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For most of us, we're just happy that our hotel room in Manhattan doesn't look out onto a brick wall. But for those of you who are particular about your views, we've rounded up the best hotels in lower Manhattan for river gazing. And no, you don't have to spend a fortune to do it, which is another reason to consider downtown versus uptown when planning your stay.
5 SCENIC WATERFRONT HOTELS IN LOWER MANHATTAN
1. It's all about the views at Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which also took quite a beating during Hurricane Sandy (everything's back to normal now, though). The 298-room hotel often gets overshadowed by its uptown counterparts (Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons New York), but actually this place outshines all of them put together when it comes to fresh sea breezes and plenty of open spaces around the hotel The rooms even come with telescopes!
Rates from $395/night.
Four more after the jump!
Hotel Restaurants / Jose Andres / Celebrity Chefs / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Puerto Rico Hotels / → All Tags
Last week we told you about the first star-studded wedding at the new Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, but today we’re focusing on the hotel’s own celebrity. That would be Spanish chef extraordinaire and ThinkFoodGroup owner José Andrés who opened the restaurant Mi Casa at the luxury resort.
Normally you’ll find José’s restaurants on the U.S. mainland at the SLS hotels in Miami and Beverly Hills, as well as other restaurants in Washington D.C., Las Vegas and other cities. However, having eaten at a few of those places, we found familiar items from those far-away restaurants right on hand at Mi Casa, so we’d like to think that they are the chef's favorites, or perhaps they’re a starter menu and he’ll be creating items to put the Ritz-Carlton stamp on Mi Casa.
Our photo gallery highlights the fun design and food surprises we found at the restaurant.
Celebrity Scoop / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel Weddings / Puerto Rico Hotels / Wedding Hotels / Khloe Kardashian / Eva Longoria / → All Tags
The Ritz-Carlton, Dorado Beach Reserve in Puerto Rico has only been open since December, but a boatload of guests have already booked and stayed, even with their most-expensive-resort-on-the-island rep. However, even this high-class hotel's chops were tested when they had their first wedding of the season—a big ‘un with a $5 million budget to spend.
Plus, they only had one month to pull it off.
Who was this anxious-to-wed couple? Actor/musician Duane McLaughlin and his fiancé, Lumiere De Vie skin care product founder, Amber Ridinger. Originally the pair considered the St. Regis (at the time, the most swank space in PR), but after hearing about the RC Dorado and taking just one look, Amber changed her mind. Soon after, wedding invitations were sent out to the couples’ high profile pals (which included Khloe Kardashian and Scottie Pippen) for their April nuptials.
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Farm-to-table concepts at restaurants
What's In: Farm-to-table concepts at spas
With “natural” and “local” now part of the modern lexicon for restaurants, hotels have decided that it’s not just your tummy that should get all that organic goodness. We present to you... (drumroll please) farm-to-face.
A Relais & Chateaux Resort, the Hotel Caesar Augustus is perched on a cliff on the languid isle of Capri. In this idyllic setting you can find an equally idyllic spa garden. The goods from the garden - infusions made with the oils from basil, sage, rosemary, and marjoram as well as lemons and oranges - can be used in various massage treatments they offer at the hotel. The truly wonderful thing is that the massages can take place in the midst of all of those blooming orange and lemon blossoms.
The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria New York is launching a “Milk, Honey and Herb” Mani and Pedi using its own “Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey” from six beehives installed on the 20th floor roof. The unguents and creams also include herbs grown from the hotel’s newly-installed rooftop garden and, while you’re waxing poetic about the treatment, you can sip on the hotel’s signature Wax Poetic cocktail featuring the house-made honey.
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When we looked at the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa last October, we mentioned that a fourth Japanese property was in the works in Kyoto, the country’s former imperial capital and home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is confirmed as opening on February 7, 2014, alongside a host of other new hotels being announced. We’ll give you a breakdown of what’s happening below.
Billed as an urban resort, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto will have 136 rooms on the banks of the Kamogawa River, with views of the Higashiyama Mountains. Traditional Meiji house and courtyard architecture is incorporated into the building’s structure, and the hotel will have four dining options, as well as meeting facilities and a spa.
Hotel Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by JustLuxe's own Lena Katz. Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have Lena answer it.
A recent dinner at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s swank Parallel 37 food-geeked us out, thanks to new chef Michael Rotondo’s tendency to incorporate the most exotic produce items in California into his tasting menu. Torpedo radish? Smoked sunchokes? Arugula blossoms? It’s all coming at ya…and it’s good.
Chef Rotondo, who recently arrived from Chicago where he cooked under Charlie Trotter for eight years, admitted when he wanders through the San Francisco area farmers markets, he often doesn't recognize some of the stranger fruits – and when that happens, he usually buys the questionable item, takes it back to the kitchen, and figures out a tasty use for it.
We asked him to identify seven awesome produce items he’s cooking with right now, and tell us what the heck to do with them
Fermented Black Garlic: Ferment whole bulbs of garlic at high temperature, and they’ll turn black and taste sweet and syrupy, with hints of licorice and balsamic. Black garlic isn’t the prettiest veggie in the drawer, but it adds a complexity to a dish that raw garlic can't match. Most Asian markets carry black garlic. We have it on the lunch menu currently - blended into a light aioli and used on our albacore tuna sandwich.
Texas pecan pie for room-service dessert? Yee-haw!
It seems the room-service debate will never go away. Some people call us suckers for succumbing to ordering it, others find it a life-saver in those wee hours when we’re feeling a bit peckish and don’t feel like going out on a food hunt.
But today we’re not debating whether it’s a good idea or not, we’re going to celebrate what we consider one of the most interesting in-room dining room menus we've encountered in a while, and since it’s near quitting time, it’s time for food porn, anyway.
