Life’s a beach at The Rockaway Hotel in Queens NYC
Turn your day trip to an overnight one at this boardwalk hotel a stones throw from the city
New Yorkers really don’t lack for much – and that includes sandy beaches, lest one forgets that it is essentially made up of a group of islands. Along one in particular – Rockaway Beach in Queens, known for its white sand, surfing culture and lively boardwalk, a new hotel simply named The Rockaway Hotel, brings a hint of life in the big city (just visible in the distance) to its sandy shores.
Housed in a new building designed by Morris Adjmi Architects that compliments the existing bungalows that dot the shoreline, the six-storey hotel makes nods to the surrounding topography and existing architecture by echoing the colours of the neighbouring houses and incorporating zinc paneling, which is also frequently used.
‘Located in the heart of New York City’s beloved Rockaway community, The Rockaway Hotel will serve as an extension of the existing, vibrant beach town scene,’ says Morris Adjmi, the firm’s founder. ‘We always strive to create new and fresh designs that are appropriately contextual for the locale and this project is no exception.’
With views of either New York City or the Atlantic Ocean to compete with, the interiors of the hotel are suitably low-key. The firm Curious Yellow Design looked to beach culture of the 1960s for inspiration, choosing un-fussy materials such as wood, concrete and cane and mixing them with lien, wool, leather and an abundance of natural greenery that punctuates the hotel’s shared spaces. With nods to Scandinavian minimalism and functionality while still exuding warmth and tranquility, each corner in the hotel, whether it’s the living room-like lobby to the 53 guestrooms and 8 extended stay suites upstairs, is made for soaking up the surrounding scenery.
While the hotel’s beachfront views and access, rooftop restaurant, and outdoor pool with its accompanying deck and bar are all feature attractions in and of itself, its art collection is just as notable. With a rotating selection of artists, like Derrick Adams and Roe Etheridge and including commissioned works by Zoe Buckman and Hannah Whitaker, the collection reflects the hotel’s support of the Rockaway’s vibrant culture – it is also the lead sponsor behind the recently unveiled mural project by Shantell Martin at Seaside Playground.
With other partnerships in place, such as Locals Surf School for surfing lessons, soaps and bath products from Goldies, another neighbourhood local, and Rockaway Brewing Company, the hotel is a worthy retreat for both locals and tourists alike.
Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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