The High Line Hotel

New York will always hold a special place in my heart. It's where I was born and raised [in Queens]. I don't get to come back as often as I'd like, so when I do, it's such a treat.  This year, as part of our holiday celebrations, my mom and I did a 'girls trip' up to New York for a few days between Christmas and New Years. We decided on this just a few weeks before, and booked a flight/hotel package through Expedia. Normally I spend days and days scouring reviews of hotels and restaurants and everything to do with any trip I go on. This time, because we planned the trip on a bit of a whim one night while we were both getting nostalgic about Christmas in New York, I didn't do my thorough research and basically picked a hotel based on a few quick photos and the general location, Chelsea.  I was adamant about not staying anywhere near the hoards of tourists that inevitably flood the city during the holidays, but I didn't want to spend too much time poring over the best neighborhood or place to stay, so after a few clicks, The High Line Hotel was booked!

After having stayed at The High Line Hotel, I couldn't be more happy with my choice and would 100% come back! After booking, I read through their website a bit more thoroughly and realized the hotel was fairly new [opened in 2013], but the building was not.  Built in 1895, the hotel was once a Seminary. Many of the original design details and gothic architectural touches were restored, and the interiors were fully kitted out with all vintage or vintage inspired furniture and decor.  Basically, it was a hotel built for me! 

The website [which I highly recommend paging through even if you're not planning a trip to the city, just to check out the photos and descriptions!] describes their design aesthetic as Vintage Eclectic Americana.  I started to wonder if that's how I should be describing my own personal design style [though I guess I'd add a bit of mid century modern into the mix!].

The beautiful, red brick edifice is striking, and as soon as we turned the corner in our Uber, I immediately fell in love.  The seminary campus is quite large, spanning a full block, and though I didn't get to explore some of the courtyards and other outdoor areas [it is winter after all!], I could tell this was a truly unique place to stay.  The front courtyard [again winter = too cold to be outdoors!] had rows of green metal bistro tables and chairs, a lovely stone waterfall [can I have one of these in my garden?] and bistro lights strung up across [a nod to my own backyard!]. 

The lobby area is cozy and I felt like I'd just wandered into an impossibly cool vintage store, shrouded in Persian rugs, leather, velvet and everything eclectic. There isn't an official front desk, just a small nook with a computer where someone is standing to quickly check in guests.  We arrived around 4pm, and the lobby was comfortably filled with people sat on sofas and chairs, sipping lattes and chatting or working on laptops.

Every detail in the space feels perfectly curated and well suited to the winter season.  I've now decided to nail up some of my brushes to the wall, since not only is it a functional use for my work, but they make a beautiful vignette!

The best part of The High Line Hotel has to be the coffee bar located in the lobby.  I'd first tried Intelligentsia Coffee in LA a few years back, loved it [naturally] and was so pleased to find out their only New York coffee shop was located in our hotel.  Daily morning breakfast [not included, though that would have sent me over the moon!] for us included a cup of coffee and a pastry.  My mom stuck to the pour over while I went with cappuccinos and lattes on our trip. It was such a luxury to have impeccable coffee and pastries just downstairs, and we happily indulged!

Our room was small [which is to be expected in the city], but I didn't find it cramped at all. In fact, for being such a small space the designers did an incredible job of space planning and focused more on the details and amenities, both of which I really appreciate in a hotel. My favorite bit was the black school desk, complete with vintage details [the phone actually works!], a bucket of pencils [most of which came home with me!] and even a great little speaker to connect your iphone or laptop to.  The hotel provides complimentary Shinola bicycles and helmets, along with a guide to the best spots to bike to.  Again, not ideal in winter, but would be such a fun idea in the warmer months.  The bike guide was still a useful and beautifully illustrated guide to the area, and we definitely took a few tips from it.

I didn't take my big fancy camera on this trip, and my iPhone had some trouble capturing the the room [aka most of my photos were a bit blurry, meh], but again, this room was all about the details. The bathroom had a nice sized tub, and the marble vanity was packed with lovely C.O. Bigelow amenities. The standard shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion were all there of course. But I loved they chose to provide other little bits like mouthwash, a sewing kit, a shoe shine, along with other bits that I'm completely forgetting at the moment. Touches like that take a small space and make them feel grander and a bit special. 

I forgot to take a photo, but the hotel also very kindly gifted guests at the holidays with Sugar and Plumm Gummy Christmas Trees [they're delicious!] and a gold Christmas ornament with the hotel's logo printed on it! It's the little things that make all the difference and those little things made our stay at The High Line hotel just a bit more special. 

Our bed had a down feather topper on it, a down comforter and perfect pillows for me [I'm a bit of a pillow snob!] so we slept quite soundly [and since we were facing one of the courtyards and were on the fifth floor, we really couldn't hear any noise from the street, which was nice!]. My only gripe about the hotel was the room was quite toasty and we couldn't adjust that temperature from our room [the thermostat in the room would only allow us to make it hotter eep!], but I suppose that's far better than sleeping in an ice box so I can't really complain!

Though not overly adored with Christmas decor, the beautiful [real!] pine tree made such a grand entrance to the hotel. As much as I have nostalgia for the Rockefeller Center tree, this one outdid it for me. It was just stunning in person! The entire exterior at night has a bit of magic to it. The hotel is lined with gas lanterns that flicker and glow in the night, and after a long day of walking all over the city, it felt so comforting to head back into the warmth of our hotel. 

All the design details and thoughtfully curated spaces made this stay in New York so special for us. I also loved that The High Line Hotel isn't in an exceptionally bustling spot of the city.  It's just a few blocks from Chelsea Market [but not right in the thick of the busy meatpacking district], just across from an entrance to The High Line [which I'll talk about in another post!], and an easy walk to so many great spots in the city. I felt at home here, and there's no higher compliment I can give a hotel than that.