When I read that the new Standard Hotel in New York City, latest in mini group of Andre Balazs hotels, had fabulous Hudson River views, I knew I had to stay there.
I’m a sucker for water—lakes, oceans, rivers, ponds and fountains. Something about being by water makes me happy.
The view of the river made me smile ear to ear. With floor to ceiling windows, the vista from our room in the 337-room Standard, located smack dab in one of the coolest parts of town, was jaw dropping.
The book shaped hotel, built on huge concrete stilts over the High Line in the Meat Packing District, offers panoramic vistas of sky, water and land of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty and New Jersey.
The hotel itself is a mish mash of super cool design. Unlike some boutique hotels where the designer picks a theme and carries it throughout, this one is more of a dazzling compilation of trendy and hip — maybe a little crazy.
The lobby is updated retro — mauve and gray (think 80s?), molded mesh walls and lacquer yellow revolving door (60s?) and very current use of lighting. It’s in the floor, directing you to the check in areas—huge blocks of marble.
Around the corner is a red lacquer bar area and the powder room is in-your-face sixties black and white psychedelic.
The Grill on main floor could easily be transported to the Upper East Side. Cozy and warm, welcoming and nicely lit. It feels like a sophisticated gathering spot for women in Channel jackets and men in bow ties.
And then there’s the 19th floor lounge — a must see spot if you are in the neighborhood — but be forewarned after 9 o’clock it is strictly velvet rope affair. You can’t get in unless you know the secret password or have a very good publicist.
We lounged there from 4 to 6 pm one day, thoroughly enjoying lovely cocktails, snacks and the amazing changing view of a winter’s urban sunset. We left from there to catch our plane home. Couldn’t have been a nicer way to end our brief visit to the Big Apple.
The Lounge reminds me of the old days of the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center. Art Deco references glitter in the carpet, a satin clad waitress who seemed to belong to a glamorous era long gone.
Our room was tiny and utilitarian; feeling like a stateroom in a yacht with its wood panels, compact use of space. When I read that the designer was a Hollywood Set designer, some o f the annoying aspects made sense. Electrical outlets by the bed were so well hidden, I had to get on my hands and knees to find. The shower was open to the room with few barriers, creating a swimming pool effect on the shower floor. We had no place to put luggage or really store anything.
When you think about it, set design isn’t about the function of the space; it’s about how it looks in a movie. Must admit. It looked fabulous.
The views more than made up for the in conveniences.
Even riding in the elevator is a visual treat. No ordinary standing and looking at the door or surreptitiously checking out the other guests. The elevator cabs — very dark — feature a video installation called “Civilization.” It takes riders on a whimsical journey from hell to heaven visualized using hundreds of feature film clips stitched together seamlessly into a video mural. Definitely worth the ride.
Truly, the Standard Hotel in New York City knows how to put on a show.
Written and contributed by TravelerSusan