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Our hot chocolate at Stumptown
Despite all the weird weather of late, it's finally cold enough in New York City to warrant sitting down and ordering a hot chocolate. Luckily for you, we're kind of pros at this, as we frequently turn the cafes of NYC hotels into our makeshift drawing rooms. Here's three of our favorite hotel spots for a hot chocolate:
Ace Hotel Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Don't expect to snag a free seat in scenester lobby, but rather take your tall glass of hot chocolate (ever so perfectly whip cream-topped) to the window and stand, idly gazing out and enjoying these ten minutes of pure nothingness. Take a tiny, shiny pastry to go.
GEM Hotels — that fun little offshoot of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection, with three boutique NYC hotels — recently launched their very own brand platform, complete with a shiny new website. Who says we never bring you exciting news?
First, the website. Pervasive elevator music aside — with a different tune for each hotel, eep! — the site has clean design and is easy to navigate, which, really, is all that matters. Beyond the looping pillow fight on the home page, the overall aesthetic is a little generic though, which doesn’t bode well for its memorability, especially for a hotel that was apparently “born out of necessity in 2007,” according to the website, “to provide excellent hospitality service in an unpretentious, accessible and sustainable manner.”
But! Via the website we did learn that GEM Union Square is coming in 2011, which we will definitely be tracking. Also worth noting: GEM Hotels are incorporating a few unique brand hallmarks, in addition to their legendary amenities. We already told you they’re searching for local rockstars to showcase via lobby playlist, but they’re also taking their name quite seriously with the GEMstone program — a collection of small rocks each engraved with a “word reflective of the brand” (from “relax” to “GEMtastic”). Guests who want their sheets laundered can plop a GEMstone on their pillow instead of scratching a note on paper. A little forced, sure, but it’s still a nice touch.
Sizzling Summer rates are discounted 15 percent and start as low as $135.
While we still preferred the first proposed hotel name for the Desires newly renovated hotel (The Wolf), unfortunately the hotel had other plans. Last night votes were tallied in their "You Name It, We Claim It" Contest and the people have spoken. The new name is The MAve Hotel.
The MAve's (pronounced māv'e) name was developed from a creative word play on the location of the hotel at 62 Madison Ave. This new modern boutique hotel is now beginning to move forward towards its grand opening with its fresh new name and neighborhood friendly design. "We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote on the Desires Hotels Web site, and hope that when we open our doors this summer they will once again take the time to stop by to see what they were a part of," says Shawn Roach General Manager of The MAve Hotel.
We think that MAve rhymes with lav but we're just grateful it doesn't have all those funky symbols like Sīrĕn at Se San Diego. The 72-room hotel is still on schedule to re-open this summer.
We know a lot of corporate mumbo-jumbo goes into the naming of new hotel brands and properties, but sometimes it seems like we could have done a better job, say, brainstorming at a bar.
Seems the Desires Hotel collection sort of agrees, and wants to put you to task to name the 72-room hotel formerly known as The Madison in NYC’s Flatiron District. (Which, unfortunately, seems to shatter our dreams of the place being called The Wolf.)
As the hotel undergoes a total renovation (set to reopen this summer), Desires wants any of you would-be hotel branders to vote for your favorite of five names and logos as part of the “You Name It, We Claim It” campaign (as seen previously in a similar contest by JDV).
Voters who choose the most-voted-for name will be in the running for some pretty sweet prizes (particularly considering the three seconds it takes to vote). The grand prize winner will get a three-night stay, including airfare, at a Desires Hotel in Miami, San Juan, NYC, Milwaukee, or St. Louis. Second place wins an iPod Touch, third place an iPod Nano.
Voting runs through April 2. To be honest, we’re not really loving any of the name options, but we do love the idea of a free three-night getaway. So get to the polls!
All summer long, Manhattan hotels have been capitalizing on artist Olafur Eliasson's man-made waterfalls installed along Manhattan's East River -- and the hype doesn't seem to be slowing down.
If you're late to the party on this one, maybe a Thompson hotel would be your best bet (get it? Because Thompson hotels always open late? Ha!)
If you associate waterfalls with cabins (and not so much with concrete and taxicabs), perhaps you'd enjoy checking out the waterfalls and calling the cozy, cabin-y feel of Thompson Hotels' Gild Hall your temporary HQ.