I have my favorite hotels in the city: for the longest time I've been saying my ultimate tops is the Bowery Hotel, though more recently it's been joined by the NoMad Hotel, just a little further uptown. Both distinctly different in style—the Bowery speaks to my British side, while the NoMad resonates with the person in me that wishes she were an effortlessly cool French girl— they each succeed in being the kinds of urban abodes that make you forget you're actually checked into a hotel. Or at least that's about all I can really intuit from my brief visits thus far. I've stayed overnight at the Bowery once with a friend, but not yet at the NoMad. Still, I always reference it whenever I say, "BUT, if I were to take a staycation..."
Will I ever take a staycation, though?
Lodging in style (especially this kind of style) isn't exactly cheap. And whenever I do find myself with the funds and the time to take an escape of sorts, the thought of making my resident island of Manhattan an actual vacation setting falls right off my radar. I recently booked a room for my visiting sister and her husband at the new Viceroy Hotel in midtown, and found myself supremely envious of their one-night stay. With stunning views overlooking Central Park and streamlined, polished interiors by one of my favorite design firms, Roman & Williams, the Viceroy really does feel like a destination far removed from my life in the East Village, a mere eight subway stops away—so much so that I'm actually considering a night or two there as a birthday treat to myself this month, or perhaps while I'm in the thick of an upcoming home renovation.
But why stop at hotels, especially given all the modern conveniences—and yes, luxuries too!—afforded by today's shared economy? A New York Times story recently quoted Airbnb.com's co-founders, who said the site featured "over 3,000 castles, 2,000 treehouses, 900 islands, and 400 lighthouses available to book," with more than 100 people staying in yurts on a single documented night. I'm not exactly the yurt type, but a private island idyll would be right up my alley. Right here in New York too, there are plenty of indulgences to be had. For the same price as a swanky hotel room, I could book an opulent duplex apartment with a private roof deck and a washer/dryer which, to me, is pretty much living THE LIFE. Still, it's someone else's life that you're obliged to give back at the end of the stay...
In a dream world, I'd love to take up residence in a hotel like Coco Chanel at the Ritz, Oscar Wilde at the Savoy—or Eloise at the Plaza—even as a temporary "long-termer," just to be able to channel the grandeur of those rarefied worlds from days long gone. The very idea of not having to make the bed every morning is attractive enough.
Anyone accepting applications for a writer-in-residence?