With the new year in full swing and holiday planning at the top of the to-do list, today I’m kicking off my ‘New York City Hotel Idea’ series. First up, I’m eyeing the LIFE Hotel which opened in April 2017 in the old LIFE Magazine building and looks really cool. Here’s the lowdown…
Location: 19 West 31st Street. Midtown/NoMad
Rates: From around $200/night for a standard queen, depending on the time of year
• A nostalgic atmosphere with a simple, modern twist
• To stay in a restored 19th-century Beaux-Arts building that was once the headquarters for LIFE Magazine
• To feel like you’re sleeping where some of New York’s greatest artists and writers once lived and worked
• To be in a superb location in the heart of NoMad/Midtown
• A business-style hotel or extreme luxury. The design is about the history of the building
• The elevators to arrive in a hurry. They’re original and can be slow but add to the nostalgic atmosphere
• A super-fast Wi-Fi connection
• Free breakfast
LIFE Hotel is located in a beautiful French-inspired building where artists and writers including Norman Rockwell once lived and produced LIFE Magazine from 1894 to the mid 1930s. The top two floors of the building were originally designed as bachelor apartments and studios. Years later, it became the unremarkable Herald Square Hotel before developers bought it and turned it into this beautiful 98-room hotel.
“During construction, we unearthed apartments that once served as editor crash pads and a long-forgotten speakeasy complete with empty liquor bottles,” developer David Mitchell told Town and Country Magazine. “There is so much history behind these walls that we were keen to keep in tact while creating a hotel that goes far beyond the typical.”
Inside, there’s a mix of queen and king rooms and suites, all with amazing high ceilings, wood floors, and white walls and decorated with original works by local artists. Some of the rooms even have their own terrace with Empire State Building views! There’s also a lobby lounge, a cosy restaurant and a basement cocktail bar once said to have housed a speakeasy where LIFE Magazine staff would drink in secret during Prohibition.
Nearby, is Eisenberg’s Sandwich shop, an old-school New York luncheonette open since 1929 which serves the most delicious club sandwiches and turkey salads, Eataly, an Italian food emporium wonderland, and the old Hammerstein Ballroom, an century-old music hall with the most amazing interior you’ve ever seen.
Book your stay at LIFE Hotel, here!