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Spruceton Inn

By Tom Ran

Published: May 22, 2014 under Hotels

Spruceton Inn in the Catskill Mountains

Photo: Spruceton Inn

Spruceton Inn is a Catskills B&B – that’s bed and bar. Creatives turned innkeepers Casey Scieszka and her husband Steven Weinberg moved from Brooklyn late last year to pursue a dream of opening a hotel in the mountains. They purchased a former farm and spent the winter gut renovating the space. After months of hard work, the inn will open its doors to the public this summer. It’s an idyllic retreat set in a pastoral landscape beneath the rolling mountains of the Catskills, there’s even a creek to take a dip in or go fly fishing. Restaurants and shops are few and far but there’s plenty of nature for this escape. Private kitchens are available in several of the rooms and there’s always the option to bbq. During the winter season Spruceton will operate an artist residency program. From February to April, they will award 12 artist free lodging for a total of one week each. Summer is coming and winter is far behind us, it’s time to escape from NY and head for the hills. Spruceton Inn opens July 1st.

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Standard, Flight Center

By Tom Ran

Published: September 10, 2013 under Hotels

TWA Terminal 5

Photo: Wikipedia

The Port Authority has been meeting with developers since 2011 when they decided to convert Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal into a hotel. Two years later, they’ve finally made their decision on who they’ve selected. Yesterday New York Post reported that Andre Balazs was chosen to become the developer. Though a time line has not been established, plans have been presented for the terminal. It will be called the Standard, Flight Center and will consist of a hotel, conference center, with food and beverage offerings, retail space, a spa, and a flight museum.

We’ve expressed skepticism in the past. Balazs properties have been a destination in and of itself. The neighborhoods that he’s built his hotels on are so much a part of its identity, whether it’s downtown LA, Miami, or the Meat Packing District. Can he do the same with Terminal 5? An airport is completely different from a neighborhood. It’s devoid of any culture. Once people arrive at an airport, they just want to leave. But then again, Balazs perspective and creative output is not something to overlook. He may be able to change people’s opinion on airport hotels and bring back the desire and romance from the golden age of air travel.

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The Graham & Co.

By Tom Ran

Published: August 17, 2012 under Hotels

The Graham & Co. a new 20 room hotel in the Catskills.

Photo: The Graham & Co.

Despite the incoming ads and previews for F/W collections, we’re here to say that summer is not over! We’ll admit though, there aren’t many more days left to enjoy the season. That’s why you need to make the most of it. Escape the city for respite and head for the hills.

A team of enterprising Brooklynites that include members of OAK, Athletics, and others, with an affinity for the Catskills quietly opened The Graham & Co. several weeks ago. Situated on Route 214 off of Main Street in Phoenicia, the hotel sits at the base of the Phoenicia Wild Forest. With grand views of the natural surrounding and a serene experience, this is not a weekend in Montauk. What it is, is a 20 room hotel outfitted with rustic charm made to accommodate the stylish urbanite. Amenities include Tivoli radios with iPod docks, kitchenettes in larger rooms, free bike rentals, a pool, fire pit and nature. Make this your cabin retreat for a weekend, we certainly will.

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Hotel Droog

By Tom Ran

Published: August 16, 2012 under Hotels

Hotel Droog

Photo: Thijs Wolzak

Dutch design collective Droog have toyed with the idea of operating a hotel in the past by opening and showing their work temporarily in hospitality settings. First with its conceptual project in 2002 during a satellite installation in Milan at Salone then in 2011 inside Las Vegas’s Cosmopolitan Hotel. Most recently, in collaboration with Lachaert Gallery, they opened Droog For Rent–a studio and flat for rent on a nightly bases, outfitted with Droog products. This fall will see a new incarnation of the concept with a permanent space. Hotel Droog is a multi-level retail, dining and art experience. They partnered with Kabinet, the forward thinking shop specializing in contemporary designs from Opening Ceremony, Maison Martin Margiela, Costume National, and others. Droog will be handling the food service in a cafe focused on local and seasonal ingredients with a simple and healthy menu. As for the sleeping arrangements, that will have to wait. Even though the space is big enough for a penthouse apartment, permits still need to be in order before construction begins. But don’t let that hold you back, Hotel Droog is now open business in the heart of Amsterdam.

Staalstraat 7A, Amsterdam
+31 20 523 5059

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Wythe Hotel

By Tom Ran

Published: March 12, 2012 under Hotels

Wythe Hotel

Photo: Wythe Hotel

As a visitor you had to be pretty resourceful to find a place to stay in Williamsburg, a friend’s couch, an artist loft in Bushwick, Airbnb, or some sketchy hotel. It wasn’t until last fall when Hotel Williamsburg, now King & Grove, opened up that it became a convenience. Williamsburg will see another hotel opening in May right across the street from Brooklyn Bowl, one that is shaped towards the neighborhood. The Wythe Hotel launched its site last week unveiling more details. As it indicates, there will be room for “artists, friends, brewmasters, musicians, concertgoers, mothers, brothers, grandmothers, bowlers, interns, twins, engineers, chefs & staycationers.” In other words, it’s open to all, from rockstars to starving students. And what would a hotel be without a great restaurant? Andrew Tarlow of Marlow and Sons fame will be taking care of that with Reynolds, a restaurant that specializes in whole animal, wood-fire cooking. Everything sounds good so far, we just wish they didn’t use the word “staycationers.”

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The Prairie

By Tom Ran

Published: March 6, 2012 under Hotels

The Ranger's Lounge at The Prairie

Photo: The Prairie

About 75 miles east of Austin, TX resides a property so picturesque one would think it’s a movie set. But it’s not, the Prairie is hotel on 46 acres that has been around since the mid 1800’s. The property was beautifully restored by its previous owners and was recently given new life by designer Rachel Ashwell, known for her signature style of combining the rawness with the refined. The Prairie consists of five buildings, four of which can be rented out. As you browse the photos of the Prairie, you can almost hear the birds chirping, the breeze blowing, and Hal Riney’s calm and subtle voice telling you everything is going to be ok. See more of the property on the Prairie’s site.

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FEATURES

Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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Workstead

By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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