Most New Yorkers share a sense of pride and really good fortune in having the High Line to readily access. The beautiful linear park was built on a 1.45 mile section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur, and runs along the lower west side of Manhattan. This serene greenway with Star Wars-esque aerial views opened in 2009- the second installation which runs up to 30th Street followed in 2011- instantly becoming a must-see destination for tourists, and a zen respite for locals- not to mention turning this stretch of land into some of the most expensive property in the city. With so much activity centered around the park these days, there’s a new hotel in West Chelsea to provide more panoramic views, as well as another injection of downtown action.
The High Line Hotel is where eclectic Americana meets European style- think Boarding School chic. Overlooking the High Line Park, the hotel even has its own garden, although enclosed and private for guests. This 19th century red brick landmark was once the former General Theological Seminary- the cloistered community was built in 1895 as a student dormitory for Episcopal ministers- and before that, an 18th century apple orchard. MCR development and the Brodsky organization are responsible for revamping this structure of holiness into 60 rooms of hipness. Now a few centuries into the future, guests are offered paperless check-in via iPads and Chicago’s beloved Intelligentsia Coffee’s first New York outpost, housed inside the lobby. Pastries and savory sweets supplied by Manhattan’s divine Mah Ze Dahr Bakery can be a heavenly pairing with your java for a stroll in the park, or just to keep you on constant go-mode. Walking past these gorgeously Gothic buildings everyday en route to work while living in New York, I was always fascinated as to what would become of them. Now I can actually stay there…thankfully not monk-style. www.thehighlinehotel.com