10003 Travel Guide - Page 2
Back in April we told you about the new look W Union Square rooms were sporting for the spring and just last week we checked in--room 1114--to be specific.
The new rooms are bright, bold, and if you get one with an actual view of Union Square you've lucked out, as the demand for them is high and availability low. You see, the W is the only hotel in Union Square for the moment, though more competition is coming this month and later this year (if the Hyatt Union Square gets a move on).
However, despite the fancy-dancy decor, we'll remind you that you're staying at the W for the location and the SPG points (and maybe a chance to run into Lindsay Lohan?).So, you're going to pay a steep price for that privilege, as this fall, most weeknights are coming in around $500 a night. Ouch!
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10 days. That's all that's passed since the last Lindsay Lohan NYC hotel debacle. Now, as much as we have been clowning our girl hard on her antics, this might be one incident in her favor.
According to various reports including The New York Daily News, Lohan was hanging out on September 30th at 1 Oak, a nightclub in Chelsea. Apparently she was with a 25-year old congressional aide named Christian LaBella. Somewhere between the nightclub and returning to Lohan's digs for the night, a $500-a-night suite at the W New York Union Square, things got ugly. Lohan accused LaBella of taking photos of her with his cellphone and emailing them around, which he has denied. A ruckus ensued, and Lohan claims LaBella tried to choke her and she had to hide in her suite's bathroom for safety. She filed charges and LaBella counter filed his own.
However, it all seems to have blown over quickly as police say charges against LaBella have been dropped, even though according to Lohan's mother Dina, who told the New York Daily News Sunday afternoon, “She’s very shaken up.” and “Thank God he didn’t have a weapon.”
The other day, we were clicking through our usual online haunts, scoping out the news, when we saw a headline that stopped us right in our tracks: "Hyatt Union Square Sets November 15 Opening Date". Um, really?
The news comes via an NYC real estate insider and blogger, who cites "multiple sources" saying the hotel is on target to open within two months. This, of course, comes at the (hopeful) end of an almost two-year saga involving multiple delays, teaser updates, and false starts. So forgive us if we're a little skeptical.
However, for further proof, the real estate blogger links to a Craigslist ad that the hotel posted looking to hire Front Office workers. Well, now, there's no disputing a Craigslist ad. This could be the real deal!
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According to Eater, Balazs and his team won approval from the community board to add an additional bar in the garden space. No small feat especially considering how much the neighbors hated the noise that came from the hotel when it was run as the Cooper Square.
But Balazs has gotten around the noise issue but rearranging the hotel lobby so that 60 percent of the garden space will now be indoors. The bar will be a small one, only 16 by eight feet with 18 stools for guests. The existing bar on the second floor will be turned into either a guest room or a gym. Or perhaps a ping-pong room?
We've been tracking the opening of Hyatt Union Square in New York for quite some time now, getting excited about the good eats coming to the hotel and the funky guestroom designs. But the question remains--when will this hotel open?
According to NYC & Company, the city's tourism organization which also tracks the development and openings of new hotels, the hotel should open in July. But we're not seeing so many good signs for that.
For starters, there's no website and of course, no reservations are being taken. Also, it looks like the hotel has a few key staffing positions to fill, like that of general manager.
Considering that July is just a month and a half away, we're going to go ahead and say the Hyatt Union Square will probably open in the fall instead.
Know something we don't know about the Hyatt Union Square? Send it along!
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...a ping pong table! And real live guests are playing!
We've all been
a little a lot curious about what changes might be coming to the Standard East Village, ever since it officially took over the Cooper Square Hotel in December. So far, the place looks kinda the same. Same curved glass tower. Same outdoor terrace. Same cramped rooms.
But one new bit of Standard-ization has brightened up the whole lounge...
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Right off the bat, we're liking this simpler, brighter feel. It kind of reminds us of a five year old boy's playroom with all the blues and geometric shapes on the headboard, but we can't deny that this is an improvement on the stuffy, cluttered look from before. Especially that white lamp to the left of the bed, which almost makes us think of Mondrian Soho, one of New York's more popular contemporary design hotels.
