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The Concourse Level at the Andaz Wall Street sustained such extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it closed for seven months. That space contained the Andaz' event facilities, meeting rooms, and a full-service fitness center. Pretty important for a Financial District hotel and its clientele.
Despite remaining open throughout the renovation, obviously hotel customers and local businesses had to do without those facilities. Well, those days are over with the recent debut of the remodeled event space which is now 7,000 square feet from the previous 4,000 square feet and are divided into four spaces, including an open kitchen. Once only able to accommodate just 75 people, now events for 450 people are possible complete with wireless capabilities and LED lighting.
The three new rooms Stock, Bond, and Exchange are 740 to 1900 square feet each and equipped with LCD televisions, open pantries with personal espresso machines, and state of the art audio-visual equipment.
Guests who weren't able to work out during Andaz stays are now graced with a "green" gym that has hybrid treadmills from Life Fitness. What's a hybrid treadmill? It's a piece of equipment that's a treadmill, elliptical, and stair stepper in one and also uses 52% less power than traditional machines. After your efficient workout, one can now hit the spa which was renovated, too.
Celebrity Scoop / One Direction / Andaz Hotels / Hotel News / Boy Band Hotels / The Wanted / → All Tags
The Andaz West Hollywood on Sunset is once again The Riot Hyatt, thanks to One Direction.
The British boy band is staying at the hotel this week during their Los Angeles tour stop and hoards of clever groupies have already staked out the hotel. Here's a snapshot of what the modern-day "band-aids" look like thanks to a tipster who's staying at the hotel.
Before the Andaz became the Andaz it was a regular old Hyatt hotel that hosted dozens of rock stars during the 70s and 80s and whose crazy antics (throwing a TV out the window, riding a motorcycle down the hall) gave the hotel its moniker, The Riot Hyatt.
Today however, it's more the fans that are doing the rioting rather than the boys themselves. Our tipster writes:
There are a bunch of bodyguards all over the hotel, especially the top floor, but these guys are extra friendly, they sort of remind me of Kevin Costner instead of the mean, scary bodyguards that I've encountered at home in New York.
Interestingly, the hotel is sold-out for the rest of this week. Rooms open back up on Monday at $325 a night but by then the boys have already left town. Meanwhile we hear that One Direction's rival group, The Wanted, is staying across the street at The Mondrian. Meow!
[Photo: HC tipster]
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In our sneak peek of the Andaz Maui in May, we were given plenty of details about the eagerly anticipated Andaz resort, from the high-end Rockwell Group Design to the private beach, the Hawaiian apothecary spa, a new restaurant from Chef Morimoto, two outdoor bars and the seriously chic guest rooms. Except there was no confirmed opening date. Well, now we finally have one.
The Andaz Maui will open on August 15. Aloha! However, right now, we can't actually seem to make a reservation for that day. We tried various dates in August on the website (as well as over on Expedia) but everything was coming up as Sold Out. We hope that it's just a minor issue with the reservations system and that we can start reserving rooms soon.
However, we were able to find a room on September 9 for $509 a night for an Andaz Garden King. Ocean views were not available but will presumably cost more. Also the Morimoto restaurant is expected to open later in the fall. But at least the WiFi is free!
[Photo: Rockwell Group]
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For most of us, we're just happy that our hotel room in Manhattan doesn't look out onto a brick wall. But for those of you who are particular about your views, we've rounded up the best hotels in lower Manhattan for river gazing. And no, you don't have to spend a fortune to do it, which is another reason to consider downtown versus uptown when planning your stay.
5 SCENIC WATERFRONT HOTELS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
1. It's all about the views at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which also took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy (everything's back to normal now, though). The 298-room hotel often gets overshadowed by its uptown counterparts (Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons New York), but actually this place outshines all of them put together when it comes to fresh sea breezes and plenty of open spaces around the hotel The rooms even come with telescopes!
Rates from $395/night.
Four more after the jump!
If there was a Guinness World Record for "fastest time from arrival in wine country to having a wine glass in-hand," the Andaz Napa would easily snag the title. Walking into the lobby, being greeted by Andaz staff, and having some complimentary local red or white poured while you set down your luggage takes all of maybe one minute. Once you've had a sip or two, the quick check-in process begins and you're upstairs stretching out fireplace-side in under ten minutes.
The Andaz Napa, formerly the AVIA Napa (Hyatt purchased the AVIA brand in 2011 and transitioned this into the Andaz) sits in a very fortunate location at the center of downtown Napa, placing the main shopping and dining (may we suggest Oenotri?) only a quick walk out the front door, while further destinations like Yountville and the entire Napa Valley spread of wineries are simply a short drive.
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Jaws dropped this weekend when Hilton New York it announced it would be doing away with room service completely. Instead of ordering up to their rooms, guests will have to trek down to the lobby, where a new grab-and-go restaurant is slated to open this summer.
