Style Ain’t Cheap, aka That Stuffed Coyote Costs Extra

Curated taxidermy lurks above the lobby at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Ann Larie Valentine via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0).

Look out, here come the microhotels: painfully hip hotels with teeny tiny rooms, but curated lobbies and super-Instagrammable roof terraces. At The Outline, Daisy Alioto wonders when having a modicum of personal space in which to rest and relax went from being the whole point of hotel rooms to a luxury perk. Is a patio with a mid-century modern cornhole board a workable tradeoff for a full-sized bed and just enough room to leave your toiletries?

If you slash costs enough, you have to wonder whether guests are booking your hotel not for the design, but in spite of it. The irony is, there are plenty of staid hotel chains in midtown Manhattan of the same price range as the Freehand. When you strip out the social media cachet, many trendy hotels are a bum deal on par with the Kip’s Bay micro-apartment development, where tenants paid above market prices for less space.

I await the hotel equivalent of fashion’s normcore backlash, in which millennials are driven back to jewel-toned duvets and wicker kleenex holders reminiscent of Golden Girls. However, it’s just as likely that hotels will take feedback like Gongaware’s and rebrand a shaving shelf and extra-long bed as the Men’s Room™ — crafting a privilege out of standards that used to be the norm.

(What exactly is a “Curated Lobby”? I’m not sure, but Curated Lobby is totally the name of my new un-ironic post-pop all-bassoon zydeco band.)

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