10001 Travel Guide
There's one hotel we missed on our recent openings list--The Hyatt Herald Square New York, which is now officially open. Perfect timing, ahead of the holiday season, even Halloween, which to many of us is a bone fide holiday in itself.
Here's what to like about Hyatt Herald Square, so far:
· Close to Shopping. Herald Square has always been a
clusterF high-energy Manhattan neighborhood, with a history of both the fashion and publishing worlds to keep things current and looking good. While the publishing sector has mostly moved on, on-line that is, Herald Square is still home to big-brand fashion, including those celeb lines at Macy's.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hyatt Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Herald Square Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
The rooftop lounge of the Hyatt Herald Square New York offers a memorable historical perspective of Manhattan, worth the price of admission - or your cocktail
Hot on the heels of the newly opened Park Hyatt New York, work is well under way on another Hyatt branded hotel, due to open this October--the Hyatt Herald Square New York .
The Hyatt Herald Square New York has moved into the former Holiday Inn on West 31st Street, a tall, slender, 20-story building completed in 2011. Other than changing the sign on the door, the reported $6 million renovation is concentrated on the interiors and upgrades to Hyatt Hotels corporate standards. The hot new look that we're seeing so far is credited to local firm VLDG, with Paul Vega leading the process. VLDG is no stranger to Hyatt, having also designed the Hyatt Union Square. Vega's concept for this new Hyatt draws inspiration from the surrounding fashion industry and Herald Square’s publishing heritage. These are great subjects for hotel designs, especially when combined under one roof.
The interiors are looking good, featuring the warmth of natural woods, select implosions of color, and another great hotel wingback chair we haven't seen before and must add to our special photo gallery
Hyatt wants you to feel at home, and the Den really does have a comfortable vibe to it - not to mention a nicely stocked bar
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Shhh. There’s a new hotel – or hotel chain – gearing up to hit Manhattan, but it’s preparing under the radar. Why? Our best guess is that they don’t want any riff raff hearing about it.
Or any raff, at least. Riff is just fine – fitting, in fact. Because the chain will be called Riff Hotels, and the first property – opening next month – will be Riff Chelsea, a “musically-inspired” 44-room hotel at W30th St and 8th Avenue.
The creative theme is in its genes – formerly the Chelsea Star (indeed still the Chelsea Star for now – it’s remaining open, while being converted room by room, and will be officially rebranded in August), it was a pulling point for artists in the 1980s. Madonna stayed here, and
the hotel rumor has it that Lucky Star was inspired by the hotel.
The Chelsea Star looks pretty non-descript right now, but as the Riff, the hotel will be channeling the 80s: the lobby will house pictures of early New York Madonna by Richard Corman, there’ll be a performance space curated by artist collective Chashama, and rooms will be “retro-contemporary”, designed by Steed Hale, who worked on Studio 54. We don’t have pictures or even renderings yet, but you’ll need sunglasses at the ready if they’re anything like the hotel is promising:
Bold colors and eye-catching graphics will make every guest room different, with pop-art photography, edgy graphics, and bold, buzzy Jonathan Adler wallpaper.
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The New Yorker Hotel has seen some ups and downs in its 84 year history: from fashionable hotspot that drew the likes of Joan Crawford and Muhammad Ali; to scene of Nikola Tesla's death and, in recent years, status as a lowly Ramada.
But the iconic Art Deco-style hotel entered a new era last week when it joined the Wyndham Hotel brand, which, with a 1,083 room count, makes it the biggest hotel in the Wyndham portfolio.
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 ]
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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.
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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.