This Could Be The Best Hotel In New York City Right Now

31 July 2019
Travel & Eats, The Standard East Village
Image: David Malosh
Ditch the Fifth Avenue set this summer in favour of low-key luxe in one of NYC’s last great neighbourhoods

Allow us to be blunt. If you’re looking for an anonymous New York stay, the kind without a hint of character, energy or joie de vivre, steer clear of The Standard East Village. However, if you’ve grown to love the low-key luxe of the achingly-hip hotel empire, this will be right up your alley. If you’re not familiar, the Standard was launched by André Balazs, the hotelier who breathed new life into the Chateau Marmont in the ’90s – and it’s come to be known for affordable luxury that doesn’t skimp on personality.

The Standard’s East Village setup is a laid-back little brother to its towering High Line location – a home base for those ready to take on Manhattan with a cold brew espresso and limited-edition kicks. It has all the edge and playfulness you’ve come to expect from the Standard, with a few (literally) homegrown touches.

Its in-house restaurant, Narcissa, has long been lauded for its farm-to-table vibes – it’s recently doubled-down on those credentials by opening the first in-hotel mushroom farm in the US. Under the direction of the hotel’s new Chef de Cuisine, Max Blachman-Gentile, the adjacent Café Standard is serving up freshly-baked bread with wild yeast, bringing a whole new level of gastronomic excellence to your morning toast.

Out back, the Garden feels purpose-built for summer afternoons that turn into summer evenings – especially when complemented by NO BAR, the hotel’s neon-drenched no-holds-barred party venue.

However, for all that vibe, for all those beats, the rooms here feel like soundproof glass boxes, hovering over Manhattan like minimalist sanctuaries. If you’ve stayed at a Standard property before, you know what to expect: a bed you won’t want to leave, a bunch of toiletries you’ll want to steal, and late-night room service that’s a cut above hamburgers and Cobb salads (but not too snobby to serve ‘em up, anyway). Neat, chic and airy, they can be a touch on the compact side, so if you’re tempted to size-up, do so.

Staying in the East Village is a distinct choice in NYC: you’re plonking yourself in a cultural hub that’s somehow escaped a total hyper-glossy revamp that other Manhattan neighbourhoods have fallen victim to. You’ll be inches away from great coffee, prohibition-inspired bars and rare fashion at all times – which isn’t a bad place to be in New York, at all.