The High Line Hotel: New York City
This crazy cold weather snap we've been having got me thinking about my trip to New York City at the end of last year, a girls trip with my mom and sister just after Christmas. The primary goal of the trip was for my mom to share the magic of Carole King with tickets to the musical, Beautiful. The show was incredible; if you haven't seen it GO. The rest of the trip we just explored Chelsea, ate some great food, and did some shopping. More on all that later, but I have to share our incredible hotel with y'all. The High Line Hotel made quite an impression on me.
The High Line Hotel: Historic Boutique Hotel in New York City
Have you ever walked into a hotel and thought… "This is my pinterest home board come to life." With my mouth hanging open (I felt like Fievel in American Tail, any 80s babies reading?), that was my first thought walking into The High Line. It reminded me of the coolest library and coffee shop rolled into one. Rustic, comfortable, warm, and global, yet American, the lobby doubles as an Intelligentsia Coffee shop that is packed on the daily, especially when the weather is nasty outside. Which, on our December trip, was every day.
Once you pass through the iron gates into their picturesque courtyard, there’s a noticeable shift in pace from the bustling vibe of this city to the quiet and comfortable retreat that is The Highline Hotel. The hotel was originally home to General Theological Seminary in the mid 1880s and part of the school was transformed into the High Line Hotel. The striking gothic-style of the building reminded me of my time at St. John’s College at Oxford University many years ago. Tall towers, quiet nooks and charming vignettes at every turn, it was very different from the trend of the ultra modern, clean lines of a lot of boutique hotels.
After checking in, we made our way to our rooms. SWOON. The nature of the historic building creates unique rooms throughout the hotel. Each one is a little different and furnished with one of a kind antiques collected at markets from around the United States. The bedside table is furnished with a restored rotary phone from the 1920s, vintage books, and terrarium filled with succulents. My favorite part of the room was the small writing desk, ours was perfectly placed beneath the large casement windows. On the desk you'll find a vintage custom embosser. To celebrate the building's Seminary heritage, The High Line Hotel commissioned five distinct patterns based on the Seminary's symbology and placed one in each room. There's a small stack of postcards featuring a historic black and white photograph of the building that are free to use. Don't forget to check out the High Line coffee table book on the desk too. It tells the story of "the first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of the creative inspiration behind the High Line, the transformative public ‘park in the sky' right across the street from the hotel. If you love it as much as I did, you can purchase the book from the front desk. All proceeds go to Friends of The High Line, the non-profit caretakers of the park. Due to the nasty weather, I had to take a literal rain check on checking out the High Line park.
One of the first things I noticed about the room was the vintage wallpaper. Each room in the hotel features one of four vintage patterns. Both my room and my mom's room had the "Hydrangea" pattern, c. 1896. The hotel's designers mastered a delicate mix of antique and modern creating an artfully adorned room that was incredibly cozy. I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed every morning.
One of the best features of this property is the Intelligentsia Coffee shop in the lobby. It's the perfect place for a light bite in the morning especially if you need to get some work done before exploring the city. In the warmer months Intelligentsia opens a coffee cart outside in the front courtyard too. They serve pour overs and espresso drinks all day then transform into a bar, Pinhook, with a great selection of beer, wine, and seasonal cocktails. If the weather is nice have a seat in the courtyard. It was cold and rainy the week I was in New York so I need a redo at The High Line to take advantage of their beautiful outdoor spaces.
Staying at The High Line Hotel is a different experience then staying at the larger hotels on 5th Avenue or in Times Square. Being nestled in the heart of Chelsea, there is a much more relaxed vibe. The lobby and courtyard seem almost like a community center, people were constantly coming and going, getting their morning coffee and paper often with their puppy dogs in tow. It reminded me of hotels of old where the lobbies were grand public spaces where people would meet for a meal or tea or just come to escape the city for a few and enjoy a quiet space. The High Line is definitely a cozy respite in the heart of the city and one I desperately would like to return to.