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If you can't bear the fact that NY Fashion Week is drawing to a close, then how about distracting yourself with some couture-inspired nosh over at The Strand? The fashion-loving hotel (framed, vintage Vogue prints hang on the wall)—which we also know is a fish-loving hotel too—has created a prix fixe Fashion Week 2012 dinner menu, and there's still plenty of time to enjoy it.
Each item on the menu (a choice of two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts) celebrates a different designer's individual collection, so for example, the butternut squash risotto is paired with the Hermes Fall 2012 collection.
No clue as to how they decided which designer went with which menu item, but it's kind of fun to put a name (Valentino, Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana) to the dish. Oh, and the food itself? Really, really yummy.
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When we posted your hotel check-in rituals, some commented on Twitter and Facebook that ordering room service is the first thing they do when settling in. We're a bit nosy, so we asked a few hoteliers and Food & Beverage folks what y'all are ordering--hoping there would be some extreme weirdness going on like anchovies on PB&J. But, bearing a little skepticism about the guest who asked for live tarantulas, you're just like us! You love a simple club sandwich. You crave a grilled cheese! Our mini-survey shows your faves.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta: Folks love to order the strawberry-stuffed French Toast, a breakfast dessert that is a Southern quiet riot made with brioche, toasted pecans, fruit, and sea salt.
Beau-Rivage Palace, Switzerland: Europe can be such a complex place, and this Lausanne, hotel shows us that their guests demands are no different! The most popular items? The pricey duck foie gras terrine at CHF 39 ($40.10) and on the complete opposite spectrum, chicken nuggets at CHF 18 ($18.50)!
If you stay in hotels as much as we do, you start to develop a "regular" dish. You know what we mean. This is your go-to order when you've checked into your hotel and desperately need something to order from room service, even at the in-between hour of 4pm. It's also your standby when you're just popping into a hotel just because.
Now for many of you, this regular dish might be the hotel cheeseburger. For others, it's a club sandwich. But for us, it's the grilled cheese. Here are our 5 favorite hotel grilled cheeses. We understand there are many, many, many more grilled cheeses out there to try, so please, share your grilled cheese recommendations in comments below.
1. Beverly Hills Hotel: The Pink Palace's Fountain Coffee Room, found on the lower level just before the pool, is one of our favorite places on earth. We love the intimate diner-style bar seating and the sinfully delicious menu options like this grilled cheese with bacon. We added avocado too. Just be sure to top it off with a milkshake.
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1:30am. There we were in our room at the Standard Downtown LA, avoiding writing the stories that were due bright and early the next morning, and it hit us: a hot chocolate would really hit the spot right now, and maybe even give us the jump start we need to finish our work.
Illogical, maybe. But we're self-professed sugar fiends, and require just the slightest hint of an excuse to indulge.
So we picked up the room service menu, conveniently placed beside the bed, and checked out what was on offer. Ooh, an Irish Hot Chocolate, with Bailey's Irish Cream!—that ought to perk us right up. Sure enough, about twenty minutes later, an attendant showed up at the door, bearing a lukewarm hot chocolate, with the liquids separated, and a bill of $19.34. Jeez.
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Beyonce did the folks at Revel Atlantic City a biiig favor last weekend by choosing the resort as the setting for her first post-baby performance. Thanks to her, Revel was able to capture a whole new audience that likely wouldn't have taken the time otherwise—like Michelle Obama and the girls, who were reportedly in attendance at the show.
A friend of ours who was lucky enough to score tickets said that while the singer indeed put on a stellar performance, another major highlight of the weekend actually took place outside Ovation Hall. Specifically, during a post-concert dinner at the Distrito Cantina food truck, which serves up freshly-prepared Mexican fast food. And according to our friend, the tacos alone were worth the trip.
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A look at the Andaz basket: raspberries and a baguette, what else do you need?
Normally, you'd think a simple picnic in the park would be a more economical undertaking than, say, dinner for two at Asiate (Mandarin Oriental's ritzy 35th-floor restaurant). But you'd be wrong. This summer, two of Manhattan's classiest hotels—Mandarin Oriental and Andaz Fifth Avenue—are offering up separate picnic packages to guests. And with classy baskets and classy food, come classy prices (read: expensive). But then again, this is Manhattan.
So if it's a picnic you're dead set on, great. Now ask yourself is it an Asian-inspired feast, or something more continental—like caviar and blinis—that you're craving?
