New York Travel Guide

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Quikbook Joins Up With Expedia But Forgets To Tell Its Customers

October 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM | by | Comment (1)

The other day we received an email from an upset travel agent wondering what had happen to our beloved booking site, Quikbook, a site we told you to know and use last year.

She wrote:

What has happened to Quikbook? I have had an account with them for more than 20 yrs.

Went to book a hotel today and could not find the usual log in button where I put in my user name & password. Normally, I log into my account and can book my travelers by their stored information in my account on Quikbook. I have about 50 travelers with all their stored personal info & credit card numbers. The Quikbook page looked the same except no way to log in to my account.

I thought maybe it was a page glitch for the day & proceeded to book and just manually enter all the info. Then, when I hit purchase I received an error message that said I would need to have an agent confirm.

The girl says she's with Expedia! When I tell her that's the number on the Quikbook site, she disconnects me. I pulled up an old Quikbook confirmation copy. The NYC number is disconnected. I have spent hours on the phone today and even called Expedia corporate office in Washington state & they too gave me the complete run-around. I talked with one of the major NYC hotel's that I frequently book through Quikbook. They said 2 wks ago, the hotel also could not get into their Quikbook account information & that they'd heard through the grapevine that Expedia has taken over Quikbook.

My question is, what happened to all my traveler's confidential credit card numbers & profile information that was stored in my Quikbook account that I can no longer access. If Expedia is now booking Quikbook's site, why isn't that disclosed? I have a corporate account with Expedia too. If I wanted to book with Expedia, I wouldn't have gone to Quikbook's website!

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Meet Paul, The New Hotel Opening in NYC's NoMad Nabe

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  Site Where: 32 W. 29th Street [map], New York, NY, United States
October 29, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Another day, another mysterious hotel with a masculine name planning to open in New York City.

Meet The Paul NYC, a 117-room hotel planned for 32 W 29th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in the heart of the happening NoMad nabe, where millennial hotel brands go to drink craft beer and have serious discussions about the ethics of Instagram filters.

There's not much to learn about Paul from his website. However, on his Facebook page, he's given a little peek into what he's all about.

Obviously, Paul is a millennial. But from his photos, we also learn that Paul's favorite colors are blue and red, he likes cake, magazines and Paul McCartney and he believes in "the more the merrier." Hence, the bunk beds.

There are other room options aside from the bunk beds, including king beds and double beds. But the bunk beds make us think Paul might be an affordable type of spot. And affordable in NYC these days is somewhere between $250 and $300. Ugh.

A lodging report has the 21-story hotel listed for a February opening (even though the website says "Fall 2014") but as this Google Street View from last month shows, there's still a hell of a lot of work to be done. Tsk, millennials.

Roger, Archer, William and even Tommie. So many hotels with man names, so little time.

[Screengrabs: HotelChatter; Room and exterior renderings: The Paul NYC/Facebook]

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We're Trying to Keep Cool But The SLS New York May Open in February

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  Site Where: 444 Park Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States
October 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

For us, hotel opening dates are very much like blind dates--we have very low expectations of them turning out to be good and most times, we don't even expect them to show up. So we're taking the new opening date of the SLS New York very casually.

But there's a little part of us that is hopeful the hotel will be the man of our dreams, er, open in February as planned.

The website for the Park Avenue hotel in the NoMad nabe is still listing "2015" as the their opening date but a recent lodging report has it pegged for February. The hotel will have 190 rooms, designed by Philippe Starck, along with different restaurant and lounge concepts from other SLS hotels and a rooftop "experience." The timing could be great too, since the New York Edition will open in April.

We peeped at the hotel's exterior and signage last Fall and there wasn't much to report, but we're keeping the faith that the hotel is further along in the process a year later. After all, we've been waiting for this hotel since 2012 when they promised a 2013 opening date. So, you know, it's kinda like they owe us to open in February now.

[Rendering via SLS New York]

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After Miami Beach, The New York Edition Will Open in April

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  Site Where: 5 Madison Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States
October 23, 2014 at 3:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've hardly gotten over the exciting news that the Ian Schrager's latest hotel, Miami Beach Edition, is opening on November 10 but now we're absolutely freaking out that the New York Edition will open on April 1, 2015. And no, that's not a cruel April Fools Joke.

