Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Hotel Gansevoort, 18, 9th Avenue at 13th Street (above) epitomizes the entire essence of the Meatpacking District. Uber-Chic and cutting edge trendy, slavish to 'killer' fashion, vainglorious and 'serial hedonistic' and yet fun, lively and irresistible. Like other establishments in the area it equates 'success' to the number of thick-necked, shaven-headed men in suits standing menacingly on the premises ostensibly providing security. Hotel Gansevoort even has these 'heavies' in each of it's elevators as well!

Hotel Gansevoort Lobby....

....and bedroom ....

....and rooftop swimming pool with spectacular views

It's 187 rooms all have high ceilings and large windows, sophisticated color scheme (neutrals and greys with a shot of blackberry) and minimalist decor, are comfortable enough if not a little tight in square footage. I stayed for two nights in 2008 and whilst initially a tad resistant to the room size and the 'razzmatazz' of most habitues and visitors, really warmed to the place particularly the front desk staff who were delightfully charming and helpful. The buffet breakfast served in the Ono Restaurant was very good value at $13 per head.
Generally the hotel's clientele is international (me), fashionable (not me), and affluent (definitely not me). A UK national newpaper's travel reporter recalls having checked out at the same time as a blonde starlet, who got into a waiting stretch limo, saying into her mobile phone: "Come in my plane darling. I'm leaving now and there's loads of room."

Hotel Gansevoort's position as 'the' place to stay and be seen at in the Meatpacking District is under threat from the forthcoming arrival of the Standard New York (below), hotelier Andre Balazs' ambitious 18-story, 337-room lodge, erected on pillars straddling the elevated High Line park at the corner of Washington and West13th Street, less than two blocks away.

Standing 4 stories taller and with nearly double the room capacity as the Hotel Gansevoort, with a beer garden, a pool and two restaurants, the hugely hyped Standard threatens to depose its barely four-year-old neighbour as the area's trendiest hub.

With the global economy in recession at best, there will be a marked reduction in visitors to NYC, along with a tightening of both corporate and individual's belts, which would indicate a 'shoot-out' between the Standard and Gansevoort for the lion's share of whatever is going of Meatpacking's hotel business and the sobriquet of the 'place to stay and be seen at' in this style obsessed district.

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