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It's 10:30am on a Thursday. Do you know what your New Year's Eve plans are? If you're anything like us, you'll wait 'til the last possible moment and hope everything comes together for a night of champagne guzzling merriment. Otherwise, here are 16 awesome New Year's Eve celebrations happening at hotels around the US. Here's to a drunken start to 2013!
MIAMI—At Anglers Boutique Resort, you can choose something quieter and more refined than Miami's usual bass-thumping circus. At the New Year's Eve Gala, there will be two seatings (a 3-course meal at 6pm, $100; or a 5-course meal at 9:30pm, $150)—though both will offer live music, a complimentary cocktail and champagne toast, and delicious Latin-inspired fare like dulce de leche pine nut-crusted rack of lamb, or stuffed dates and manchego cheese roasted pork loin. You'll even get to try out the Spanish "12 Uvas" tradition, where everyone gets to make 12 wishes on 12 grapes—then when the clock strikes 12, you pop 'em in your mouth to bring a year of good luck and prosperity! A DJ'd pool party will kick off after midnight.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Westin St Francis is where you'll find the city's largest hotel-hosted NYE event for the past 7 years, known as Passport to the World ($130). The attractions are almost too many to name, but here's the main gist: throughout the liquor-fueled evening, guests are encouraged walk from room to room, experiencing the music, fashion, art and performances of dozens of different cultures around the world. You'll see an 80s cover band, 15 international DJs, live art, stilt-walkers, taiko drummers, an Asian night market, and igloo-inspired cabanas (gotta show some love to the North Pole!). Best part, though? Drinks are included.
For 14 more ways to party, read on!
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Attention, jetsetting bookworms: The Brazilian Court in Palm Beach recently announced its line-up for the 9th Annual Author Breakfast Series—and it's looking pretty sweet.
Presented by Parker Ladd, an exec at Scribner & Sons and famous for being married to noted fashion designer Arnold Scaasi, the Author Breakfast Series offers six author breakfasts, beginning on January 11th and concluding on March 29th.
Gracing the AAA-Four Diamond resort will be Michael Connelly, known for his #1 NYT bestsellers, and Tony Mendez, author of Argo. (If you've seen the movie, you'll remember that Mr. Mendez was played by Ben Affleck himself.) Oh, and we can't forget Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and wife of Daniel Day Lewis. Swoon!
Like every year, the author breakfasts will be held at The Ballroom (pictured) at Cafe Boulud (yes, that Boulud), so it's probably not a good idea to show up wearing flip-flops and jam shorts. A $100 ticket gets you breakfast, valet parking and a copy of the featured book, but all reservations must be booked in advance.
Last minute alert! Tonight, The Plaza Hotel will not only officially light its Christmas tree, but will debut the holiday themed tea. For many, especially Home Alone purists, the holiday spirit doesn't kick into gear until The Plaza goes through this ritual, and 2012 is going to be especially glitzy.
Why? Because the theme for both the tree and tea is Gatsby! Yes, as in they are teaming up with the Baz Luhrmann movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1920s novel to apply the roaring 20s glamor to this festive season, even though the movie's release date has been pushed back to late spring 2013.
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We're getting a pretty big kick out of all the Hostess-related headlines we're seeing right now on Google: "If Twinkie dies, we killed it" (CNN), "The Twinkie Manifesto" (NYTimes), "What the Twinkie's Demise Tells Us" (Washington Post), and our favorite, Gawker's guide on how to make your own twinkies.
Things are still pretty up in the air for the 82-year-old baked goods company, though America breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday afternoon, when it was announced that Hostess has agreed to sit down with the BCTGM union and talk through their problems.
But that hasn't stopped folks from buying up every last box of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs available in the stores. And it certainly hasn't stopped W Times Square from seizing on the opportunity to put together a special Hostess-themed cocktail pairings menu to honor the occasion.
The menu, which is only available for four days—starting today!—will feature pairings like the TBR (a twinkie with a Pabst Blue Ribbon), the Dinger (Chocolate Manhattan with two Ding Dongs) and the Sno Ho Ho (Chocolat Raspberi Martini with Sno-Balls).
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One afternoon last week, we were loitering in the lobby of the semi-new SLS Miami, when a young man wearing pantaloons and a bandana, dancing by himself and making strange, slow-motion gestures, caught our attention. No, the local insane asylum hadn't reported any escapees—this guy was just part of the Gallim Dance Company, an experimental dance troupe who'd been hired for the hotel's grand opening bash the following evening.
Like any conscientious performer, he was simply rehearsing his moves (he eventually got escorted out to the pool, though, since a few guests complained).
Sure enough, when we showed up the following evening, an ensemble of fairies, geishas and Marie Antoinette lookalikes cavorted near the entrance to the hotel, greeting the 1,000+ guests who turned up to the party. A red carpet was even rolled out along the hotel's side entrance for big-name attendees like Rumor Willis (who performed with her band), Reggie Bush, Emilio Estefan, several cast members from the Real Housewives, and, of course, Lenny Kravitz, who designed the hotel's penthouse suite.
For more deets from the event, click below!
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About a dozen Westin heavenly beds were hauled up to the hotel's third floor ballroom, where select SPG members got cozy and settled in for a private performance by indie trio Ben Folds Five. It's not every day you get to watch a live concert in bed!