In a newsletter update sent out to subscribers, Edition Hotels, a Marriott International brand, touted the rave review that the NY Times bestowed on the London Edition. Of course, we already knew how special this hotel was when it first opened and when we spent the night back in March.

But at the bottom of the email, Edition made note of the Miami Beach opening date along with New York which is listed as "premiering on 4.1.15." Oh Em Gee.

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Now You Can Paint The Yotel New York On Your Nails

October 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Can't make it to the Park Hyatt Place Vendome in Paris for a mani and pedi at their new eco-nail suite? Or perhaps, you can't afford the $90 mani prices? Don't freak. You can simply pop into the Yotel New York for its own line of eco-friendly nail polishes.

The funky Times Square hotel has partnered up with Habit Cosmetics to offer two custom-created nail polishes. One will be done in a "bold plum" shade while the other will be "cool blue-grey." Both colors reflect the YOTEL's signature color palette.

Aside from the daring colors, the lacquers are also vegan, cruelty-free and free of toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor. They are even said to be infused with myrrh extract, which can strengthen your nails. Even further, the bottles are eco-friendly and topped off with custom bamboo caps. #themoreyouknow.

The nail polish will be sold at YOTEL New York’s Mission Control shop for $15 or you can order online at www.HabitCosmetics.

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Mandarin Oriental Has Yet Another New Fan...

October 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Move over, Morgan Freeman. Lucy Liu is the latest celebrity to come out as a "fan" of Mandarin Oriental Hotels for their ongoing advertising campaign.

Photographer Mary McCartney (yes, as in that McCartney) has photographed Liu arriving at her favorite MO hotel Mandarin Oriental New York. Liu was actually born in NYC and says she loves the hotel's proximity to Central Park, along with their "delicious and comforting" Chinese breakfast. We assume that's the Mandarin Oriental breakfast served at the Asiate restaurant (for $36) and through room service and which includes "Soy Chicken Rice Congee, Poached Egg, Chicken Shu Mai Roasted Pork Steamed BunGinger, Cilantro, Pickled Mustard Greens with a Choice of La Colombe Coffee or Tealeaves Green Teas."

Hopefully, being a fan of the MONY means Liu will now have the $1,000 room rate waived.

Liu joins 27 other existing fans of Mandarin Oriental including Freeman, Cecilia Bartoli, Caterina Murino, Sir Peter Blake, Lin Chiling, Karen Mok, Kevin Spacey, Christian Louboutin, Sophie Marceau, IM Pei, Michelle Yeoh, Jane Seymour, Kenzo Takada, Jerry Hall, Vanessa Mae, Vivienne Tam, Barry Humphries, Frederick Forsyth, Darcey Bussell, Bryan Ferry, Liam Neeson, Dame Helen Mirren, Maggie Cheung, Sigourney Weaver, Sir David Tang, Hélène Grimaud and Sa Ding Ding.

[Photo: Mandarin Oriental Hotels]

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Woot, Woot? The World's Tallest Holiday Inn to Open in NYC on Friday

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  Site Where: 99 Washington Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10006
October 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM | by | Comments (2)

While we are on the subject of prolific hotel cookie cutter maker architect Gene Kaufman, another one of his projects is set to open on Friday near Manhattan's World Trade Center---the world's tallest Holiday Inn. Um, yay?

We wrote about this hotel back in April 2012 and much of the announcement specifics are the same. The 50-story hotel at 99 Washington Street will have a whopping 490 rooms, many with killer views of the city and the Hudson River. It also promises to be full-service but we're not seeing much that's full-service about it, aside from the St. George's restaurant on site ("where kids eat free and the cuisine is sure to delight even the most discerning palate") and the complimentary "dinner snacks" that are served.

Judging by the photos on the website, the rooms look horrifyingly bland and boring but the lobby is a looker. Hello chevron floor design! And we're in love with the orange bar stool and high back armchairs. Here are the pictures on the hotel's website so far.

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Looks Like You Can Crash Downtown with Tommie This Summer

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  Site Where: 231 Hudson Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10013
October 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, news about new hotel brands for Millennials came fast and furious. While the momentum has died down a little bit, there's still news percolating out there. Like this bit about a Tommie Hotel from Thompson Hotels opening in Tribeca on Hudson Street next summer. [Insert clapping hands emoji right here.]

Yes, we've known about this property since Tommie Hotels were first announced in May 2013. But it's always been the other Tommie Hotel on E. 31st Street that we've been checking up on, each time getting slightly depressed that Spring 2016 seems like forever away.

