The Standard High Line Hotel: New York
Bear with me here whilst I take a walk down memory lane…..I spent many years in the late 90's and noughties living in New York. I remember New York's meatpacking district when it was just that. The centre of raw meat packing for the city. It had a few absolutely awesome dive bars, Hogs and Heifers and the Village Idiot spring to mind. Back in the 90's these were the meccas of good humoured depravity. All forms of unacceptable behaviour was commonplace. You could dance a two step with a bunch of sailors in full whites during fleet week then leap on top of the bar, which had been set on fire with Sambuca, down three Jagermeisters as the crowd egged you on and then take your bra off under your shirt and fling it on to the pile of underwear inexplicably hung above the back bar. Emerging from these or other underground places as dawn broke, you would be greeted by the smell of meat. Teetering in heels or possibly barefoot, you did your best to not step in the blood that ran along the gutters from the packing houses. This was the pre 9/11 New York, the city with an edge, the slightly dangerous raw Island with a dark side.
Today, the meatpacking district is essentially gone. Just as Time's Square morphed from a hangout for drug dealers and hookers into a Disney parade, the meatpacking has a new connotation. Its best avoided on weekends when hoards of the worst kind of partiers pile into the neighbourhood to shriek, vomit, fornicate in the street and queue up for the various overpriced clubs. During the day you can blow your inheritance in any of the boutiques and home-ware shops and at night you can do the same in the various restaurants. A few meatpacking houses remain, but I reckon their days are numbered. The Village Idiot has been replaced by a cafe but Hogs remains, although its awash with tourists now. Nevertheless, its still a good neighbourhood to hang out if you time it right during the week or you don't mind the weekend madness.
Across the street from Hogs is The Standard Hotel, a lovely and stylish boutique hotel in the post Phillipe Starck style. The staff are pretty and professional, the decor is edgy and a definite party vibe prevails. Rooms are small, as all NYC rooms are, but they are well appointed and have fantastic floor to ceiling windows with views across the Hudson River or downtown. Its a well documented fact that a quirk in the window design means that they are totally see-through, so those in the buildings nearby or people strolling along the High line park just below can see EVERYTHING going on in your room. For those into voyeurism a willing audience awaits. Mr. M and I closed the net curtain, on this occasion…
The hotel boutique has fabulous little things that you will want to buy, but that you should not because they are 400 times more expensive than anywhere else. You can buy a trilby hat for fifty bucks at Century 21 downtown..you don't need the $600 one they sell in the boutique.
The downstairs beer garden is super popular and good fun. BUT NOT ON WEEKENDS, as are the two on premise restaurants, all are worth a visit. In the winter the skating rink is great fun and worth a go, much cooler than the one in Rockefeller centre as you can drink Gluh Wine whilst you skate…
My absolute favourite thing about the hotel had to be the Lifts oddly enough….they run a trippy video art installation 24/7 called Civilisation by Marco Bambillo and its totally mesmerising, I kept missing my floor.
Verdict: Great Location, if its not a weekend….decent rooms and service you'd expect from a style hotel, good but not brilliant.
For Who: The young and hip and the party crowd..
The Damage: Rooms from $250 and up.