Re-branding an existing hotel is no easy feat, but the challenge didn’t seem too much for Andre Balazs’ golden touch. Since acquiring the Cooper Square Hotel over two years ago, the hotelier has been steadily giving the 21-storey building the Standard treatment - all the while receiving guests, no less. The now-complete Standard East Village boasts a creative rejig of its existing infrastructure and is the more contemplative, laid back cousin to its High Line counterpart. Designed in part by Shawn Hausman, guests now enter the eclectic lobby through the cosy doors of an adjoining townhouse. A spherical, grey-scale installation, Pixel Cloud, by Snarkitecture’s Daniel Arsham, emerges through an adjacent corridor. The space leads off into Café Standard, an intimate street café decorated with colourful tiles and hanging plants that dishes out casual American fare, cocktails and beer, and boasts doors that open onto the street during warmer, al fresco-friendly months. The hotel’s real jewel though, is Narcissa, a Cali-inspired restaurant, and the latest enterprise from chef John Fraser, which uses produce grown on Balazs’ farm, Locusts on Hudson, and champions rotisserie cooking in a whole new way. The Nordic-Shaker style dining room overlooks the hotel’s expansive garden, which houses a ceramic fountain installation by artists Chris Johanson and Jo Jackson and will also offer a petanque court and lounge chairs as soon as the weather permits.