United States Travel Guide
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]
Hotel Rebrandings / Best Western Hotels / Tryp by Wyndham Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / New York Hotels / Hampshire Hotels / → All Tags
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]
This is what the Guinness World Record for the largest pillow fight looks like, thanks to Super 8, who hosted the party in celebration of its 40th birthday.
Former boybander Joey Fatone presided over the "fight", where involved 4,501 students from South Dakota State University walloping each other with Super 8-branded pillows. The site of the record-breaking event was SDSU’s Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in Brookings, South Dakota where SDSU was playing their rival, University of South Dakota. South Dakota was the state where the first Super 8 hotel was constructed back in 1974. Today, Super 8 is a part of the Wyndham Hotel family.
Now we need to know, did the students get to keep the pillows?
[Photos: Super 8]
Now that we've gone inside and all around the AC Hotel by Marriott in New Orleans (above), we can confidently say that we are extremely excited for more AC Hotels to open across the U.S. But also, selfishly, we're hoping that AC doesn't adopt a super aggressive expansion model. It's ok to take it nice and slow. Like a fine wine, and that's important to the Spanish heritage of the AC brand, right?
Nevertheless, there are several more AC Hotels in the works and their opening dates are coming up soon. Here's how it's looking right now:
We already gave you a brief look at the rooms inside the first ever AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. and we had you salivating over the croissants flown in from France (well, the frozen dough was), but now it's time to take you all around the AC Hotel by Marriott New Orleans.
We like to let the pictures do most of the talking but here's what you need to know:
The History: The AC was built out of two historic buildings--The Cotton Exchange and The Security Homestead Association--although the buildings have been used as hotel for quite some time. The hotel, which is one block from Canal and two from Bourbon Street, suffered some severe damage after Hurricane Katrina, but it was kept mostly to the first two floors.
The layout of the lobby has changed a bit structurally, and of course, everything inside is brand-new but the hotel retains a historic set-up especially on the guest room floors which have smaller hallways and many twists and turns.
A B Hotel!
This is an interesting turn of events. The other day we reported that the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, formerly The Yankee Clipper, would stop being a Sheraton on December 1 but there was no clue as to who or what brand would go in its place. Now, we have an answer. A tipster tells us that the hotel will be a B Hotel. And indeed, it's been confirmed on the B Hotels website with an opening date of December 1.
You might remember the B brand opened its very first hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but that has now changed into a Sonesta Hotel. B went onto open a spot in Orlando as well as Savannah and they launched their b2 brand in Miami.
No doubt all the B programming will be installed in their FLL spot, including mood lighting, free WiFi and variety of amenities and services that all start with B. Hopefully they will let the Yankee Clipper's Wreck Bar and the Dos Caminos restaurant just "b."
It's really happening! Gone is the wraparound red construction board at Chicago's eagerly anticipated hotel and in its place, a real live Virgin. Er, marquee.
That's right. Signage just went up at the Virgin Hotel Chicago and it is looking good. Of course, the entrance is predictably Virgin with its red sign lettering and the Virgin logo on the plaque next to the door, but still looking good. We're also chuckling at the cheeky window signage which says, "Is the plural of cheese, cheese or cheeses? Either way I could use a glass of wine." So could we. And some cheeses while we're at it.
Additionally, signage went up for Miss Ricky's All American Diner at the hotel, and a special VIP with some giant red lips stopped by to admire it. Lovely. And slightly scary.
Rates for the hotel, which opens on January 15 start at $219 a night for a Chamber King room.
Congrats to Virgin. Now just make sure the T, E, and L are always lit up. Otherwise, you'll have a real oxymoron on your hands there.
[Photo: Virgin Hotel]
Celebrity Scoop / Guy Fieri / Scottsdale Hotels / Arizona Hotels / Hotel Chefs / Hotel Events / → All Tags
Guy Fieri, the bleached-up Food Network chef and host of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", is killing it at his Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The Linq Hotel in Las Vegas. Seriously. We walked in on a random Tuesday morning and it was nearly full (the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
This was surprising, "fo' sho'," since Guy's New York restaurant didn't fare so well, at least not with the critics. But foodies and culinary snobs aside, Guy has a huge following. And if you're one of his fans, then you'll want to get a ticket to his interactive dinner at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain resort in Scottsdale on December 19.
The luck has gone from bad to worse to slightly better and then back to worse for the now-closed Revel Resort & Casino on Atlantic City's boardwalk. The Canadian firm who announced last month they would buy the resort for a bargain $110 million has decided to drop the deal.
Toronto-based Brookfield US Holdings LLC has simply said that it "terminated the Revel acquisition." The Press of Atlantic City first reported the news and said the reason for the termination was because " bondholders refused to rework debt connected to construction of Revel’s power plant." The power plant story is kind of a doozy. Read the Press' report to find out more.
So what does this mean for Revel? Well, a backup buyer was named at the bankruptcy auction, developer Glenn Straub. He even appealed the bankruptcy court decision to name Brookfield as owner. The good news is, he's still very interested but he doesn't seem keen to keep the aspect of Revel. Hey, something is better than nothing, right?
Keep reading for another update on the AC Hotel Scene
The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, which opened nearly a year ago, is making seriously good use of the historic United Artists Theater that's adjacent to the property. In September, Coldplay hosted a special concert for their latest album release and now, a special preview of Paul Thomas Anderson's surf noir based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon.
The movie/book is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows a private investigator/pothead named Doc through a series of strange criminal adventures. So it's only fitting that the movie will screen at the Ace DTLA with Anderson and actors Jena Malone and Joanna Newsom in attendance.
Even better, guests who are staying at the hotel that night will get a free ticket to the screening and custom vinyl records of the film score by Johnny Greenwood. Rooms are still open on December 1 for around $240 a night but if you use the promo code Doc, you'll get a medium room for just $200.
Expect to see more of "Inherent Vice" at the Ace in LA and also in New York and London as gallery exhibitions expanding on the "Inherent Vice" themes will open.
[Photo: Lindsey Best/Ace Hotel DTLA]
The former Roney Plaza/Gansevoort South/The Perry Hotel in Miami is almost finished with its $100 million renovation to turn into the naturally glam 1 Hotel South Beach, but you can reserve a room today for stays starting on March 1.
Not surprisingly for a luxury hotel in season in Miami Beach, the rooms are ridiculously expensive, with a king room going for $665 a night. Want a balcony with your room? That will be $712 a night. Prefer an ocean view? That will be $855 a night.
But we have to admit, these are some seriously good-looking rooms. Gone is the high-sheen of The Gansevoort and in its place is a eco-luxe look with reclaimed wood on the walls, natural poured concrete in the floors, overstuffed pillow on the couches, and peekaboo bathrooms. Don't forget, Chef Tom Colicchio is opening his restaurant downstairs while upstairs is a pool deck with similarly eco-luxe style cabanas and seating.
The room decor at The Cromwell is eclectically detailed, mixing a lot of modern with a bit of faux-vintage items. But we were impressed with the luxury touches like the welcome beverages that are given to all guests (we chose sangria), the high-tech Toto Neorest toilet, the Eataly snacks in the pantry and the flat-iron at the vanity.
There was also morning coffee available on our floor at the elevator bank. (No almond milk or iced coffee though, #firstworldproblems.) We especially loved the bright pink Muk Hair toiletries, which left our skin and hair silky soft.