Hotels with Local Followings

From bustling rooftop bars to chic lobby shops, hotels are creating vibrant public spaces to attract homegrown attention.

Courtesy of The High Line Hotel
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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.