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We have been following the Peninsula Paris -- Peninsula Hotels' grand entry into Europe -- throughout its six year restoration of the former Hotel Majestic, a 1908 Beaux Arts building in the 16th arrondissement (fun fact: George Gershwin wrote part of "An American in Paris" here).
Now that its August 1st opening date draws closer, we have a peek at what some of the 200 guest rooms will look like. Spot the high-tech bedside tablet we told you about last Spring? Rooms will also feature curated artworks, elegant furniture, ambient lighting, expansive luggage and wardrobe space and a valet box. Marble bathrooms will have deep-soaking bathtubs, separate rain showers, double washbasins, inset televisions and toiletries by Oscar de la Renta.
Given its storied history, (host to John D. Rockefeller; birthplace of the original martini) we expected soon-to-be-restored-and-reopened Knickerbocker Hotel to be pulling out a few big collaborator names. And so we're not entirely surprised to hear that the hotel has grabbed one of the country's top chefs to oversee its entire food and beverage program.
Charlie Palmer, who is a hotelier as well as a master chef will be in charge of the Knickerbocker’s fourth-floor signature restaurant and bar, a ground-floor café, and rooftop lounge. Hotel guests will also get priority access and "preferential treatment" at Palmer’s flagship restaurant, the Michelin-starred Aureole, just around the corner on 42nd Street.
We all love a good Bloody Mary when we're hungover. Not only is it tasty, the tomato juice and the celery stick help replenish all the vitamins we lost the night before. So, it's pretty perfect that January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day.
And just in time for the biggest hangover day of the year, the St. Regis New York has completed renovations at its King Cole Bar -- reopening under the direction of Chef John DeLucie (he of Waverly Inn fame) -- so you can sip on a Mary in the very place it was birthed in 1934.
The all-new Knickerbocker is slated to now open in mid-2014, and it has just been accepted into The Leading Hotels of the World fold. The hotel will have 330 guestrooms, a food and beverage collaboration "with one of the most recognized master chefs in New York" including a signature restaurant and bar on the fourth-floor; a ground-level boulangerie, and an 7,500-square-foot rooftop bar and terrace offering panorama of the city's skyline.
Not too long ago it was slim pickings on the (good) hotel front for those wanting to lay their head somewhere close to the Lincoln Center, Columbia University and Central Park. That's somewhat changing nowadays, though; here's a pick of the best of the (Upper) West (Side).
1. Empire Hotel
The Empire's iconic glowing neon sign beckons from the rooftops of the Upper West Side and the 12th-floor rooftop from which it balances is the scene of many a swanky party -- especially around the time of Fashion Week. The hotel's 420 guestrooms are small, though, with doorless showers -- just try to not make a mess.
November rates start at $309.
A development site is up for auction in Midtown Manhattan and it might possibly become a hotel. That's interesting enough news but what we find really intriguing is that this very same site was the scene of what an archived 1998 New York Times article calls a "police sex scandal (that rocked) the Giuliani administration".
According to the NYT, a brothel operated above El Bohemio restaurant, "a pleasant, open-fronted sandwich place decorated with movie posters," and it was quite popular with New York's finest:
"Police were coming in and out of there all the time," said a worker at a nearby factory. "That doesn't make them criminals, only human."
Two officers were eventually indited on charges of taking bribes of sex, cash and gifts.
One of New York's finest, Lou Reed passed away last weekend at the age of 71. Since his passing the Hotel Chelsea -- immortalized in Chelsea Girls, which Reed co-wrote and Nico performed -- has been the site of pilgrimage for fans wishing to pay their respects. Little bouquets of flowers, hand-written notes, and photographs have all sprung up at the entrance to the hotel, which is currently closed to guests while it undergoes renovations led by King & Grove... and nothing will ever be the same again ...
Liverpool Hotels / England Hotels / Hotel Development / Historic Hotels / Themed Hotels / → All Tags
When a floating Titanic-themed three-bedroom hotel opened in Liverpool earlier this year, people complained that the idea was in poor taste. With that misstep still fresh in Liverpudlian minds, Signature Living had better tread carefully in their new project to develop the old White Star Line headquarters into a hotel.
Albion House, the 19th-century building that was the home of the White Star Line in 1912 when the shipping line's Titanic sank, has stood empty for decades but was recently acquired by the development company. Signature Living began work this month and (optimistically) hope to have the first part of the 350-room hotel and apartment building named The Titanic open by April.
UPDATE, 10.16.13: Variety is now reporting that the movie will open on March 7, 2014. And the movie poster is out too!
Director Wes Anderson made train travel cool again with his movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. According to IMDB, the film will be a comedy-drama about a hotel concierge working at a legendary hotel in 1920s Europe. The concierge embarks on a friendship with younger employee who becomes his protege. But that's not all. The movie also involves "the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century." Ralph Fiennes will star as the Concierge along with a roster of bona fide starts just as Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban. Now the question is What hotel inspired this movie?
According to IMDB, the film will be a comedy-drama about a hotel concierge working at a legendary hotel in 1920s Europe. The concierge embarks on a friendship with younger employee who becomes his protege. But that's not all. The movie also involves "the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century."
Ralph Fiennes will star as the Concierge along with a roster of bona fide starts just as Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban.
Now the question is What hotel inspired this movie?
Strip club hotels: we're calling this a thing. Hot on the heels of Scores opening up in Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal and the revitalization of the boutique hotel associated with the infamous Clermont Lounge, comes news of a former strip club being turned into a boutique hotel.
The five-story brick building at 122 Fountain Street, Providence Rhode Island started out in 1912 as a refuge called Church House, built by the Episcopal Church, then was home to the Sportsman’s Inn strip club, which closed in 2012. The building then had a brief incarnation as a music venue, but soon it will become The Dean, a 52-room boutique hotel.
HotelChatter Reviews / Manhattan Hotels / Sean MacPherson / New Hotels / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
How does Jack Kerouac's old pad hold up under the Sean MacPherson treatment? A HotelChatter Review
We've been patiently awaiting Sean MacPherson's new The Marlton Hotel (built out of a former SRO where some long-standing tenants have been in residence since the 1960s) for a while now. With still no confirmed official opening date on the horizon, we gave up waiting and went in to check out its soft opening.
We walked to the hotel from West 4th Street station, which was just about a five minute walk. We had to do a double take to make sure we were at the right place as there is no sign outside yet. With just a couple of guests milling around the book-lined and eclectic furniture-filled lobby, our front desk person wasn't rushed so check in was quick and easy. We were given a small black key fob emblazoned with the same lightning strike graphic you'll see on The Marlton's website and a business card scribbled with our room number on, then we were into the single elevator and up to our fifth-floor room.
Can a historic hotel still make for a comfortable hotel stay? A HotelChatter Review
Now that the Adelphi Hotel has closed its doors for at least another year of renovations, the Gideon Putnam Resort is the last one standing of Saratoga Springs' grand old hotels. We spent a few nights there to see how it was holding up.
The resort's own shuttle bus was waiting for us at the train station and zipped us to the check-in desk in about five minutes. We loved the vintage-style key cabinet behind the front desk -- keys do come in a modern plastic card style, however. The old Otis elevator is just off the lobby opposite a retro twin phone booth.