Some of the peek-a-boo bathrooms lack privacy blinds
This one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel is architecturally striking, and hovers above the High Line on concrete pillars. The 338 ultra-mod rooms look a bit like ship cabins and feature wall-to-wall windows, which flood them with natural light and present staggering views (and can also result in a bit of a peep show, so consider yourself warned). Several trendy eateries and bars make this one of the hippest hotels in New York City, though cool-seekers might also be drawn to the scene at the Gansevoort.
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.
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 nearby art scene (Chelsea galleries and the Whitney Museum of American Art) and the excellent shopping and nightlife of the surrounding Meatpacking District. 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.
Above Manhattan's must-visit High Line park, next to the new Whitney Museum of American Art and 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, bistros, and designer boutiques like Allsaints, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jeffrey.
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 marginally 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.
Light-flooded rooms with phenomenal city and river views, comfy beds, and slick mod furniture -- but see-through showers that offer little privacy
Hip, mid-century-inspired ultra-modern design, wall-to-wall windows that flood the room with light and allow panoramic views, comfy beds, and gigantic minibars add up to some of the most extraordinary rooms in the city. They are decorated in mostly white, and the wooden slats behind and over the bed, along with the railing-like wooden accents along the wall, make them look a bit like stylish ship cabins (some are small like ship cabins, too).
All rooms include:
Open-plan bathrooms -- the showers and tubs are separated from the rest of the guest rooms only by clear glass panes (some rooms have privacy blinds, but not all). Bathers can see out; voyeurs can see in. Happily, the toilet gets its own narrow stall with opaque walls.
Kiss My Face toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, sage-scented shower gel, bubble bath, and honey-scented lotion (though note that the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel come in large, wall-mounted pumps, not individual containers)
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.
Large flat-screen HDTVs offer 47 channels with a free HDNet movie channel, pay-per-view movies, and an extensive adult-entertainment pay-per-view selection (seriously -- they're organized by bestsellers and award winners).
Hefty supply of art and fashion magazines (think V and Paper)
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.
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 -- located on the 17th floor -- offers great views of the Hudson through huge floor-to-ceiling views. The 1,500-square-foot facility is equipped with 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.
The surprisingly reasonable room service offers some kid-friendly dishes; a stroll along the High Line is a fun family activity; and, yes, the hotel offers free cribs. But, given the trend factor, this really isn't a place for children.
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.
Celebs and foodies 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). The menu is filled with steakhouse standards and seasonally focused dishes: classic dry-aged rib eyes, pork chops, and bacon-cheddar burgers. Plan ahead, though, as same-day reservations can be hard to get.
The 24-hour room service menu offers a small of basic breakfast options (Irish oatmeal, granola, bagel and lox) and dinner entrees (salads, sandwiches, the classic Standard burger).
Waitresses sporting trompe l'oeil dirndl T-shirts walk around the more informal, all-weather Standard Biergarten serving giant draft beers, oversize pretzels, and several kinds of wurst, while a mostly casual afterwork crowd tries out the free ping-pong tables.
Several extremely popular night spots: one casual (the Biergarten); one upscale (Le Bain), and one that's too cool for school (Top of the Standard).
The Standard has several bars: the casual beer-hall-style Biergarten; the clubby (and selective) Le Bain, which features a plunge pool and roof terrace; and the super-exclusive 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 a members-only club with a "pre-made list."
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