I hate to paint with a broad brush, but if you live you New York City you probably fall into one of two categories: A Hamptons person or an Upstate person. Everyone in the city needs to escape now and then, some head east and some head north. The Hamptons, especially Montauk, has appealed to a younger, more “downtown” crowd lately. However, The Graham & Co. is about to change all of that. Located in Phonecia, NY in the Catskill mountains, The Graham & Co. is a new weekend destination designed for those who might usually go east to places like The Surf Lodge or Rushmeyer’s in Montauk.
OAK founder, Jeff Madalena and Jason Gnewikow, creative director at Athletics, acquired an old roadside motel and completely redesigned it with a rustic charm and new brand identity. With activities like bonfires, bikes and outdoor movies, The Graham & Co. is the perfect new alternative to a Hamptons escape.
Freehand, a new hostel brand, has opened its first location in Miami at the former Indian Creek Hotel. The concept is a partnership between the Sydel Group, the developer behind the Ace New York & Palm Springs properties and Yucaipa Companies. Created for a new generation of urban travelers, Freehand will incorporate innovative design, a local food and beverage experience, and a comfortable community atmosphere, all offered at an affordable price.
The interior design was done by Roman & Williams, who have done killer work for the Ace among other.
Sydel and Yucaipa have plans to open at least ten more locations within the next few years.
I stopped by the Ace Hotel today for a quick meeting and sampled yet another one of their great offspring, No. 7 Sub. Since opening, the building that houses the Ace on 29th St. between 5th Ave. & Broadway (not exactly the hippest hood in NYC) has been leasing space to some very in vogue brands in order to create a hipster oasis in the middle of Chelsea. Offerings like the in-house resturaunt The Breslin, Stumtown coffee, Opening Ceremony, Project No. 8 and their latest addition, No.7 Sub.
The sub shop is a concept brought to the Ace by No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn and offers 10 sandwich options during lunch as well as few breakfast sandwiches and house made sodas. I went with the Roast Beef with chimichurri, hummus and potato chips (placed on the sandwich for a nice crunch effect).
When it comes to hotel chatter, there are two hotels in New York that have received most of the attention lately, The Ace and The Standard. However, The Crosby St. Hotel, which opened around the same time as the other two deserves a little love as well. While The Ace is plaid shirts and PBR, The Crosby St. is pinstripes and Pimm’s Cups. If Sir Paul Smith could morph himself into a hotel, I believe the result would be very similar to The Crosby St. Chic, stylish, colorful and very British.
The Crosby St. opened in October of 2009 in New York’s Soho neighborhood and is the first American installment for London based Firmdale Group. The Firmdale also operates six properties in London including the Haymarket, Soho, Covent Garden, Charlottoe St., Knightsbridge and Number Sixteen.
Built on what used to be a parking lot, the exterior of The Crosby looks more like a new (and very nice) warehouse. However, the interior, designed by Kit Kemp, is an explosion of color, humor and personality. The Crosby is a dandy of a hotel.
I know, I’m a little behind the 8 ball on this one. These videos of Roman & Williams (the interior design team responsible for the Ace Hotel New York, Standard Grill, etc.) and Billykirk (the handcrafted leather goods company) have been making their way around the blogosphere for quite some time now. However, both videos (produced by The Scout) are too awesome to leave off.
I’ve never been a huge fan of this quote, but here it goes…”Better late than never”.
I love boutique hotels, and the Ace is at the top of my list. This video of the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Spings was shot by Hello Super 8. I love the effect on the film from the vintage camera, it adds to the 1970s “Boogie Nights” vibe of the place.