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We not only answer questions by mail, we're checking our Facebook page too! That's where we found this latest question from one Polly P.
Which Chicago hotel is putting in cabaret music?? Anyone know??
After doing a quick internet search, we suggested The Drake Hotel which has regular live music in their Palm Court. When we followed up with Polly she told us that the Drake has had music for a long time and that this was a hotel looking for a NEW cabaret music offering. She mentioned that she thought it might be The Godfrey which is opening in February to which we replied, The Virgin which is opening this summer. Or possibly, Public. Polly thinks it could even be the new Langham Hotel. But maybe it's The Kinzie aka the Amalfi, which is rebranding in February.
Really, it's a bit of a shot in the dark/wild goose chase. Literally, any hotel could be looking for a cabaret act. But if you've got a lead on which new or new-ish hotel is looking for a cabaret music act, let us know, old friend. Or else, just put which Chicago hotels you wish had cabaret music in comments below!
Earlier this summer, we polled all of you on your check-in rituals, meaning the very first things you do after closing the door behind you in a new hotel room. Your answers were awesome (and eye-opening), spanning everything from scoping out the minibar to crashing for a power nap.
Well, we decided to similarly poll the contributors of our brother site, Jaunted.com to see how the frequent flyers think and discovered that, though everyone loves to have a nice bed in a new city, even seasoned hotel sleepers such as ourselves like to stick to our rituals.
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Just the other day, we were reading a story about British Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray, who bragged about getting to stay in "a lot of different hotels" during his seven-year career. Lucky him. Now Murray's in New York City for this year's US Open tournament (which got underway yesterday), and he's saying he's after a quieter hotel, to help him focus when he's not on the courts.
Which got us thinking: where do people go in New York when they need extra quiet? Well, the first answer might be, "not New York." But we know there's more to it than that. Indeed, plenty of Manhattan hotels are in the business of making you completely forget you're in Manhattan at all.
The trick is where to find 'em...
Long Island is a big place. It's a place Manhattanites love to trash talk in the winter but can't wait to visit come summer. It's an endless stretch of land that sprouts from Queens, and its tip runs all the way out to eastern Connecticut. None of which should necessarily imply that finding a decent, cheap hotel there during the summer would be difficult. Except, it is.
For starters, most places require a two- or three-night minimum for any stay from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, making a one-night getaway that much more difficult.
Plus, for whatever reason, most of the major hotel brands have completely overlooked Long Island as a viable place to establish a hotel. Add to that the fact that New Yorkers are planning freaks, so most have already booked their Hamptons hotel months (if not years) in advance, rendering the few decent hotels all sold out.
So, we ask, with good reason: where to turn?
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UPDATE 4.16.12: It looks like Steven Kamali Hospitality will be running the joint now!
A few days ago we received an email from a reader who was curious about a seemingly new hotel going up on Madison Avenue in New York City:
"I was walking by the Roger Hotel today and noticed their window displays read, 'Be ready in just a moment' and 'We clean up well.' I tried to go inside and see what was going on but they wouldn't let me! Have you or anyone on your team heard anything? I love the neighborhood and would be very excited to hear of a new hotel for me and my friends!"
What cute signs! And what a great way to build buzz before the doors have even opened! We certainly would've been asking all the same questions if it had been us walking by, but looks like we were beat to the punch! Of course, we're still happy to help. So without further ado, we present The Roger Hotel...
A reader from France recently asked us for family-friendly Chicago hotel recommendations for their upcoming summer visit. Here’s what they wrote:
“What would be your recommendation for a family of 4 (with 2 tweens) for a long weekend in Chicago this summer? Would Public be a good choice?”
While Public is incredible in its own right, it’s definitely adult-posh and not necessarily what comes to mind when we call up our favorite family-friendly Chicago hotels. That said, here’s our top picks for the cool fams, especially those adding tweens and a taste for design to the mix:
Not a week goes by where we don't field a question about a hotel room in New York City. (Hello, people! We are knowledgeable about other cities too!) Nevertheless, New York is still a popular place to be and hotels are taking advantage of that this fall.
Last week we were on a mission to find a nice hotel room for $200 a night for October 16-19 and boy was it tough. When Hotwire is showing you rates of $259 and up, you know things are not looking good. Fortunately, we were able to find our friends a room for $199 for the first night at the Roosevelt and about $239 for the following nights. Of course, that's before taxes but that was about as good as it was gonna get.
This week we were tasked with a bigger budget for a midtown hotel room between $400 and $450 a night from November 16-23.
If you're one of those people whose Halloween costume was planned way back in June, then you're probably eager to book your NYC hotel stay waaay ahead of time. In which case, we thought we'd do you a favor and scout some low rates for the month ahead. By then, September madness will have petered out, and rates will have dropped back down to more reasonable (relatively speaking) numbers.
Now, since the infamous Village Halloween Parade (happening on Monday October 31) starts on Sixth Avenue in the West Village, our first thought was to simply find some deals nearby. Not as easy as you might think! Four Points Sheraton Soho, Hampton Inn Soho and Courtyard By Marriott Soho all failed to impress. So we took matters into our own hands and explored some other neighborhoods.
@HotelChatter Any recs on 5Star/upscale hotels in Venice and Rome? Usually stay at @FourSeasons but alas no FS properties in those cities.
That's pretty weird now that we think about it. No Four Seasons in Rome or Venice? They should really get on that!
But onto our hotel picks.
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We've gotten a few requests this week for affordable hotels in NYC, and thought we'd take a minute to examine the crazy roller coaster that is September hotel rates. First off, three major overlapping events—a UN conference, two consecutive Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and the NYC WIne & Food Festival—make for a severely congested "back-to-school" season. Go figure.
As a result, almost all NYC hotels—including normally-affordable "budget" hotels (Holiday Inns, Fairfield Inns, Hampton Inns)—raise their rates during this time of year. But as we showed earlier this week in San Francisco, there are always exceptions to the rule—just as long as you're willing to hunt for them. Luckily for you, that's what HotelChatter is here for.
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When we saw Alyson Shontell, reporter for Business Insider had booked herself a room in SF for a conference this week, but quickly regretted her choice of hotel, we felt guilty. We should have helped her back when she tweeted out for hotel selections in SF. But better late than never, right?
Well, our first thought was, eesh. September is a notoriously busy month for all hotels—not just in San Fran. But it turns out there are some good finds out there right now, and Union Square isn't exactly lacking in hotel options—so when you do find the good deals, it becomes that much more exciting! For starters, take the Palace Hotel, an historic hotel located just a few steps from the Montgomery St BART station, where a King bed starts at just $189.
HotelChatter Questions: In which, the intrepid HotelChatter editors and our hotel maven readers answer hotel questions that pop into our inbox. Have a question for us? Send it along. Think you have a better answer than we gave, or better yet, want to give a vote of confidence to our answer? Comment away below.
Here's one question from a reader whose daughter begins at NYU this fall:
"Since you have the inside NY Hotel scoop, do you know where to find any of the good promotional codes for the hotels you suggested? Also is it better to book on-line or call and negotiate since I will be [in NYC] 7 nights. Lastly, if I wanted to stay right by NYU - Washington Sq, where would you recommend?