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1 Hotel Central Park to Open in March and It Will Be the Most Eco-Chic Hotel Yet

October 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Well, lookie here. Luxury eco-hotel brand, 1 Hotels has unveiled a new website for the 1 Hotel Central Park AND they are even taking reservations for March 2015. (We had a feeling that a fall opening wasn't going to happen.)

A tipster let us know about the new website for 1 Hotel Central Park, and it is rather cool. Not only is the site full of details and gorgeous photos, but it's incredible easy, and pleasant, to navigate, dropping in hotel information with city information and general eco-conscious lifestyle information. We also like how the room categories are listed with starting rates attached. Speaking of rooms, here is how the Alcove Queen room is described:

Reclaimed wood, raw materials, painted brick walls and accents of blackened steel and copper surround a plush, queen-sized bed in the heart of the city, complete with a generous closet for your belongings.

Other room categories are Alcove Kings, and Studio, City and Park rooms with king beds. (The latter two denote the type of view.) There's a handful of rooms with two beds too.

Amenities in the guest rooms include a Keesta mattress, a triple filtered water system, complimentary Oogave Natural sodas in the minibar, yoga mat, in-room coffee and tea, and exclusive, organic 1 Hotels toiletries.

There's also a goodie bag given on arrival filled with healthy snacks and each room has a floor-to-ceiling slot of living plants so you're greeted with a "fresh boost" every time you walk in the door. Smells, er, sounds wonderful!

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Mindy Kaling Drank Her Friend's Contact Lenses at a Trump Hotel

October 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (2)

If you still wear contact lenses, then chances are you've probably done this trick while staying at a hotel when you've realized that you forgot your contact lens case--you fill up the two glasses in the bathroom with contact lens solution.

We've done this before. (After cleaning out the glasses of course. We'd like to keep our eyeballs, no matter how poorly they function without corrective lenses.)

However, we've always been careful not to drink from these glasses. Sadly, the same can't be said for actress Mindy Kaling during her recent hotel stay in New York. Check out her recent post to Facebook:

So this morning I drank my best friend @joce808 contact lenses. They were sitting in this glass unguarded in a shallow pool of contact solution. I drank it with my morning glug of water and we are debating whether I should have known better given context clues.

Or maybe, having contact lens cases on hand for guest who've forgot theirs is something that Trump Hotels should do. Kimpton does it. That way, Mindy's friend wouldn't have to improvise with the bathroom glasses. (The toiletry on the sink is a giveaway of her hotel stay.)

Either way, we think the incident would be perfect for "The Mindy Project", which chronicles Dr. Mindy Lahiri and her revolving door of boyfriends. #DiamondDanForever

[Photo: Mindy Kaling/Facebook]

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Put On Your Snazziest Walking Shoes, Hyatt Herald Square Is Open

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  Site Where: 32 West 31st Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
October 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM | by | Comment (1)

There's one hotel we missed on our recent openings list--The Hyatt Herald Square New York, which is now officially open. Perfect timing, ahead of the holiday season, even Halloween, which to many of us is a bone fide holiday in itself.

Here's what to like about Hyatt Herald Square, so far:

· Close to Shopping. Herald Square has always been a clusterF high-energy Manhattan neighborhood, with a history of both the fashion and publishing worlds to keep things current and looking good. While the publishing sector has mostly moved on, on-line that is, Herald Square is still home to big-brand fashion, including those celeb lines at Macy's.

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The Waldorf Astoria To Be Sold But Will, Of Course, Remain a Hilton Hotel

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  Site Where: 301 Park Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10022
October 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM | by | Comments (3)

The legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue, the hotel that spawned an entire collection of luxury hotels, is about to be sold to a Chinese insurance company for a whopping $1.95 billion.

But don't worry. It will remain a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Hilton Worldwide, who unloaded the property, will remain in charge of the hotel's operations for the next 100 years.

Despite the property leaving Hilton's hands, the best news to come out of this sale is that THE HOTEL WILL FINALLY, AT LAST, GET RENOVATED. We've long known that the regular rooms at the hotel are total dogs. The Waldorf Tower rooms are more luxurious but still look a little stale and stuffy. No word on when the renovations will begin but we hope it's ASAP.

[Photo: HotelChatter Flickr Pool]