10001 Travel Guide
Confirmed: Hyatt is taking over NYC.
Chesapeake Lodging Trust appointed the brand to take over an existing Holiday Inn on W. 31st Street and rename/rebrand it to the Hyatt Herald Square. Not to be confused with Hyatt Times Square or Hyatt Union Square. And for those keeping count, this will be the 8th Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.
The hotel will actually close down in August and undergo a multimillion dollar renovation, reopening by the end of September. Everything will be upgraded from the 122 guest rooms to the lobby/social spaces. Paul Vega, founder of VLDG designs of New York, will be leading the redesign and is expected to borrow from the hotel's surrounding Herald Square nabe and the nearby Fashion District. In other words: rinse, lather, repeat.
Right now, rates at the Holiday Inn are just $133 a night this weekend. No doubt that will increase a lot when it reopens as a Hyatt.
[Photo: Holiday Inn NYC Midtown ]
Hotel Developments / Lam Group Hotels / Le Meridien Hotels / Virgin Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
When we recently attended the grand opening of Hotel Indigo Brooklyn we nodded our heads when someone made the cheeky comment that Duffield Street (home also to the Sheraton Brooklyn and the Aloft Brooklyn) should be renamed Lam Street. They had a point, but the Lam Group's development vision can not be confined to one Brooklyn street. Oh no, they are all over the city, with two Aloft hotels under construction (in the Financial District and in Long Island City); a Four Points in the Financial District, and a five-block patch of Midtown Manhattan that will soon see a Virgin Hotel , the next door Le Meridien Midtown Manhattan and something only known as the Chelsea Full Service Hotel Project at 112 West 25th Street.
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Marriott has certainly taken a liking to New York City as of late. First it unveiled the JW Marriott Essex House this past Spring, though recruiting NJ-native Jon Bon Jovi was an odd (but welcome!) choice. In May they debuted the Residence Inn Midtown East and had Iron Chef Cat Cora bless the place with an entertaining culinary demo. Next came a quiet opening two month ago of the Springhill Suites in midtown.
You’d think they’d stop there, and breathe, but nope. Just four weeks ago was yet another hush-hush debut, the Courtyard Marriott Herald Square. Yep, smack dab in the heart of tourist central is a 167-room hotel that commands views of Macy’s and the contained chaos on the streets below. The formerly Atlantic Bank of New York building, constructed in 1928, has been transformed into a rather upscale property—in other words, not your average roadside Courtyard.
But, we’re still hesitant about the location, and we will be stay there at some point to find out if the 34th Street noise level will permeate the Courtyard’s walls in the late hours. However for now, during the afternoon, the place, especially the modern lobby, is pretty tranquil.
Unlike other properties in the Marriott brand like Residence Inn and Springhill Suites, this hotel doesn’t offer free breakfast. Instead they offer a la carte and grab-and-go food service. Oh, and they serve Starbucks coffee, so no need to run outside for a java fix. The small Table 71 Dining Room has a light bar serving wine, beer, some spirits as well as easily prepared snacks (think quesadillas, paninis).
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Food has been one of the main attractions over at Eventi Hotel since 2010, when they opened a fancy-pants food court called FoodParc next to the lobby. So it's kind of fitting that the hotel will be hosting a July 4th hot dog eating contest, next month featuring none other than Takeru Kobayashi, the world's greatest hot dog eater.
This is great news for Kobayashi fans who usually have to trek all the way out to Coney Island to watch their hero scarf down wieners (his personal record is 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes).
The event will be hosted at the outdoor plaza in the back of the hotel, where Kobayashi will compete with seven other "acclaimed competitive eaters." We still can't believe that some people make a living in this world as "competitive eaters," but hey, if it pays the bills…
We can already hear one HCer now, cuz he's said it before. "This dog sh*t is getting out of hand." Obviously we're going to need to have another battle of the editors, because some of us have cherished pets and others, well, we couldn't keep a Chia pet alive.
So, it was with that in mind that we pondered this news: The Affinia Manhattan will be the official hotel of the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and will be hosting special four-legged guests in their “Happy Tails Suite”.
Ah. That's when things got tight. The snorts happened as well as the "ooh's how cutes!".
There was an exclamation of the "GTFOH" variety.
We proceeded to read on, anyway. Ignoring the distractions and detractors.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Design / Miami Hotel Mambo / SLS Hotels / → All Tags
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
We (and the rest of the world) quickly fell in love with the NoMad's rich, black-and-gold-accented lobby, its skylit restaurant with old-fashioned dessert trolleys, and its wood-paneled library. And let's not forget about those rooms, which we reviewed not once but twice, and which had us swooning over the claw-foot tubs, wooden floorboards, and minibars hidden inside vintage trunks.
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?
As many know, the Ace New York does more than just put people up for the night. A Michelin-starred restaurant, action-packed lobby, oyster bar, frequent art exhibits all play into the hotel's hip, bustling atmosphere.
Opening Ceremony, the Ace's hipster Stop & Shop located off the lobby, is perhaps one of our favorite places in the hotel. We've found wallets, vintage magazines, sunglasses, travel-sized Scrabble boards—you name it, the store has it. Trouble is, the selection is often too overwhelming, and with all the cool stuff, we never know what to pick.
To save us from our debilitating dillydallying, it's Afar magazine to the rescue! The travel mag recently published an interview with OC's founders, who revealed the one item in the store they're currently most proud of: Elmex toothpaste.
Plenty of news sites were abuzz yesterday with Obama's five-hour fundraising stopover in Manhattan—though most of the information was posted as traffic warnings about the multiple streets and avenues that would be closed off by the President's motorcade.
But one detail about the event caught our eye: the venue chosen for the fundraising event (tickets for which went for a reported $40,000 a head) was none other than Manhattan's newest 'in' hotel, The NoMad.
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But the Tryp lobby is limited (this is New York after all), and the bar area can fill up quickly during the after-work scene. So it's lucky they have designated a separate—but equally fun—room for spillover, where customers can take their drinks and chill out away from the hubbub. It's called the Library and it happens to be one of our favorite spaces in the hotel.
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Hotels can get so focused on sexing up the bathrooms sometimes that they forget to give a little thought to practical, useful little features that make bathrooms an easy, pleasurable experience. And we're not talking about friendly toilet seats that rise to "greet" you or TVs in the mirrors.
We're talking about circles cut out of the shower door that make it so that you can turn on the water without getting yourself all wet. Genius! That's what the bathrooms at Tryp Times Square offer, and we thought it was so original we had to take a quick little snapshot of the appliance in use.*
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Guess the hotel revealed!
Alright, then. For anybody who guessed Tryp Times Square after seeing Friday's mystery QR-coded mirror, you are correct! The two-month-old hotel is keeping right on top of its tech amenities with free WiFi in all the rooms, a pioneering hotel meetup app known as LobbyFriend, and of course those smartphone-friendly mirrors...
Now, we're taking a look inside one of the brand's signature Family Rooms, of which there are 23 in the hotel. While other signature suites like the Fitness Room and the Media Room might appeal to gym freaks and video gamers, these oversized loft-style suites are perfect for families traveling together, or a group of friends who just all want to hang out and scan mirrors together at the same time.
Scroll down for our photo gallery!