The Standard Hotel in New York

Standard Hotel, panelling and lighting behind bed

Tip! Thanks to the recession, NYC hotel room rates are way down, and if you can also take advantage of a new hotel’s soft launch prices – the new Standard Hotel is sort of open while they iron out the bugs – you can get an amazing deal for a week in New York. Coupon clipping! The Standard is a sort of minimalist 70s-style glass highrise in the Meatpacking District whose cement legs straddle the new High Line elevated park, and the rooms have a kind of swank that’s reminiscent of a bachelor pad/train comparment/yacht meets Japanese capsule hotel. Most of the hotel’s interiors are by New York-based design firm Roman and Williams, and they’re very successful – see the rooms, lobby, and grill below. I confess I had wanted to stay in the Maritime, which is a bit quirkier and vintage-ier and has the amazing porthole windows of its humbler, sailor-catering past, but amazingly the Standard was temporarily cheaper. We weren’t expecting the Standard’s capsule hotel feel: the rooms are quite small, and though the storage at first seems sort of clever and modular, from a functional design point of view function occasionally follows form, not vice versa. But these problems (see below) will no doubt be solved before the real launch. On the plus side, the friendly, incredibly mod concierges look like 70s airline pilots, and there are the most mesmerizing simultaneous film montages of heaven and hell by Marco Brambilla in the elevators – imagine perpetually scrolling pop animations of a Breughel painting. The views are great in every direction – we’ve got the High Line elevated park below and the the Empire State Building across. The wood panelling behind and above the bed makes you feel as if you’re enclosed inside a roll-top desk, and the black tiles in the bathroom – and I’m not a huge tile fan – are beautiful. More hotel photos at contemporist.

Standard Hotel, front entrance

Standard Hotel straddling the elevated High Line tracks

The Standard Hotel

Standard Hotel - room

Staying in a hotel before it’s completely finished is quite fun – there’s an ad hoc quality about things. It makes you sound a bit Princess and the Pea to point out that there’s still little storage room, there’s amazingly only a single tiny hook for hanging all your towels so you end up draping them all over the place; no robes; the TV crackles in and out of focus then goes mute about every 9 minutes; same with the internet; the person who sleeps on the inside of the bed has literally nowhere to rest a book or, more problematically, a glass of water; and someone needs to decrease the tension on the automatic door closers so you don’t get the sort of door percussion we’ve been hearing all down the hallway. It’s amazing how ridiculously, stupidly high your expectations can get in a luxury hotel. These experiences always remind me of David Foster Wallace’s essay about mega cruise ships, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’d Never Do Again,” in which he details arriving on board humbly wanting to carry his own bags rather than inconvenience a porter, and then watches himself quickly, inexorably mutate into a spoiled, demanding pasha. Ignore me; the hotel’s fantastic. The retro lobby, the bar/cafe, the adventurousness of the entryway – they’re all great. PS: The geodesic-ish dome seen in the skyline view below turns out to be Diane Von Furstenberg’s apartment. This photo was used here completely unbeknownst to me and now I feel guilty for invading her privacy.

Standard Hotel - room

The Standard Hotel


View from hotel, geodesic dome and Empire State Building

Geodesic-ish addition, view from Standard Hotel

Animated film montage, Standard Hotel, elevator

Standard Hotel front courtyard, seating

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