new york Travel Guide

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St Regis Hotels Bottle Their Bloody Marvelous Bloody Mary Cocktail

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  Site Where: 5th Ave at 55th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10022
November 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Bloody Mary is looking pretty spry at 80 years old. The cocktail was born when a St. Regis New York Hotel bartender named Fernand “Pete” Petiot spiced up a tomato juice and vodka libation with celery salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon and Worcestershire sauce – reinventing his simple cocktail formerly enjoyed at Harry’s Bar in Paris. The name “Bloody Mary,” though, was deemed too vulgar for the hotel’s elegant King Cole Bar patrons in 1934 and it was re-named the “Red Snapper.”

To celebrate the 80th birthday of this most-ordered cocktail at The St Regis New York (it’s so popular, in fact, that as Starwood opens new St Regis properties around the world, they introduce a local version of the cocktail in each destination), they’ve bottled the bevvie so that you can take it home with you and wake up to it the next morning (there are worse things you could do).

The Red Snapper Bloody Mary mix is bottled in a limited-edition bottle designed by renowned fashion illustrator, Bil Donovan, and produced by Arrowhead Farms, celeb event designer Bronson van Wyck’s cocktail line. You can get it at the Arrowhead Farms online boutique for $28 starting Nov 26.

Now if you prefer to stay over at The St Regis New York and just enjoy a morning-after Bloody Mary cocktail on the premises (no judgment) a room will set you back $665 per night in January.

[Photos: St Regis Hotels & Resorts]

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The Best Western President in Times Square Will Turn into a Tryp by Wyndham Hotel

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  Site Where: 234 West 48th St [map], New York, NY, United States
November 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Best Western President Hotel in Times Square used to be one of our favorite Best Western hotels ever with its purple hued decor, high design and free WiFi. We say "used to be" because the Wall Street Journal has reported that the hotel will soon change into a Tryp by Wyndham Hotel.

The owners of the hotel, Hampshire Hotels & Resort (who also own the Dream and Night brands, which are licensed by Wyndham), have modified their mortgage due to the increased competition in NYC which has seen the hotel occupancy rates rise but not the actually price of the rooms. (Sidenote: how is this possible? It seems like all NYC hotels are charging insanely higher prices these days.)

Anyways, Tryp is planning a renovation of the property that will make it more millennial-friendly.

It’s planning a “multimillion-dollar” upgrade at the Times Square property which will include adding “lobbyfriend,” a social networking system for hotel guests, and making the hotel’s public spaces more inviting places to hang out, says Bill Hall, a senior vice president (of Wyndham.)

The rebranding should happen early next year. In the meantime, you can check out the Tryp Times Square South at 345 W. 35th St. where rates start around $400 a night on the weekends in December. Rates at the Best Western are about $430.

[Photo: Best Western President/Facebook]

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The First of Two Cambria Suites for NYC Will Open Next Month

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  Site Where: 125 West 28th Street [map], New York, NY, United States
November 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Way back in early 2013 we learned that prolific hotel architect, Gene Kaufman, would be building two Cambria Suitesfor New York City. Today, we learn that one of those hotels is getting ready to open soon.

Cambria Hotel & Suites New York - Chelsea on W. 28th Street, will open next month, according to a hotel rep. But there's a chance it could be delayed further. The website says reservations will begin for stays on February 27 and beyond but we couldn't make reservations for those dates either. So we'll just say the Cambria Suites is opening sometime in the very near future.

All 135 highly stylized rooms at the hotel promise to have "free wireless high-speed Internet access, a coffee maker, desk, hair dryer, microwave, refrigerator, private bath, sitting area, flat-screen television and sofa sleeper." The hotel will also have a rooftop terrace, a lounge and dining area, a ground-floor meeting room and a fitness center.

This Cambria Suites will actually set the model for the other Cambria Suites in the city. So far, there's only one other one coming to midtown at West 46th Street but who there is always room, somehow, for more.

[Rendering: Gene Kaufman Architect]

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Work on The Virgin Hotel New York Should Begin Soon

Where: 1225 Broadway [map], New York, NY, United States
November 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

We are counting down the days until we can stay at the Virgin Hotel Chicago, (64 days to go!) but in the meantime, work is starting on the next big Virgin Hotel--Virgin New York.

The Real Deal Blog reports that developer, The LAM Group, filed permits yesterday for the Virgin Hotel in the hot-to-trot NoMad neighborhood at 1225 Broadway between 29th and 30th streets. That lot will be demolished and a 38-story hotel with 447 hotel rooms will be built with duplexes on the 34th and 35th floors.

Downstairs will have 100,000-sq.ft. of retail space. Upstairs it looks like there will be a rooftop lounge and possibly a pool. The architect for the project is listed as Brian McFarland of VOA Architecture, the company behind plenty of hospitality projects, including the remodel of The Tides in Miami Beach.

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First Kanye, Now Karl Takes Over The Mercer Hotel

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  Site Where: 147 MERCER ST NEW YORK [map], New York, NY, United States, 10012
November 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

Way, way, way back before Kanye West turned into one-half of Kimye, he once semi-permanently lived at Soho's ultra cool Mercer Hotel. He then later hooked up The Mercer star with tickets to his concert. An employee even wrote in to tell HotelChatter just how nice Kanye was to them.

We wonder if Uncle Karl will be just as nice.

Page Six reports that fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has taken over three floors of the hotel while he's in town to celebrate his item for Louis Vuitton--a $175,00 punching bag emblazoned with LVs. Hmmm...we also can't help but wonder if he's looking to The Mercer for ideas for his next hotel project?

While regular guests were apparently turned away because of Lagerfeld's presence, the good news is he won't be in town forever. Rooms are still sold-out at the hotel but they will open back up on Thursday...for $750 a night, before tax.

GO INSIDE KARL LAGERFELD'S WORLD AT THE SOFITEL SO SINGAPORE HERE

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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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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