Tag: Queens HotelsView All Tags
Things were looking pretty lively last time we checked in on the Flushing, Queens hotel scene (which wasn't that long ago), and the 'hood is showing no sign of slowing down. Mayor Bloomberg made an announcement on Thursday about a new 200-room hotel that will go up next to the Mets' Citi Field baseball stadium.
The unnamed hotel, which is still in its early stages, has not yet been associated with any specific brand, nor did the Mayor elaborate on what amenities the property would offer. Except for the fact that it will be part of a giant $3 billion development project set to install a retail and restaurant space, 20-acre recreational field, and a huge shopping center over the next 15 years.
Suddenly that LGA layover got a whole lot more interesting...
We recently gave you our top picks for affordable hotels in Flushing, Queens. And it looks like travelers are beginning to catch onto this area as a viable, cheaper, certainly culturally interesting alternative to midtown Manhattan.
So we read with excitement about Hotel de Point, a new boutique hotel opening inside the Shops de Point, a retail complex located about two miles from the Flushing's main strip. No, it's not the most centrally-located hotel in the city, but then again, for an airport hotel, its list of attractions is pretty impressive (an indoor pool, restaurants and karaoke room are just a few on the list).
Oh, and each of the 114 rooms is individually solar-powered. Interested yet?
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Once in a while we take a chance on a hotel, usually for one of three reasons: the place got recommended to us by a friend, it's super convenient, or we're just plain old desperate. In the case of our stay last week at the Red Roof Inn Flushing New York, which is located just four miles from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), it was some mix of the latter two.
Walking into the hotel, we thought, 'OK. It's a little bare bones, and there is kind of a weird plaster-y smell, but nevermind: the rates will be cheap, and there will be free WiFi.'
Sure enough, upon checking in, the rate was certainly lower than what we're accustomed to seeing across the river in dear old Manhattan. $110 for the night. And what's more, they even decided to bump us up to a "bigger" room on the highest floor, at a discount.
Off to a good start! But then things took a turn for the worse.
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If you are any kind of food snob at all, you already know that New York's best dim sum, hand-pulled noodles, crispy whole duck and bubble tea are found not in Manhattan's Chinatown, but nine miles east of Times Square, in Flushing, Queens.
So, you already know that. Good. But do you know how to turn your NYC visit into a mock Chinese "staycation"? Your wallet (and your stomach) will thank you after you book a room at one of these three affordable Queens hotels, all of them just a twenty minute subway ride from Times Square, and a fifteen minute cab ride from LaGuardia Airport.
The sign outside Best Western Queens Court (above) proves this isn't just any old Best Western. In addition to the rooms and free WiFi, the lobby has its own Chinese restaurant, Liang's Kitchen, an offshoot of a popular Southern California-based chain that specializes in Taiwanese dishes. Rates here start at around $140/night.
OK, so we can all agree Queens is making some strides in the hotel department. Though we originally put up a fight in 2010 about trekking so far just to see a rooftop bar, we've since expanded our horizons. For our next visit, however, we're setting our sights a bit closer to the ground.
The Ravel Hotel just announced a new bicycle amenity, the first of its kind by a hotel in the entire borough of Queens. Helping them achieve this goal is Bike New York, a nonprofit that promotes safe bicycling around New York City. Already, we can tell this is going to be a more practical endeavor than W London's celebrity-designed novelty bikes. Wouldn't want to be riding alongside the East River on one of those things!
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As unhappy as we are to admit it, summer is over and the warm weather is quickly receding. And to think, we only made it to the beach once this entire summer! But nevermind. While New York temperatures are still lingering in the high 70s, we thought we could all benefit from one last hurrah of outdoor hotel spaces. From outdoor movies to pizza ovens, we found something for everyone on this list.
Next time you find yourself on Fifth Avenue and 55th St with nothing to do, book yourself a 75-minute spa treatment at the Peninsula New York. The session will automatically grant you access to the hotel's Sun Terrace, which we were lucky enough to visit two weeks ago. If we had to pick our favorite spot, it would probably be the wicker chairs around the coffee table. Who said magazine browsing and sunbathing can't happen at once?