Though, being housed inside a Beaux Arts building from 1911, there's only so much you can do to make the W Union Square look "cutting-edge." But it seems to be doing a good job toeing the line.
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We showed up to a pre-Fashion Week party last night at W Union Square and, as usual with these types of events, made a beeline for the bar. Planning on ordering a quick cocktail, we then noticed something that made us chuckle. At one end of the bar on a silver tray were rows of mini cupcakes—thick with icing, delicious looking, and virtually untouched.
Not that these sugar bombs put a damper on anyone's fun. Indeed, with guest appearances by DJ Chelsea Leyland, W Global Fashion Director Jenné Lombardo, and man-about-town Waris Ahluwalia, the music was loud and the paparazzi bulbs were a-flashin'. Boy, were we glad for that drink.
Sorry, Andre is not quite sure what he wants to do with this space here.
While the Cooper Square Hotel is officially now the Standard Comma East Village, not much has changed. And it might be a while before things do as hotelier Andre Balazs told the Wall Street Journal that he was still figuring things out.
However, Andre does plan on making the hotel "cost-conscious" with rooms starting at about $190. Given that these rooms are incredibly small, we think that's a fair rate. He also new ideas for the hotel's public spaces--meaning the lobby and the restaurant and possibly that rooftop performance space we heart so much. But alas, no real plans for these areas seem to be shaping up.
However, Andre did get in a little dig to the guys who built Cooper Square--Greg Peck and Matt Moss. The two notoriously had a falling out during the construction of the hotel and needless to say, that probably affected the hotel's future. But another big problem for the hotel was how badly they pissed off the community before the hotel even opened. And here's where Andre puts in his two cents:
Hoteliers tend to be people with many interests—real estate, seaplanes, blondes. And, apparently, turtles. According to an article in the current New Yorker, hotelier Eric Goode is a major herpetophile—or, in English, a reptile geek—and has been collecting turtles since he was a little boy.
When he's not dashing between his Manhattan properties (The Bowery, The Jane, The Maritime), he likes to hang out at a five-acre turtle preserve he owns in Ojai, California. There, he recreates the turtles' natural habitat, quarantines newcomers, and even has workers whip up a special "chelonean carnivore gelatine" for them to eat. Yuk!
Though the New Yorker claims that Goode is alternating between two parallel lives, to us, it just seems like different sides of the same coin. If you can make a living pampering humans, why not turtles?
Last June, W Union Square closed its underground bar (suitably named Underbar) in order to re-launch an entirely new concept in the same space. Six months later, W unveiled Lilium, a black-and-gold accented nightclub with a moderate-size dance floor and video art that loops on a flat-screen behind the bar.
But beyond the giant bubble chandelier in the foyer, and the Todd English-prepared small plates offered, by far the most interesting touch here are the hand-sculpted steel lilies that adorn the ceiling like some sort of gilded cave of forgotten dreams. Artist Scot Brown used over 4,000 lbs of steel to create the effect, and along the walls, he etched the contours of yet more lilies, which are then illuminated against the dark steel by fluorescent lights. Scroll down to see the lilies in their everlasting bloom!
The Hyatt Union Square rising, July 2011.
It's been a while since we checked in on the Hyatt Union Square but today we've got some interesting news about what's going inside. The hotel, which to the best of our knowledge is still lacking an opening date, will have some experienced pros running their food and beverage scene.
@NYNightlife tipped us off to say that the folks behind the sushi spot, 15 East, and midtown French-American bistro, Tocqueville, will be doing the restaurant, lobby bar and rooftop space at the hotel. The folks will go in front of the Community Board next week for the all-important liquor license approval.
We checked with Hyatt and they have no new updates about the opening date or the food and beverage at this time. But perhaps after the Community Board meeting will know a lot more.
Got any scoop on the Hyatt Union Square NYC? Let us know!