A Boutique New York Stay: Life Hotel

One of my favorite things about traveling is getting to experience the different types of accommodations. I mean, I spend so much time in them after all! And let me tell you, I’ve stayed in many different types. From hostels to 5-star resorts to Airbnb’s and everything in between. But there is something about boutique hotel stays that make me feel like I’m right at home. Life Hotel was no exception.

The Location

The newly appointed Life Hotel is located just a few blocks from the Empire State Building. You are really central when staying here. That is one of my favorite things about the hotel. Honestly, there is nothing worse than being so far away from everything you want to do. My mornings were spent like I would spend them at home. I would wake up at about 7ish and walk over to the gym- maybe a 10-minute walk. Admittedly I got lost. We had the privilege of experiencing Equinox- a very, very nice gym in New York. We don’t have this in Maine that’s for sure! After the gym, I’d stroll back to Life Hotel- taking the long way of course- stopping at Starbucks and marveling at the tall buildings and all of the people carrying on in their daily lives. And then there is me, always dumbfounded at just how many people there are in the world. This happens every time I am in a major city. I find myself making up little stories about passerby’s, thinking about what their life looks like, what they do for work, their families- everything that makes a person well… a person. Anyone else do this?

K back to the reason you’re here.

The Room

The entire hotel has modern written all over it. With hints of industrial inspiration, unique artwork commissioned by local artists, and brass accents. With 98 rooms total, varying from classic queen to premium king to multi-room suites there’s a lil’ something for every traveler. The coolest room? The room with the terrace that if you look up you’ll have the Empire State Building towering over you. Also worth noting, if you’re traveling with several people the multi-room suites are perfect for you because you’ll have your own private hallway! Oh, and the hotel is very pet friendly to boot!

Life Hotel

Life Hotel

Fun fact: Life Hotel was home to LIFE Magazine in 1893. The hotel was once an office building, evident through the layout, hallways, stairways and elevators. The LIFE Magazine team lived upstairs and the lower floors acted as their offices- old school WeWork type of situation. Names like Norman Rockwell lived and worked in this space. Fan girl moment.

Life Hotel

Amenities

While the hotel is still under construction I am excited to tell you that once it is finished it will be complete with a gym, full-service restaurant (read: breakfast in bed), and speakeasy. Yes, a speakeasy! It will be serving classic cocktails reminiscing back to the days LIFE magazine staffers used this space as their own speakeasy. There will also be a very cool, futuristic texting system. Once you’ve checked into the hotel you’ll be eligible for text requests. Instead of calling down to the front desk or calling the hotel while you’re out exploring, you can simply text the Life Hotel team for any needs. This includes restaurant reservations, scheduling experiences, anything!

Life Hotel

Life Hotel was the perfect spot to base myself to explore New York City. Actually, this was my first time staying in this part of the city! On previous trips I stayed in Times Square and then in Hoboken. I’d love any other recommendations on your favorite parts of the city to stay for my next visit.

Life Hotel

This post is written in partnership with Life Hotel, as always, my opinions are my own.

Travel Tag: Albany, New York

I was lucky enough to tag along with my mom to Albany, NY for a work trip. We stayed 15 minutes outside of the city in Greenbush, NY. A very small town but, alas, there was a Starbucks!

I noticed a few things about the area while I was there. Restaurants were few and far between, mostly mom and pop diners or your standard chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Panera Bread. Not my thing. I’m more of a fine dining kind of gal. Sue me!

I made my way downtown (insert Macklemore lyrics here) for a couple of hours, near the state house. I walked around, with a coffee in hand, took pictures and observed the people. Two of my favorite things to do while I’m traveling. Although, I’ve found that people watching isn’t always your best choice- many people don’t like when you stare at them (who knew?).

I got to use my camera a lot, which was an absolute bonus! The architecture was beautiful against the blue skies and shades of orange and yellow shining down on the Autumn trees. I toggle between a Nikon D330, pictured below, and a Canon EOS 5D. My Nikon is lightweight, small and perfect for the things I use it for. There is the option to use the 3″ LCD screen to shoot through (which I love). The Canon is a little more heavy duty but shoots beautiful pictures. If you have any questions about my camera or taking photos in general please leave your questions in the comments below!

Albany

The Crossgates Mall is definitely worth highlighting. If you’re in the area on a rainy day I highly suggest it. But, if the sun is shining opt to get outside there are plenty of trails to hike and views to see just a short drive away. Plotter Kill Preserve and Thacher Park are on the top of my list if I ever return! Find out all the deets here.

Here’s a carefully curated, Sunny Side approved, list of cafés, restaurants and places to see.

Suggested by the locals

Iron Gate Café

Café 217

Mug Shot

Coffee & Tea

Stacks Espresso

Uncommon Grounds

Tierra Coffee Roasters

Daily Grind

Bake for You

Café Madison

Lil’ Buddah Tea

Stage Coach Coffee

Restaurants & Desserts

A Better Bite

The Cheese Traveler

Reel Seafood

Emack & Bolio’s

Bountiful Bread

Creo

New World Bistro and Bar

The Brakes – (Get the PB&J)

Places to go

Capital Building

Empire State Plaza

The Egg

Washington Park

Albany Pine Bush Reserve