But that wasn't the only exciting thing about the grand opening. Earlier in the day, HotelChatter got to sit down for an exclusive interview with the band and quiz them on their early days in the 90s as motel-hopping road warriors. Sure enough, they had plenty of stories to share...
HotelChatter: When you guys were just starting out and traveling to different cities each night, what was it like? Where would you stay?
Ben Folds: The Knight's Inn. Usually, one of us would book the room as if it was just for one person, and the others would hide out in the van and wait. The reason being, if there was more than one of us, the price would go up. So then we'd get into the room; someone would share a bed, I usually blew up a mattress and slept on the floor.
HC:: And how much did you have to pay?
BF: $39.95 usually. We would use whatever cash we'd gotten from the night before.
We wrap up our New York Fashion Week coverage (before moving on to London) by telling you what’s going on the next few night at locals hotels for those of us without access to those swanky private parties. These events are open to the public for the remainder of the show week.
When:Sept. 10, 9pm-midnight Tumbler’s most popular fashion blog “We The Urban” is hosting a party tonight at this too-hip to be square Lower East Side hotel.
When:Sept. 12th, 8pm-2am The hotel’s Above Allen indoor-outdoor terrace lounge with a retractable glass roof is normally reserved for hotel guests and members, but on this night Roxy Cottontail and Butch Diva will have a party with Cole Haan called #dontgohome.
When: Sept. 12, 8pm The Ace is feting The Rookie, an online magazine created for teenage girls by fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson with a school-dance-themed party, readings by the magazine’s contributors, and live music. The event is open to the public but to attend you must R.S.V.P. on the hotel’s blog.
Dream New York
When: Nightly Go to the trendy hotel’s Ava penthouse lounge where makeup artist Ramy hosts a nightly “beauty therapy bar”. Try products and even have your eyebrows shaped for free! Throughout the month of September, the bar is serving up a “model cocktails” created by mixologists at Liquid Lab. On the menu? The Kate Moss Cosmo and Bündchen Brisk.
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Hot on the heels of Fashion Week, the next big NYC event on everyone's lips is the Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival, which runs from Oct 11-14. Taking place in different venues all over the city, the various food-(and wine-, duh!) related events are a great excuse to indulge our two favorite hobbies: stuffing our face, and hanging out in hotels.Much of the finger-lickin' action will be restricted to a few select places that have made their mark as either a reputable dining establishment, or just a place where celebs like to hang.
Here's a look at what's happening at which hotels, and where you'll want to be staying.
By far, the most active hotel on the lineup is Standard High Line, which will be hosting a total of nine events throughout the four-day festival, many of which are part of a "Wine Seminars" series presented by Food & Wine magazine. And though the hotel will no doubt be jam-packed the entire weekend, rooms are still available, starting at $585/night for a Standard King.
Meanwhile, the following hotels will also get their fair share of the booze-y action...
We don't usually read about basement parties happening at the Ace New York in the NY Times. Yet that's exactly how we found out about a recent fundraiser that took place in the hotel's subterranean Liberty Hall.
With several hundred protestors lined up around the block, the hotel hosted an impromptu "solidarity event" in support of Russian punk rock trio Pussy Riot, who have made headlines around the world after their controversial arrest—and subsequent conviction—by the Russian government for what they deemed “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Now they're facing two years in prison.
When it came time to pick a venue to allow folks to gather and vent their anger, the Ace seemed an obvious choice. After all, if the hotel is hip enough to turn an obscure brand of Swiss toothpaste into a hot commodity, no reason why a crowd of balaclava-wearing, feminist, anti-patriarch arts activists can't feel right at home, right?
Once a year in New York City, something awesome happens over a whole weekend. It's called openhousenewyork and the idea is exactly what it sounds liketo open up private bits of the city for public viewings and tours.
Typically this means events like walking tours of West Village backyard gardens or, like last year, a very unique few hours of wandering the inside of the old TWA terminal at JFK Airport. Though the full schedule for 2012 hasn't yet been released, OHNY has teased inside access to a few of the city's big hotels:
In case you were hoping to celebrate this year's World Cat Day, we're sad to say that you've just missed it. Instead, enjoy our photos of...cats in hats! Also, cats in dresses! And last but not least, cats in leather jackets!
The cat fancy fest went down yesterday evening within Manhattan's Algonquin Hotel as the property allowed its most famous resident, Matilda, lobby cat, to have a few friends over to celebrate the reopening after a complete renovation.
Back in May, the W New York Times Square became the first hotel to host a formal exhibition of Instagram photography. The event must've been quite successful, because it's now spreading to the W Chicago Lakeshore, who tonight host the opening of their own Instagram showthe first official Instagram exhibit in Chicagocomplete with culmination of a contest.
After receiving over 7,500 entries, the W Lakeshore chose one photo to crown the exhibition, and it'll be unveiled this evening between 6-8PM in the Living Room and Wave Patio with "cocktails, interactive moments, Instagram portraits and DJ Megan Taylor," according to Racked Chicago.
The party is open to the public, and we'll be there amongst the crowd doing the very meta thing of instgramming instagrams. Charge up your phone and see you there?
[Photo: W Hotels}