United States Travel Guide
We have been following the extensive renovations at the hotel formerly known as the Milford Plaza, now The Milford for some time. Now, more than years and $140 million later, the hotel is ready to relaunch on March 1st under the new name, Row NYC.
When we last checked in we showed you some of the 1,331 bright, subway line color-inspired bedrooms with Times Square billboard inspired graphics over the beds (rates start at $279), as well as the fun hallways that take you on a walking tour of NYC’s downtown neighborhoods via commissioned images of Soho, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. But that's not all that's new at the new Row NYC, which is the creation of architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates (who are also working on the nearby and also soon to relaunch, Knickerbocker Hotel). It has come a long way since its budget hotel days.
HotelChatter is no stranger to bed-making tutorials. We've had the folks at Ritz-Carlton demonstrate how to make a bed; we've had the team at DoubleTree share their special bed-making tips and we've had the staff at the Trump New York enlighten us with a tip on keeping duvet covers wrinkle-free. But never have we been told to make a bed like this before.
To be honest, we're not so sure we got all the bed-making tips down, we were too distracted by watching the employees sing and dance and throw pillows in the air. Maybe the fourth or fifth time watching it, we'll actually remember the tips.
Considering a hotel bed for your home? Check out what hotel brands have their beds for sale HERE.
[Video: Kimpton Hotels]
If you've walked along 57th Street, Manhattan recently, you don't need us to tell you that the Viceroy New York is a thing of beauty. Both inside and out, the first full hotel façade and interior design project by Roman and Williams positively glows; from the lantern-like glazed black brick-and-metal windows, to the in-room brass fixtures and marble countertops. The newest development is the opening of their Suite 57, a two-bedroom suite that takes up the entire front section of the 28th floor: what they are calling "a great New York City apartment".
Stop the presses! Start the construction. It was announced this week that Maine’s former Portland Press Herald building will be transformed into boutique accommodations — The Press Hotel, slated to open in 2015. (We had heard this was going to happen a few years ago but now it's legit.)
The 90-year old building on Exchange Street in the historic Old Port District has been abandoned since the city’s major newspaper relocated in 2010. But local Jim Brady — a longtime hotel developer who has renovated properties for Doubletree Hotels, Holiday Inn and others established brands — intends to preserve the history of the space. He described his vision in a statement about the project:
We want to connect with the history of the building, the talent of the region, and the skills of Maine’s craftsmen and artists. … This hotel will be connected to where the local scene is going while being rooted in its past.”
The interior, designed by Stonehill & Taylor (the team behind NYC spots like The Refinery and Ace), “will be a modern interpretation of Portland’s history of news and information, the long history of Maine’s appeal to artists and the building’s printing history.” Read: Free coffee and Screaming Rooms. (No? Well, this is supposed to appeal to journalists, right?)
Armed with only the information that a 175-room luxury boutique hotel with spa, rooftop bar and lounge was to go in, we've had our eye on the Fortuna Realty development project at 25 West 38th Street for a while now.
Last thing we heard was that the developers were having some problems getting their neighbors, the Havana NY restaurant, to vacate the premises, so, taking a peek at the Starwood website we are happy to see that the project appears to be moving along, and that it will become an Aloft Hotel; the Aloft New York Midtown, to be precise.
When the AKA Beverly Hills opened back in 2012 in the heart of the exclusive 90210 zip code, we were loving the hotel's apartment-style accommodations along with their thoughtful amenities and services like free WiFi, bike rentals, and room service by Spago. Yet in order to enjoy all this, you had to be an extended-stay guest, spending 30 days or more at the hotel. Until now.
Starting on March 21, the AKA Beverly Hills will be accepting stays of 7 days or longer. Woot! Seven days is far more doable than 30. Not to mention, more affordable. Rates starting on March 21 begin at $389 a night for a one-bedroom deluxe suite which have about 1,000-sq.ft. of space and include full kitchens, a king-sized bed, dining table, private patio, washer and dryer, and Bulgari amenities.
Compare all this to smaller rooms at other luxe hotels in Beverly Hills, that start well over $400 a night without kitchens and washer and dryers, AKA is the best deal in town yet.
[Photo: AKA Hotels]
Now that Sixty Hotels is officially up and running, you might be wondering what this new hotel collective is all about. (Remember, the four hotels that comprise Sixty Hotels were formally known as Thompson Hotels.) Well, look no further.
Below is an exclusive letter from the "innkeepers" at Sixty Hotels--Jason Pomeranc, Lawrence Pomeranc, Michael Pomeranc and Stephen Brandman--that clarifies what Sixty Hotels are all about and what they want to be. Trust us, you'll want to read this all the way through.
