The Standard High Line Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Groundbreaking design
  • Swank nightlife at the hotel, and just outside it
  • Knowledgeable, well-connected, 24-hour concierge
  • Free 24-hour fitness center
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour room service

Cons

  • Showers visible from the main rooms (little privacy)

Bottom Line

Hovering above the High Line on concrete pillars, this one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel offers 338 light-flooded, ultra-mod rooms with panoramic views of the city; one restaurant, several popular bars; and excellent service. It might just be the hippest hotel in New York City.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Propped up above the elevated High Line park, this high-design hotel offers light-filled rooms with panoramic views, a hip bar and restaurant scene, and excellent service.

The lobby illuminated by a strip light
The lobby illuminated by a strip light

To capitalize on the popular, elevated High Line park that opened in the summer of 2009, Standard hotelier Andre Balazs pulled off a design feat: He propped his 338-room hotel up on huge concrete stilts so that it straddles, and hovers above, the park. For this, the Standard has garnered the praise of architecture critics, who marvel at how, from inside the building, one seems to be floating in the air.

The interior design is just as striking as the architecture. Hip, compact furniture references the mid-20th-century designs of Eero Saarinen. Open bathrooms with deep soaking tubs or huge rainfall showers, surrounded by clear glass panes instead of shower curtains, create the impression of bathing beside the Hudson River. There's no artwork or vintage photos of the city hanging on the walls because there's no need -- the floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the the real thing. (The windows also offer views from the outside in, making for some interesting exhibitionism.)

The hotel's common areas are just as eye-catching as the rooms. Illuminated by a striplight going down the center of the room, the lobby's mirrored ceiling offers two perspectives on the same space. The elevators feature a video installation that represents heaven (when going up) and hell (when going down).

The hotel is also a stylish base for exploring the Chelsea art scene and the excellent shopping and nightlife of the surrounding neighborhood. Indeed, each room is equipped with a pamphlet of recommended art galleries, restaurants, museums, and clubs. (The staff is skilled at scoring hard-to-get dinner reservations and guest-list club passes.)

Balazs' Standards all embrace a holistic approach to the hospitality business -- multitasking as stylish places to sleep, nightlife and dining destinations, and gateways for urban exploration. This property succeeds on all fronts.

 Service

The attractive, hardworking staff is casual in style but extremely attentive and professional.

Attentive to guests and attentive to small details, the service here is excellent -- highly professional but never stuffy or overbearing. Sporting short-sleeve button-downs and sunglasses instead of the more reserved uniform and cap, the notably attractive doormen and porters hover near the entrance to assist guests with luggage or help hail cabs. There's no turndown service, and guest-service receptionists answer the phone in a casual, friendly tone. But requests for toothbrushes and the like are delivered in minutes. And this high level of service is maintained around the clock.

  • Affordable, 24-hour room service (all entrees $14 and below)
  • 24-hour concierge to help guests score high-profile restaurant and club reservations

 Location

Above Manhattan's new High Line park, next to Meatpacking District nightlife, and within walking distance of the West Village's choice restaurants

The Standard sits in a unique location: It is literally propped up on concrete stilts above the elevated High Line park in Manhattan's cobblestone-paved Meatpacking District. This neighborhood, made up of the far northern and western blocks of the West Village and bordered by Chelsea to the north, used to be home to hundreds of slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants and, more recently, a disproportionate amount of the city's illicit sexual activity. In the past decade it's been transformed into a trend-conscious enclave full of bottle-service clubs, Sex and the City-filmed-here bistros, and designer boutiques like Alexander McQueen, La Perla, and Christian Louboutin.

The Standard's location is ideal for exploring the neighborhood clubs -- say, checking out the DJs at Cielo. Because of the heavy nightlife traffic, the area is a safe place to roam, but expect weekend nights in particular to be packed with boisterous and sometimes inebriated partiers. During the day the neighborhood is much mellower -- perfect for window-shopping and people-watching from the High Line or one of the many bistros and cafes with sidewalk seating.

The nearest subways to the Standard are the L, A, C, and E at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, about three blocks from the hotel.

 Rooms

Light-flooded rooms feature phenomenal views of the city, comfy beds with adjustable backboards, slick mod furniture, free Wi-Fi, Kiss My Face toiletries -- but see-through showers offer little privacy.

See-through showers
See-through showers

Hip midcentury-inspired ultramodern design, wall-to-wall windows that flood the room with light and offer panoramic views of the city, comfy beds, and gigantic minibars add up to some of the most extraordinary rooms in the city.

The eight different room types differ primarily by extra square footage and view: My 230-square-foot Superior overlooked the High Line; the 400-square-foot Standard Suite, meanwhile, has a freestanding tub in the middle of the room from which you can soak in the 180-degree views of the Hudson.