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We've already seen how much of a go-getter Hyatt can be when it comes to hotel food. Hyatt Place, like we saw in Braintree last week, is a good example of what's available cheap for on-the-go business travelers. And we're already familiar with the wonders of which Andaz kitchens are capable.
Now, Hyatt wants us to pay attention to their new healthy dining initiative: "Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served", which is essentially an overhaul of the entire Hyatt F&B program, in order to serve food that is sourced locally, supports the surrounding communities, and benefits the guests who are eating it. Their end goal? "To drive change in our industry...and challenge every to do what's best."
Kind of a massive undertaking. But they're gently wooing guests, one portion-controlled plate of roasted green and white asparagus with sliced wild mushrooms, prosciutto and shallots, at a time.
Starting on June 1, Miami visitors can try out a King room at Dream South Beach, which is now in its second year, for $199/night, which is slightly higher than last year's opening rate of $149/night. But we're going to assume that after a year, they've had time to tidy up the edges and can get away with charging more.
As a bonus to the $199/night rate, the hotel is also throwing in continental breakfast for two, a bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries for an additional $50 fee. Which is another way of saying the room is actually $250/night, but with some light nibbles thrown in that still won't really fill you up so you'll just end up heading to Tudor House for dinner and drinks anyway.
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If you're in the Boston area and happen to get a case of the munchies, you'd do well to hop over to the new Hyatt Place Braintree, opening on May 15. The 204-room hotel, which is located 12 miles from downtown Boston, will offer guests free WiFi, one of the brand's 24-hour Stay Fit fitness centers, and a 24-hour "Guest Kitchen" with made-to-order snacks like soups, burgers, hot sandwiches, pizza and salad.
The Guest Kitchen, reminiscent of Aloft's re:fuel pantry except with an actual server, is available at other Hyatt Place properties, and is in fact just one of a few dining amenities designed for guests on the go.
Guests can also choose from a free hot breakfast, a Bakery Cafe with fresh-baked muffins, Starbucks coffee and Hyatt-branded Mondavi wine, and a Grab 'N Go case with packaged sandwiches and juice bottles. But if it's something more...personal you're looking for, simply place an order with the Kitchen Host, have the food sealed up in a to-go container, and bring the comestibles up to your room.
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They sure do things different in England. As the country's capital preps for the 2012 Olympics this summer, Andaz Liverpool Street has come up with a cool way to celebrate all—or, at least, some—of the nations that will be calling on the city over the coming months.
Their idea? A World Food Marathon, in which each of Andaz's restaurants will concoct a different "international" dish every day from July 2 to July 27, leading up to the Olympics Opening Ceremony. That's 26 distinct dishes, each inspired by a different staff member's native country.
Interestingly, the total number of nationalities represented by the hotel's staff actually numbered 40, but they had to narrow it down to 26 to represent the number of miles in a marathon. For the dishes that made the final cut, each staff member worked together with the chef to make sure the recipe was accurately recreated.
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We thought we heard some funny noises coming from the Waldorf-Astoria last time we visited, and it turns out the hotel does indeed have some rackety new residents who have set up shop on the roof. The NY Post reports that 48,000 honeybees have been installed to make Waldorf-Astoria-branded honey, which will then be served to guests during meals as well as packaged and sold.
We would normally expect this from other, balmier destinations (like, for instance, Grand Wailea, whose honey we've tasted and enjoyed), but we guess there's no reason why New York can't get in on the fun. Come to think of it, this is something that's been done for a while now—we spotted this emerging trend back in 2010 in places like Toronto, Chicago and Charlotte. And as the saying goes, if bees can make
it honey in New York, they can really make it anywhere.
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We used to have to submit to a rather terrifying headmistress in boarding school, who would never let any student leave the dining hall until every last bite was swallowed. We thought we had grown out of and away from such lunchroom fascism. That is, until Sheraton came along with its new "Color Your Plate" healthy-eating program.
The new menus, which have been installed at over 400 Sheratons worldwide, offer supposedly healthy items like "portobello burgers" and "skirt steak chimichurri". Hmm...sounds pretty brown to us. But they're saying it's the side dishes that will fill in the rest of the rainbow (we're thinking spinach, carrots, eggplant and cauliflower). Either way, we'd probably be more interested in Instagram-ing the whole thing rather than eating it.