It’s simple. We've always been SIXTY. Since the opening days of 60 Thompson in 2001, we've delighted in overhearing people on the street enthusing, “I'm staying at SIXTY” or “Lets meet for a cocktail at SIXTY.” SIXTY quickly became part of the downtown Manhattan vernacular, the catchword for a truly distinctive inn, experience, brand, and destination for international travelers and streetwise New Yorkers alike. It's this SIXTY experience we infuse in all of our inn destinations, and we're taking that name and making it ours through and through.
Keep reading for more from the innkeepers!
Hotels can't stop texting us! But we kind of like it, especially when a free drink is involved.
The newest hotel to try out testing their guests is the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek near Vail, Colorado. Fresh off an extensive renovations of its guest rooms, which brought a more contemporary look to the ski resort, the Park Hyatt is now looking for feedback on the new look from its guests…via text.
At check-in, guests will be alerted that the hotel is interested in their thoughts on the new rooms and will be given a mobile number to text with their opinions. In exchange for typing out their thoughts, guest will receive a complimentary cocktail.
The texting initiative is available through the end of March. We like it because we're in control of the texting, rather than receiving unsolicited or unwanted messages from the hotel. And so long as the texts are strictly about the renovation and won't lead to the hotel "spamming" us with deals or packages, we're cool with that.
Rates at the luxury ski resort in March start at luxury ski resort prices like $799 a night on weekends.
[Photo: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek]
If you're not caught up on Chicago weather, here's what you missed this past winter: horrifically low temperatures, dizzying amounts of snow, and foggy rain to wash it all down. Nothing sounds better than a little taste of summertime right now, so it's lucky that two Chicago hotels are serving up heaping portions of classic picnic fare.
TheWit Hotel may have just launched a super-health-conscious new menu, but chef Evan Percoco understands that we all need a little fried chicken from time to time. His first-floor restaurant State & Lake has just introduced "Fried Chicken Sundays." Good for your soul (if not for your heart), the menu includes two sizes of buckets stuffed with fried chicken and biscuits; there are also growlers, or big old beer jugs, on offer.
Following an extensive refurbishment, this month Grace Hotels formally takes over Washington, Connecticut’s Mayflower Inn & Spa — and introduces an impressive new dining destination that would put the first Thanksgiving to shame. The 58-acre property, a favorite respite for moneyed New York power brokers and politicos, is now the Mayflower Grace: the second American location for the luxury hotel group.
The centerpiece of the acquisition involves the launch of a fine dining restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, showcasing modern European cuisine: pretty contemporary plates that you probably wouldn’t expect in the quintessential Yankee environs of rural Connecticut. For instance, smoked lobster served in small, clear, egg-shaped orbs with screw tops is a bit more “Lady Gaga” than “First Lady,” but coming from Cartwright, a five star-awarded grand chef Relais & Chateux, the results remain unsurprisingly sophisticated and polished for the teeth-gnashing upper crust clientele.
It hews to the formula of his muse at The Vanderbilt Grace in tony Newport, Rhode Island. (Next: Kennebunkport’s White Barn Inn is re-launching as White Barn Grace later 2014, according to a press statement, though it has already adopted the new name on its website.)
It looks like these three idiots are now on the Trump Chicago's blacklist. Heck, maybe they should be on every hotel's blacklist.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, a trio of suburbanites (LOL) stopped by the hotel's 16th-floor bar on Saturday night. They had one drink, but appeared so intoxicated the bartender didn't think it fit to serve them a second round. So, they went to get a few cups of coffee and sober up, right? Wrong.
The three gentlemen proceeded to a stairwell and turned on the water valve—surely proving they were sober enough for another drink, right? The water valve, which shoots out 250 gallons of water a minute, caused $700,000 worth of damage to the property's elevators, marble flooring, and walls and ceilings. But there's a happy ending: all three of these charmers, who range in age from 24 to 25, were charged with criminal damages.
Fortunately, nothing seemed amiss on social media or on TripAdvisor, leading us to think the issues were probably hidden well from guests. Indeed, CBS News reported that it was largely the parking structure's elevators that were affected and not the regular guest elevators. But still, #neveragain drunk dudes. Never again.
[Photo: Trump Chicago/Facebook]
It's cold, snowy and miserable, and Cinco de Mayo is just too far away. So what are NYC hotels to do to cheer us all up? Why, celebrate National Margarita Day, of course. (Yes, that really is a thing). It's officially tomorrow, but, we say, why not get started tonight?
Here's where and what to drink (and how to make your own):
Classic Margarita ($19, in above photo) from the Vintage Specialty Cocktails menu at Trouble’s Trust in The New York Palace 1.5 oz Patron Silver 1 oz Cointreau 1.5 Fresh Lime Juice 0.5 oz Simple Syrup Serve on the rocks or in a Martini glass. Garnish with salt.