New York City is loaded with hotels of all sorts, but the latest introduction is a delightful hybrid. The High Line Hotel, in Chelsea across from the namesake High Line park, is inside a late-19th Century red-brick Gothic landmark on the landscaped grounds of a seminary. Throughout the transformation into a hotel, the building's original stained-glass windows, moldings, pine floors, fireplace mantels, and stairwells were preserved.
Five room categories are within the 60-room hotel, which opened on late last month and was once student housing for General Theological Seminary. (Before that, it was an apple orchard owned by poet Clement Clarke Moore, best-known for his "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem.) Interior design by Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors resulted in a playful blend of eclecticism and Gothicism. Surprising artwork, vintage furniture, and antique carpets were sourced from around the world and thoughtfully arranged in each spacious room, which frames a view of either the High Line park or the interior quad. Each room also features a unique accessory: a custom embosser with the hotel's five different logos, to snazz up any correspondence or doodling.
Upon arrival, guests are checked in via iPad and invited to relax with a latte paired with a pastry at Intelligentsia Coffee (the Chicago roaster's first East Coast location). Later this summer, a front courtyard will debut with café-style seating, a cocktail menu, and a small-plates menu, as will an enclosed rear patio.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credit: Courtesy of The High Line Hotel