We just went for a sweet little overnight in NYC, and it's just the most magical in December (even when it's raining and 60 degrees). We love going on little getaways, and my job is always to find where we stay. I love love love finding thoughtfully designed hotels and Airbnb's.
You might be thinking, "what does thoughtfully designed mean?"
Great question! All of my designs for clients, I consider thoughtfully designed, so of course, it makes sense that I look for this in places I stay. Basically, it means that someone went through the space thinking:
- let's make this beautiful
- let's make this functional
- what would I love to see in this space that might be extra special
- what would make this space EXTRA helpful if I was staying here
This is HARD to come by in hotels. Most of them are built for speed and ease. Every room looks the same. They usually make sense but have little character. Idk about you, but I want to feel thought of and comfortable wherever I'm staying, even if it's for a night. This deserves a whole blog post now that I'm thinking about it!
But anywaysss, here is my review of the lovely CIVILIAN Hotel in NYC.
The front desk staff was super nice and willing to help, and they have a kiosk check-in system which is super easy. Upon checking in (like 4 hours early) at the kiosk, we found out our room wasn't quite ready yet, but the front desk team was right there and offered to check and see if another room was open. It was sooo great to check in early and reset for our day!
The lobby is tiny but sets off the whole vibe for the rest of the hotel. It's super moody, industrial, and almost romantic. There's an amazing lighting fixture in there, too, which gives you something to try and figure out while you're checking in (you'll get it if you visit there, it's a little trippy haha). We were up on the 24th floor, and waiting for the elevators is probably one of my favorite spots in the place. They have these
AMAZING grungy, antique-looking, huge mirrors and brick walls, and the combination is just breathtaking. Add a little slice of holiday spirit with some green wreaths, and you almost feel like you're in a super old castle.
Elevators were elevators, although well thought out with textured wallpaper that added a really awesome chique vibe. Upon landing on the 24th floor... GAH, the wallpaper is just what dreams are made of! It's old and still so trendy and carries up the moody vintage vibe. The hallway and the rooms are TINY (you should know this before booking! It's not the kind of place where you want to stay for several days with a giant suitcase). Getting into our room was super easy, and this is where you could tell someone really thought out the design. The color palette, unnecessary detail (unnecessary but a WOW), art, and functionality were on point.
Our room was everything I imagined, plus we had a bonus of a great city view. If you're staying with
someone else, get ready to be intimate. The doors to the bathroom are textured glass. They are BEAUTIFUL, but you can 100% see through them, so if you're not ready to have someone witness your bathroom behaviors, think about another hotel option. The bed has a headboard which, in my opinion, every bed should have, it has under-bed storage, GREAT idea in a tiny room, and it had a little sitting space (our bags occupied) that would be really sweet for a single person for morning coffee or tea! The gold fixtures in the bathroom tied into the ceiling detail and wall decor. Gosh. It was all just reallllly well designed.
My ONLY critique is the shower. It's beautiful and works great, but the divider to the rest of the room is too small, and water drowns the bathroom when you take a shower. I found myself feeling like I didn't really want to move because I didn't want to flood the bathroom floor. Per code, they probably couldn't have made the opening any smaller, but they need a door or something!
Overall I give it an 8/10. Beautiful, cohesive design, functional, and some wonderful touches of "extra special." Definitely worth visiting for a short stay or maybe a bit longer if you're on your own!