From bustling rooftop bars to chic lobby shops, hotels are creating vibrant public spaces to attract homegrown attention.
Courtesy of The High Line Hotel
The High Line Hotel, New York
At this recently opened hotel in Chelsea (first constructed as student housing for the General Theological Seminary next door), the guest check-in area takes up all of a few square feet of space. The rest of the charming Roman & Williams–designed lobby is dedicated to Intelligentsia Coffee’s first East Coast outpost by day and a bar serving wine and beer by night. And while the handsome nook is a popular spot for regulars in search of a caffeine boost, it’s the hotel’s two outdoor spaces that have been calling locals during their after-work hours. Just this summer, the hotel turned its substantial front courtyard and garden into Champagne Charlie’s—an outdoor lounge and restaurant serving small plates (oysters, crudos, salads), spirits, beer and a selection of premium Champagnes and wines. For a quieter, more contemplative atmosphere, neighbors know to retreat through the lobby to the back courtyard for peace and quiet not often found in Manhattan. It’s there, with a weekend newspaper in hand, that the pleasures of a cloistered community truly set in. 180 Tenth Ave.; 212-929-3888; thehighlinehotel.com.