Archive for the ‘Take the Trip’ Category
6/8/09 Following ten years of advocacy, urban planning, and five years of construction, the High Line is set to open tomorrow, June 9th. Section 1, the first to open, runs from Gansevoort to 20th Street. Section 2, the remainder, runs to 30th Street is still under construction and projected to open in 2010, additionally pending development approval of the West Side Rail Yards.
Originally built in the 1930’s as part of a massive public-private infrastructure called the West Side Improvement, the elevated railway was abandoned in 1980 and otherwise faced demolition. The City of New York committed $50 million to revamp the structure à la the Promenade Plantée in Paris, with 720 teams from 36 countries submitting design plans to preserve the historic space. The High Line design team is led by landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations.
Visitors can enter from Gansevoort Street, and the High Line will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. On June 15th, Friends of the High Line will celebrate with First Party on the High Line.
Photography by Jesse Chehak and Paul Schlacter; courtesy of the High Line and flickr.
Posted by Erin Ryder
The Ace Hotels are taking the hospitality industry in a new direction. More raw and less refined, these “hipster hotels” as some reviewers have started to categorize them, are starting to expand across the country. Located in Palm Springs, Portland, Seattle, and now New York City, Ace Hotels describes itself as “the low card and the high card” because the rooms are affordable (in the grand scale of hotel prices) but come with “cool” amenities and individually designed rooms. Some rooms come with turn tables and funky wall art, but each room is designed with layers and “takes its cues from the vibrancy of street life, the honesty of materials and the potential of invention.” The details count in the room designs such as in New York Ace, one room has a stocked SMEG refrigerator (think That 70s Show) with local beer from Brooklyn Brewery.
The hotelier, Alex Calderwood, intrusted his New York Ace hotel design with Roman and Williams to outfit the 247 rooms with old records and other accessories like blank sheet music and custom-made unstrung Gibson guitars propped in the corners for a riff on a rock star’s pad. And a nice little additional touch should you feel like picking up the six-string in a moment of creativity, you can buy guitar strings at the front desk.
New York Ace rates start at $179 for bunk beds (with en suite bathrooms) to $1,499 for a palatial loft. Which brings us to our favorite room to make a reservation in. The 700-square-foot loft features all the typical loft details with hardwood floors plus a built-in banquette, vintage furniture, separate living room, and a claw foot tub!
Calderwood left no angle undone as far as guests who find themselves with free time during their stays. The New York Ace as well as a couple of the other hotels carry the Northwest’s favorite cup o’joe, Stumptown, in an adjoined coffee shop and a Rudy’s, an old-school barbershop (also founded by Calderwood), sit on the first floor.
Visit any of the four Ace Hotels to sleep happy in hispterdom and carefully crafted industrial and utilitarian rooms that are clearly all about the aesthetic experience.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Soy based inks? Recycled paper printed on both sides? These are just a couple of the eco-savvy rules that 70 Park Avenue, a luxury boutique hotel, adheres to when it wants a guest who visits NYC to “live life well”. Luxury and sustainability usually don’t follow one another, but this metropolitan hotel, nestled in the Murray Hill neighborhood, appeals to the green at heart.
The hotel offers various incentives such as a $20 discount off parking rates to guests who arrive in hybrid cars.
Staying true to the luxury side of the hospitality business, the rooms come with l’Occitaine bathroom amenities, in-room spa treatments, and gourmet and organic treats stocked for any hours you might need to calm some hunger pains.
All 205 guest rooms were outfitted with an “American Classicism” look by interior designer, Jeffrey Bilhuber, known for his projects with David Bowie and Anna Wintour. Sleep easy in the city knowing your sheets were handpicked by Vogue’s editor-in-chief’s decorator.
For more information you can call: 877.707.2752 or visit 70 Park Hotel
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Want to spring for an early Spring weekend getaway? Book the weekend or week away at The Nines. From Starwood’s Luxury Collection and located in Portland, OR, the nine-floor hotel occupies the top part of the landmark Meier & Frank building. With many unique amenities that make boutique hotels so appealing these days, the 331 guest rooms (as well as the atrium) are decorated in deep jewel tones. Looking past decorating color schemes, the most impressive attribute the hotel can boast about is its responsibility to the environment. During construction, 90% of the building’s construction waste was recycled, and it continues to use renewable energy.
In addition to their Urban Farmer restaurant, a modern steakhouse that’s devoted to using local, organic sources, the hotel is opening another major restaurant called The Departure (think: Asian-fusion that also appeals to the organic taste buds) later on in the season. So with nine floors plus 90% recycled construction waste and a $99 nightly rate for a limited time only (of 99 days, of course!) , it’s clear it’s all in the numbers with this hotel.
For more information you can call: 877.229.9995 or visit thenines.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
From 1920s vacation rentals, to housing for migrant workers, then to 1970s-80s crack houses, the Venice Beach Eco-Cottages have seen many face lifts through the years. But its most recent rehab by owners, Cynthia Foster and Karel Samsom, has made the beach-side bungalows an appealing vacation rental.
Over nine months, the Eco-Cottages were refurbished and completely redesigned with ecological tastes and consciences while forgoing the typical components of a business plan and architect. The artist and environmentalist couple were their own contractors and say they approached the undertaking as “a giant mixed-media art project—the art of sustainability.”
Rejecting the use of petroleum and plastic products as well as anything made in China, the couple opted for purchases made at flea markets, eBay, and salvage yards. Going beyond the general installation of solar panels, they also found eco-companies that make organic mattresses, bedding, and shower curtains, and they even went as far as using recycled blue jeans for insulation.
As a renter you have your choice between three cottages, each aptly named for their stylized interiors:” ‘The Papa Hemingway Cottage’ is the sort of place to inspire pulp fiction. ‘Le Bébé Cottage’ mixes midcentury modern with Rococo flourishes. And ‘Aunt Zoe’s Place’ is like a cheery, kitschy lake cabin.”
For more information, you can call: 866.802.3110 or visit venicebeachecocottages.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji