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Room service is usually a solitary affair for us—either we don't know anyone in the city to go out to dinner with, or we're just feeling a bit low-key and prefer an in-room meal in front of the TV to going out and talking to people.
But the newly opened Hotel Indigo Edinburgh is the first place we've heard of to let guests have it both ways. In other words, you get the comfort of eating in your own room and the added bonus of a live comedian, who shows up with your meal and does a 10-minute stand-up act right in front of you. Yes, the potential for awkwardness is pretty high, but we'll let that go, for the sake of sheer novelty. The setup is by nature a little ridiculous, but since hotel rooms are often ripe subjects for joke-making, there's bound to be at least a few laughs in there.
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Two main players in the hotel music world are really getting the shake-up this month, and all we can do for now is sit back and watch (or, you know, listen) as the changes come to pass.
For starters, let's face the awful truth that The Algonquin is saying bye-bye forever to the Oak Room, its famed piano lounge that has hosted cabaret legends from Barbara Carroll to Julie Wilson to Steve Ross. According to the NY Times, audiences there have been "declining."
But it's not all doom and gloom! Head west—about 2,200 miles west—and witness a positively burgeoning indie music scene when Sports Illustrated Swimsuit hosts its first-ever music festival at The Cosmopolitan (where else?). The two-day lineup will feature indie acts like The Black Lips (above), Delta Spirit, and Elan Atias among others, and will hopefully do for the Strip what SI's Swimsuit issue has traditionally done for non-sports fans—make everyone sit up and pay attention.
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Baker Street, London: Where you'll find The Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes and a Taste of Detective Drama
If you're anything like us, hearing the phrase "Murder Mystery Night" conjures up images of hokey "whodunnit?" performance pieces and a certain so-bad-it's-good episode of Saved by the Bell. (Yeah, you know the one.) Still, there's something appealing about the over the top kitch of these faux felony evenings, which promise fun and a hearty laugh if nothing else.
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Yesterday, we showed you a Brussels hotel room channeling New York through some questionable turquoise carpeting. Today, here's a hotel actually located in New York that's paying homage to its Tin Pan Alley roots through a new weekly live music program. Can you guess which one we have higher hopes for?
The series, which runs Wednesday through Sunday every week, blends DJs with live jazz, is supposed to be a "modern interpretation of music from nearby Tin Pan Alley, infused with jazz and French Cabaret." And the whole thing starts today!
It's New York. And there's plenty to see and hear. So we've made it a little easier for you with this list of five performances that take place inside hotels—from lounge schmaltz to late-night hip hop, you'll never find yourself bored in a Manhattan hotel again!
Barbara Carroll at the Oak Room ($35)
You'll have to wait until the fall season starts up, but Barbara Carroll's Sunday brunch series at The Algonquin is some kind of New York rite of passage. Don't worry if you've never heard of the songs—just watch Carroll's 80-year-old hands glide nimbly over the polished black and white keys, and be mesmerized. The scene is complemented by delicious brunch fare like shrimp avocado ceviche ($16) and cinnamon apple stuffed brioche French toast ($18)—but beware the $25 food minimum.
Comedy Extravaganza at the Ace New York ($5)
Providence native Matt McCarthy hosts this monthly comedy night every second Monday at 7:30pm (the next will be July 11). Though the Ace New York has made use of DJs, live musicians, film screenings, and, most interestingly, book readings, they manage to attract yet another audience in their downstairs Liberty Hall space. Musical comedy, video, sketch comedy, and, of course, stand-up, all play into this variety show. "Standup comedy...is easily the purest form of art available," says McCarthy, "a man alone, using his mind as his instrument." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
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What do you like to watch when kicking back in your hotel room? For us, football and ESPN tops the list but according to stats, the guests of Park Plaza Hotels love to order The Shawshank Redemption on demand, and enjoy the prison drama with a slice of pizza and a can of Red Bull.
Or, as the Ottawa Citizen put it: "Forget about what you see in the movies. The average hotel guest does not order Champagne and eggs Benedict while watching the latest big-budget epic by James Cameron."