McCarren Hotel & Pool
McCarren Hotel & Pool is one of those hidden gems of New York – the type of place that makes you realize how many different ways there are to experience New York. Located in the ever-so-trendy Williamsburg in Brooklyn, McCarren is this gorgeously cool hotel.
The hotel’s secluded pool, one of the largest around, offers reserved, cushy pool beds for those wanting to lounge by the water, as well as beach umbrellas, cushions, and plenty of tasty snacks and cocktails. The atmosphere is chic, retro, laid back, and yet very trendy… it’s so Williamsburg, in a good way. With bright orange balconies surrounding the pool area, tiered seating, and lots of colorful accents, strips, and patterns adorning the walls, it’s a one-of-a-kind pool experience. Live music, DJs, and vibrant street art sets the scene, making McCarren’s pool deck a stylish and unique way to escape the heat.
New seasonal highlights from the hotel’s restaurant, Oleanders, include the Maine lobster roll, which is one of the meatiest I’ve ever had! For a summer twist, it’s served “ballpark style” from hawker boxes by the pool and is lightly dressed with truffle aïoli on a toasted Balthazar’s Bakery bun. Additionally, there’s an all-beef Brooklyn hot dog, also served “ballpark style,” topped with house-made piccalilli relish, ketchup, and crispy tobacco onions.
Lighter options offered include the watermelon and feta salad (a surprisingly delicious combo) and sweet corn elote with an aïoli, aged cheese, and espelette. And, of course, a classic cheeseburger is offered, as well as a roasted pesto chicken sandwich.
McCarren’s non-alcoholic fresh fruit pops, such as the strawberries and cream and pineapple and thyme, are a summer day necessity. Classic cocktail-inspired boozy ice pops, made with Victory Garden, are also in the works in flavors such as chocolate with Mezcal, Italian-style aperitivo, and vanilla with rum.
No pool party would be complete without some libations, right? The available cocktails (whether poolside or on the rooftop) are fantastic. The Green Beast with St. George absinthe verte, cucumber, and lime; the Brazilian Mango Cooler with cachaça, Giffard Banane du Brésil, lemon, mango, and apple; and the Bahia (my favorite) with rum, caffo amaretto, pineapple, and coco lopez, are just a few of the fun beverages offered.