Mr. Dottie says my threshold for fulfillment is too high because I need everything to be an experience to the nth degree. I say, just make everything an experience to the nth degree and then you will always feel fabulous! For this reason, I am loving Chelsea’s High Line Hotel. It is not just your average jaunt, but, if I do say so myself, a unique experience to the nth degree.
The High Line Hotel opened in September 2013 on Tenth Avenue. Though Chelsea has become the hot spot for art and fashion’s elite, this particular area was once an 18th century apple orchard owned by Clement Clarke Moore who penned “Twas the Night Before Christmas” on the High Line’s property. I must note that such apple orchards were the impetus for New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple.” Who knew? Its 60 rooms and suites are in the red brick General Theological Seminary Complex. Every nook and cranny of the interior is furnished with period art and Victorian or Edwardian antiques. The current building pays homage to its rich history as an urban retreat with its landmark protected Gothic architecture, but its grand Refectory is quickly becoming a popular site for fashion shows, exclusive launches, photo shoots, and chic social gatherings. In fact, the High Line hosted Vanity Fair’s 100th anniversary and Fashion Week’s closing party this past February. One of the greatest highlights for me is the 1960s Citroen Intelligentsia coffee truck. The coffee itself has a cult following and the High Line Hotel is the first East Coast outpost where one can fuel up either by the truck or at the hotel lobby’s stunning zinc coffee bar. Pairing an espresso with Chef Umber Ahmed’s Mah-Ze-Darh Bakery goods is a beautiful way to start the day and to indulge in the afternoon. The truck even has its own interesting history having been sourced in Southern France, brought to Southampton, England, to add a new hatch door, and finally shipped via container to Newark, New Jersey. Though it still runs, it remains parked in the hotel’s front-gated garden. Hotel guests and neighbors gather to get their caffeine fix as well as retreat to the back patio that will soon become a champagne bar in the evenings. As far as private spaces go, each generously proportioned guestroom has its own special mix of Americana and European antiques that include distinct oriental rugs sourced from all over the world, books sourced from a Cold War era psychic’s estate, 1920s re-wired telephones with free local and international calling, and individually designed embossers for marking letters on the hotel’s stationery. In case you forgot where you were, the rooms facing Tenth Avenue have a remarkable view of the actual High Line itself.
Trust me, it takes a lot to take this former “Gossip Girl” out of the Upper East Side, but for the High Line Hotel — you can take the Upper East Side out of the girl.
The High Line Hotel
180 Tenth Avenue, at 20th street
New York, NY