Manhattan, New York
Modern, $$$ (from $325)
The modernist tower that sprung up on Manhattan's far west side in 2009 immediately made a name — and a neighborhood — for itself. The Standard High Line, a concrete slab on stilts overlooking the Hudson River and The High Line elevated walkway, has generated more buzz than just about any other hotel in NYC's recent past. The crowds (young, fun, creative, international) came for the big and brassy beer garden, bar, restaurant, club, lounges ... and never left.
The hotel brand continually figures out ways to stay relevant beyond newsy brick-and-mortar offerings: Standard Time gives guests the ability to choose convenient check-in/check-out times. One Night Standard is a booking app for last-minute (day-of) hotel room reservations. Those amenities, along with constant artist happenings, DJ parties, and in-store events, keeps the place feeling like the center of the Meatpacking universe.
AT A GLANCE
Vibe: Fun, mod, freewheeling, naughty (exhibitionism is encouraged).
Standout Detail: The energy is palpable — from the thumping rooftop discotheque Le Bain (and its bonkers panoramic views) to the tiny winter ice rink down below. The Standard hub is a magnet for social gathering in a neighborhood full of party people.
This Place Is Perfect For: Travelers jonesing to be in the center of the action when they come to Manhattan.
Rooms: All 338 rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows for excellent westside city views or a look at the glistening Hudson River. There's also big comfy beds, plush robes, super stocked mini bars, and room for pets.
On Site: The Living Room feels like the lobby for everyone in the neighborhood. Travelers and tourists rest their weary bodies here all hours of the day and night. The well-curated gift shop unearths nice local gems and souvenirs from designers and artisans beloved by those in the know. Throwing private parties is a thing here, and there are plenty of spaces to take advantage of (including a glass-walled meeting space, a private dining room, a corner suite, and penthouse with panoramic views).
Food + Drink: At the rowdy ground floor Biergarten, the waitstaff wear lederhosen T-shirts and braids and sling ale pitchers and pretzels the size of your head. The Standard Grill is the Meatpacking District's neighborhood brasserie that works equally well for big groups or the out-of-towner rolling solo and in the mood for people-watching. The Standard Plaza works as an outdoor patio in summer and a winter wonderland (complete with hot cocoa house and skating rink) in the winter months. Top of the Standard is a plush lounge and bar — you'll find ladies teetering in heels and sequins until late in the night. Penthouse club Le Bain has a big sound system as well as a sprawling rooftop for shenanigans against the cityscape.
WHAT TO DO NEARBY
The Meatpacking District has been many things to many people over the years. In its current incarnation, the action is mostly in the form of hardcore shopping (The Kooples, Diane von Furstenberg, local fancy pants boutique Jeffrey New York), glitzy dining rooms that attract a Euro crowd (Santina, Catch) and dancing at brunch (Bagatelle). The addition of Whitney Museum (and its excellent restaurant, Untitled, and top-floor Studio Cafe) at the end of The High Line seals its place on the essential tourist hit list. The Meatpacking District website is a solid resource for events, street fairs, and other happenings in the area.