
- Check Availability
Note: I was a guest of the Condor Hotel but all opinions are my own. They didn’t ask for a favourable review or that I have too much fun with the waffle maker.