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If you haven't already tried it, the East River Ferry is a great way to get around NYC—especially in the summer. For $4 a ride, you can zip between lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and get to enjoy stunning views of the city while you're at it.
But for hotel geeks, this efficient cruise also poses another possibility: hotel hopping on the East River! Believe it or not, more than half of the eight ferry terminals are within walking distance of some of the neighborhood's essential hotels. And given NYC's blatant oversaturation these days, this is a great way to enjoy the city's diversity of hotels, without ever spending too much time in one particular neighborhood. Off to sea!
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In just eighteen days, the 2011 US Open Tournament barrels into Flushing, NY. Here's a look at which NYC hotels are serving up the best rates, tennis packages, and, of course, tennis swag.
Make it a double-night stay over in midtown's new-ish Sanctuary Hotel, whose US Open Tennis package includes an unlimited weekly Metrocard—not quite a free limo ride (see below), but convenient enough! Also lumped in with the $499 rate (or $249 per night) are a Serena Williams skin care bundle kit, a Rafael Nadal "Rafa" crew shirt, and a free room upgrade. Hopefully, Hank Freid's S.T.A.R. staff is up to par!
Only yesterday were we telling you about a new flophouse-turned-boutique-hotel set to open on the Bowery in Manhattan. Today, we direct your attention to an even cheaper alternative located in Far Rockaway, Queens. Somewhere between an artsy pop-up restaurant and a no-frills budget motel lies the Boggsville Boatel, an interactive art project by Constance Hockaday (above).
Now, we've covered hotel art installations here before, but clearly, this one's a little different. In the case of the Boatel, the floating hotel itself becomes the art.
The Z Hotel had our attention last week when they debuted their 100-room hotel with sky beams, a light-footed Henry Zilberman, and one of the most beautiful views we've seen in a while. For their July 4 bash (which remains invite only, sorry outer borough friends!), they have chosen to enlist the skills of the very same electric violinist who one-upped the DJ at their opening party, Gray Devio.
We've heard of hotels hiring global music directors to oversee the music scene, and once in a while a lounge pianist catches our eye. But a resident electric violinist—who plays on the roof?! This is something new.
We can now confirm with absolute certainty that the newly-opened Z Hotel has alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. The independently-owned Long Island City hotel celebrated its grand opening with a wild rooftop party on Tuesday night, and—we have to give them credit—the views were killer.
Just take a look at this video to see what we mean. In addition to the freely-flowing liquor, champagne, and beer, pizza was being served out of the oven, a violinist was jamming on the roof, and the dance music was so infectious even the owner, Henry Zilberman, couldn't keep still.
Another boutique hotel pops up this summer in one of New York City's outer boroughs, and—surprise!—it's got a rooftop bar. Long Island City's Z Hotel, a sleek 100-room tower adjacent to the Queensborough Bridge, is almost ready to open its doors, but will the area's total lack of foot traffic spell doom for the much-hyped project? Owner Henry Zilberman, whose background as the owner of a local car service makes him something of an expert on location, is optimistic about the destination's appeal to tourists and business travelers. In a 2007 interview, Zilberman made the convincing case:
"I drive around here all the time, and you can take the Queensboro Bridge and be at Bloomingdale's in three minutes. Even with traffic, it's faster than the subway. It's a mystery to me why it took so long for Long Island City to be discovered."
Renderings of the Z (Z for 'Zilberman,' or for 'zany?') have been circulating on the web for a few years, and now that the whole thing is up, we have to admit, we like it a lot better than the nearby Ravel Hotel's bland exterior. At the Z, balconied walkways are set off by playful multicolored panels, and the grey-brick-and-glass facade is much more at peace with the neighborhood's industrial backdrop. But the question remains: how will a hotel premised on the appeal of its "Gansevoort vibe" make out in such bleak surroundings?