Regarding the announcement, a spokesperson for Hilton said they've seen "a decline in traditional room service requests over the last several years." Though we wonder if that says more about the quality of Hilton's cooking than people's attitude towards the concept of room service.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other hotels in NYC that not only offer 24-hour room service, but when the food arrives, gives us mini food-gasms. For example…
On our first time staying at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, we went gaga over the complimentary snacks offered in every room for guests. But be sure to pick up the phone and actually order something next time you're there, as the French Toast (pictured above) we had for breakfast on our last visit totally rocked our world.
Four more picks after the jump!
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The 297-room paradisiacal hotel, which will debut in late Summer, is well on its way to becoming our most anticipated hotel opening of the year (literally), for its private beach, free WiFi, and signature restaurant, Morimoto Maui. Sure, that's a big statement. But we dare you to disagree after taking a look at these images, straight from the offices of the property's designer, David Rockwell:
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Remember the old days where hotel art usually consisted of a bland landscape painting that was reproduced a hundred times over and hung in the same spot in every guest room? Thankfully, over the past few years, hotels have been paying close attention to the artworks they hang in their rooms and public spaces--choosing original art instead and even better, works from local artists instead of some mass-produced Van Gogh imitation.
But in the past month or so, we've noticed some hotels that are stepping it up even further when it comes to the art on display. Giant murals, entire galleries, and even live-in artists are among the trends we've begun to see.
For us, it's moreso about the overall vibe and decor of the hotel than it is about temporary art promotions and exhibits, although we do acknowledge that the latter can certainly contribute to the former. The personality of a property is as much of a selling point as, say, the hotel's location or the quality of its food, so it's no surprise hotels are quick to market their artistic aspects. Below, we've provided a roundup of what's happening this spring and summer at a variety of properties.
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We brought you the 2013 WiFi Report last week, and today we're here to tell you which hotels in NYC you can count on for free WiFi. Here are a few of our faves…
Indigo Chelsea: This isn't the kind of place you go for a buzzing lobby scene or super luxe rooms. However, with a super-friendly staff and great midtown location, you can't go wrong. Rates from $293/night.
Ace Hotel: Sure, there's free WiFi. But with all the action going on at this hotel (lobby bar, Breslin restaurant, shops, and basement performance venue), will you actually get any work done? Rates from $289/night.
Andaz Fifth Avenue: Fifth Avenue shoppers will love this WiFi-enabled gem, where you can spend the day hitting up Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman, and then come home and play with those awesome welcome amenities. Rates from $432/night.
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It's no secret that Mad Men has inspired a nationwide renaissance of classic, American-inspired cocktails (heck, AMC even dedicated an entire webpage to cocktails featured on the show). In honor of the two-hour season premier this Sunday, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of the top Manhattan hotel bars serving Mad Men-inspired drinks. Whom you invite back up to your hotel room afterward is entirely up to you.
One of our favorite chi-chi hideouts in New York is The Peninsula, whose second-floor Gotham Lounge offers seven different martinis. Alternatively, show off your insider knowledge and ask for the Ning Sling ($24, pictured), which consists of Absolut Mandarin, Soho Lychee liqueur, lychee and passion fruit juices, and fresh mint leaves—the drink is so exclusive, it isn't even listed on the menu.
Five more cocktails after the jump!
Listen here, you don't have to admit it, but we know at some point you watched Beverly Hills 90210. And for most of us, whether we secretly lusted for Dillon ( Luke Perry) or Brandon (Jason Priestley, but were stuck with a David Silver-type (Brian Austin Green), many of us were not Kelly's or Brenda's either. In fact, we were the Andrea Zuckerman's, and she, or rather Gabrielle Carteris, just happened to be in one of our favorite hotels, New York's Andaz 5th Avenue.
Now we know this place is a hot spot for bold names--everyone from Flo Rida to Kate Hudson comes here at one point or another, but it was refreshing to hear a throwback name making an appearance. We wanted to reach for our AquaNet, don some Bass Weejuns, tuck and roll up our jeans in that weird way (you know what we mean) and run down for an autograph.
One of our favorite HC tipsters was lunching at the Andaz when she realized she was smack dab next to our bespeckled babe--and she was, wasn't she, in that sorta librarian type of way? Always looking wiser than her years? And now we see she's 52 years old and we're a tad freaked out by that, because that means y'all are getting old, friends.
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Just as we were slowly rolling into the weekend last Friday, Hyatt dropped a little bomb on us with the news that no less than four iconic French hotels will be brought into the Hyatt family, doubling the group’s presence in the world’s most popular tourist destination.
The four hotels are film-festival favorite Hotel Martinez in Cannes, the Palais de la Mediterranée in Nice, and the Hotel du Louvre and Concorde La Fayette in Paris. Read on for more details on exactly what’s going to happen from April this year onwards (including Andaz à la française).