Tag: Hotel Flashback

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Hotel Flashback: What the Hotel Commodore NYC Served Up in 1951

April 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Your Friendly Port of Call in New York," says the menu of the dining room and bar at the old Hotel Commodore. It's a wonderful little sentiment, implying that the Commodore is calm and safe within the tumult of the big city And yet, the Commodore was really at the center of the hubbub, squarely set up against Grand Central Terminal in a complex that included the (also gone) Biltmore Hotel.

The Commodore opened in 1919 with a whopping 2,000 rooms. It closed at the end of the 1970s—a noble run— due to (what else?) bankruptcy. Alas, it never really went away as you now know the Commodore as the Grand Hyatt New York. Thankfully they never resurrected the menu of the Commodore's Bar Cafe, because "Broiled Aiguillette of Striped Bass Mirabeau with Anchovy Butter" and "Half Alligator Pear Salad" just doesn't cause diners to drool like they did in 1951, when the menu below was served to guests.

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Hotel Flashback: Tiki-Tacky Within the Old Sheraton Chicago

April 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

As if one Chicago-area hotel flashback wasn't enough, we're back with a look inside the Sheraton's "Kon-Tiki Ports" Restaurant and Bar." If you've ever seen one of those Beach Blanket Bingo-style musicals from the 1960s, we don't have to tell you that the decade held a serious fascination with the tropical. Kids dreamt of surfers on the California coast and the "Big Kahuna" in Hawaii, while their parents fantasized about long drinks in the South Pacific and opium dens of the Orient.

If you were to travel to Chicago and, say, stay at the Sheraton Hotel on North Michigan Avenue in the '60s, then you could actually enjoy a bit of all this just by checking out the themed rooms that made up the hotel's Kon-Tiki Ports Restaurant. The schooner-styled bar you see above is Singapore Joe's Tavern and, according to the rear of this vintage postcard, the tavern was just "one of the exotic moorings at the new Kon-Tiki Ports, dedicated to the delights of drinking and dining." The other spaces were named "Tempura Bar," "Papeete," "Tama," "Macao," "Saigon," "Lanai" and "The Ship's Deck."

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Hotel Flashback: Chicago's Lake Tower Inn

April 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Here at HotelChatter, we don't just love luxury and brand new hotels, nosiree. We've also got a serious fascination with retro spots, hotels of yore and even drive-up motels. This week, we'll be exploring a few such hotels through found postcards and pamphlets from the 1950s and '60s

Oooh—is that a hotel on the Riviera or maybe in Hawaii? Nope, that's Chicago (believe it or not). This was the Lake Tower Inn, a classic 1960s modernist structure at 600 North Lake Shore Drive that was built at the very start of the idea that hotels could also be urban resorts. It was a popular place, with a pool and prime position facing out on Lake Michigan as if this was truly Italy instead of Illinois. It remains popular today, though really only on eBay as a small market of Lake Tower Inn-branded vintage trinkets changes hands.

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Hotel Flashback: The Holiday Inn Sign of the 1950s

April 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM | by | Comments (2)

Here at HotelChatter, we don't just love luxury and brand new hotels, nosiree. We've also got a serious fascination with retro spots, hotels of yore and even drive-up motels. This week, we'll be exploring a few such hotels through found postcards and pamphlets from the 1950s and '60s

There once was a time when you could sleep over at a Holiday Inn in almost every major US town and quite a few foreign cities as well. They were mainly drive-up, motel-style affairs, but their slogan spoke to a higher ambition: "The World's Innkeeper."

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