All rooms include:

  • Open-plan bathrooms -- the showers and tubs are separated from the rest of the guest rooms only by clear glass panes. Bathers can see out; voyeurs can see in. (Happily, the toilet gets its own narrow stall with opaque walls.)
  • The toiletries are top shelf, including large bottles of cardamom-scented Kiss My Face shampoos and conditioners, sage-scented shower gel, bubble bath, and honey-scented lotion.
  • While not as phenomenal as the beds at the Hotel Gansevoort, the pillow-top mattresses are swathed in 300-thread-count Italian sheets and a 100-percent-cotton duvet.
  • The large, 37-inch flat-screen HDTV offers 47 channels with a free HDNet movie channel, pay per view movies for $13 each, and the most extensive adult-entertainment pay-per-view selection I've ever seen for $18 each (seriously -- they're organized by bestsellers and award winners).
  • Free WiFi
  • iHome radio with iPod dock
  • Hefty supply of art and fashion magazines
  • One of the city's hugest, most tempting hotel minibars: two cabinets and a fridge worth of mixers, snacks, and spirits, including both baby Patron and momma-sized Patron.

 Features

A free 24-hour fitness center with Hudson River views and a glitzy cocktail lounge.

  • Most hotel gyms feel like windowless dungeons. Not the Standard's: The free 24-hour fitness center offers great views of the Hudson through huge floor-to-ceiling views. The 1,500-square-foot facility is equipped with brand-new Technogym cardio and strength-training equipment, and free weights.
  • There is no formal business center, but Guest Services will set up phone calls, fax retrieval, and laptop rental.
  • Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hotel, and guests can print for free from their rooms and pick up their printouts at the front desk.

 Family

This isn't a place for children.

The surprisingly reasonable room service (most entrees are $9 to $14) offers some kid-friendly dishes; a stroll along the High Line is a fun family activity; and, yes, they offer free cribs. But, given the trend factor, this really isn't a place for children. Families who insist on staying in the neighborhood will do better at the Hotel Gansevoort.

 Pet-Friendly

Per stay fee; some pet amenities provided upon request

No weight limit on pets, but the hotel does charge a one-time fee.

 Cleanliness

Fairly clean, except for a few dusty surfaces in my room and scratched tabletops.

  • Spotless common areas and restaurants.
  • Housekeeping seems a bit lax, however; the black tables in my room and the lacquered surface next to the tub were dusty.

 Food

The 24-hour room service and ground-floor lounge offer very affordable sandwiches, salads and entrees; reservations at the on-site restaurant are hard to come by.

The Standard Grill
The Standard Grill

Celebrities and restaurant-opening junkies alike head to dinner at the back room of the Standard Grill, home of the extraordinary penny-tiled floor (literally, 460,000 coins went into it). Highly regarded chef Dan Silverman, formerly of Lever House, has filled the dinner menu with steakhouse standards and seasonally focused dishes: classic dry-aged rib eyes meet greenmarket sugar snap peas and some indulgent-sounding duck-fat mashed potatoes. Entrees are reasonably priced: midteens to mid-20s. Plan ahead: Same-day reservations can be hard to get.

The 24-hour room service menu offers a small but comprehensive selection of dinner entrees, salads, sandwiches, the classic Standard burger, and basic breakfast options: Irish oatmeal, granola, bagel and lox. Prices are impressively low, with almost all entrees under $14.

A similar sandwich menu is offered at the Living Room lounge.

The more informal Standard Beer Garden offers a small menu of draft beers, oversize pretzels, and several kinds of wurst. Waitresses (sporting a trompe l'oeil beer-wench T-shirt) walk around with big baskets of pretzels, while a mostly casual afterwork crowd tries out the free pingpong tables.

 Drinks

Several extremely popular night spots: one casual (the Biergarten); one upscale (Living Room); and one that's too cool for school (Top of the Standard).

The Living Room
The Living Room

The Standard has sevearal bars to fit any taste: the casual Biergarten -- open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 'til midnight on Sunday; the slightly hipper Living Room, where live DJs spin; Le Bain, which features a huge, four-foot-deep Jacuzzi and roof terrace; and Top of the Standard (formerly known as the Boom Boom Room), the celebrity hot spot lounge which is open to the public only at certain times. After it closes to the public, it becomes an ultra-exclusive members-only club with a "pre-made list."

 Bottom Line

Hovering above the High Line on concrete pillars, this one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel offers 338 light-flooded, ultra-mod rooms with panoramic views of the city; one restaurant, several popular bars; and excellent service. It might just be the hippest hotel in New York City.

Things You Should Know About The Standard High Line

Address

  • 848 Washington Street, New York, NY, 10014, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Standard New York City
  • The Standard New York City

Room Types

  • Deluxe King Room
  • Empire Corner King Room
  • Empire Suite
  • Hudson Studio
  • Liberty Corner King Room
  • Liberty Suite
  • Standard King Room
  • Standard Queen Room
  • Superior Queen Room

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Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 338
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Chelsea, Manhattan
Address: 848 Washington Street, New York, NY, 10014, US
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