This submission comes courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Instead of yawn-worthy, limp Caesar salads and uninspired burgers, this hotel is bringing the goods with a Lone Star State-twist. We’re talking chilaquiles with smoked short rib hash, mini-elk sausage corn dogs with Dr.Pepper barbecue sauce, “Sous Vide” beef tacos, and Texas pecan pie.
And there's more, so much finger-licking more, after the jump.
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This week marks the beginning of baseball season, which means the air seems quite heavy with testosterone lately and beer sales have risen once again. Hotels are getting in on this special time by building special game-watching packages. Here are a few that make us say "Hot Dog!"
Hotel Monaco Baltimore
The “Bro's, O's, and Boh's Opening Weekend” package is designed for Baltimore Orioles fans in town for the April 5th opening day. You'll get 10% discount off the best available room rate, three cold Natty Boh local beers, three cold orange sodas (orange, of course, in tribute to official team colors--orange and black) , and home team goodies. Rooms start at $169 per night. Book online at www.monaco-baltimore.com or call (888) 752-2363 and ask for the ORIOLE rate.
Hotel Marlowe, Boston
Face it, Red Sox fans are falling over themselves in anticipation of the April 8th opening date (how many people will be calling in sick?). So, the "Ahead of the Curve" package is aimed at those anxious to get into Fenway Park, one of the country's oldest and famous ballparks. The hotel's deal includes a stay in deluxe accommodations, four T passes (Lechmere T station is nearby), a six pack of beer and peanuts, non-boozy beverages for children and Cracker Jacks, a complimentary in-room movie, and a baseball-inspired welcome amenity. The package begins at $369. Book online here or call 800-KIMPTON and mention rate code CURVE. Available April 8 – September 30.
To say the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott companies are on their grind would be an understatement. We let you know they're moving forward with the long-feared-dead Molasses Reef resort in the Turks and Caicos, and various properties have been opening or renovated left and right.
One of the hotels we're excited about is the Ritz-Carlton, Aruba which we originally reported would open in 2014. When we were on island last fall, construction activity was in full swing. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Marriott International and Ritz-Carlton Hotels has released news that Aruba's first five-star resort will now open November 2, 2013, just in time for winter high season.
The 320-room hotel will have four restaurants, a 15-treatment room spa, two swimming pools, a 24-hour casino, and one of the island's largest meeting facilities. They'll also offer the Ritz-Carlton Club Level with 35 exclusive rooms, concierge service, and five food and beverage offerings. We're not sure what the upgrade price will be, but of our findings, the Ritz' Club Level is known as one of the better options.
Hopefully the construction schedule keeps up the pace and we'll see the new resort ourselves this fall!
[Photo: Ritz-Carlton Hotels]
Yesterday our little bro, Jaunted, reported that singer Josh Groban is exactly the type of celeb you want to have on your flight, especially when the plane is delayed due to a little bad weather. Josh tweeted out to his fans that the Virgin America plane he was on needed a little good "juju." Soon after doing that, the pilot came on the speaker and said the juju worked and the plane was now ready to take off. Ah, the power of Grobanites!
Naturally, we had to wonder--if Josh likes to fly Virign America, where did he like to spend the night? Yes, this is some hard-hitting journalism right here.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Hotel Construction / Hotel Closings / Hotel Renovations / Turks and Caicos Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Florida Hotels / Abu Dhabi Hotels / Naples Hotels / → All Tags
Today seems to be a banner day for Ritz-Carlton Hotel news, we've got three pieces of juicy goss that just needs to be shared. Here's the tea:
In our recent Abandoned Hotels story, we lamented the construction of Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort had been languishing untouched in the Turk and Caicos since 2008 (it began in 2001) and showed no signs of ever coming to fruition. Well, a miracle has happened and the project is back on! According to HotelsMag.com, they've received confirmation on the private (you can only arrive by boat, small plane or helicopter) 125-unit resort's opening from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
HotelChatter also checked with our RC sources, and the luxury Caribbean resort is indeed a go. We were told an official release will soon come. European developers have taken over with an apparent $130 million investment to complete a project that's already had $300 million sunk into it by previous interested party, Logwood Development. Construction is expected to resume this year (keep your fingers crossed).
But wait, there's more Ritz-Carlton rumblings for ya!
UPDATE: We were informed after press time that the "privileges" for Courtyard guests at the Ritz Carlton come with a $25 fee when using the fitness center, pool, and spa (if not making an appointment)-- a resort fee, if you will. Disappointing, for sure and not our understanding when originally approached with this story. So, we now turn the question to you, reader: Is this still a deal you'd be interested in? Would you pay the $25 with the cash you save on the rate to take a dip or workout at the Ritz while staying at the Courtyard?
Looking for a deal at the Ritz Carlton? Aren't we all. But now, thanks to an emerging hotel trend, you can crawl out of the bowels of the Internet: In New Orleans, the cheapest room at The Ritz-Carlton is actually next door at the Courtyard.
"Say what?" We can hear your disbelief right now. But it's true! The two hotels are connected by a shared elevator, and guests of the Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Iberville are allowed access to the Ritz-Carlton's fitness center and pool for a $25 fee (fee is normally $75 for non-Ritz guests). They can also charge back to their room at the Courtyard when hanging at the Ritz restaurants, lounges, and spa. We find this great for business travelers, their expense accounts, and anyone looking for perks that up their swag from mid-market to luxury level.
Property sharing among sister brands isn't exactly a new concept, but this is one of the first we've seen to offer budget and business travelers the chance to live well above their room rate. Prices for the Ritz start at $249 a night while the Courtyard will run you only $129 per night. Food for thought!