10003 Travel Guide - Page 2
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!
Just the other night we were perusing hotels in New York City on a couple of booking sites and lo and behold, look at what we saw--the Cooper Square Hotel is now officially rebranded as Andre Balazs Standard East Village.
We first got word of the hotel's Standardization back in October but now it looks like the transformation is complete, at least online. Not only do booking sites like Expedia and Kiwi Collection (pictured below) show the CSH as the Standard East Village, but when you visit Cooper Square's website, it redirects you to the Standard site.
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With all this talk of the holidays, it's easy to forget hotels are good for something other than just pretty lights, cakes and Christmas trees: random hook-ups! And no one, not even a fully-fledged movie star like Kristen Wiig, is above a passionate night of making out in a hotel bar.
Photographers caught Wiig at the W Union Square earlier this week, during an album release party for the Black Keys, casually making out with Fabrizio Moretti, The Strokes' drummer. OK, well, maybe not that casually. According to sources at the event, the two were "literally on top of each other" in a booth in the hotel's new basement club, Lilium (more on that later).
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The paper reports that the deal will be finalized today and that Andre will rename the property The Standard East Village (but we're sure everyone will just call it Standard East.)
the 105-room hotel’s public spaces will be reconfigured, its rooms refurbished and its restaurants overhauled over the course of the next year.
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We've heard rumblings that Cooper Square Hotel will probably turn into a Standard Hotel now that hottie hotelier Andre Balazs owns the place. AB's involvement with the hotel was already public knowledge when his signature was discovered on some liquor license documents back in September.
Now, after the initial shock waves have settled, we're starting to wonder: what exactly is in store for this bizarre, overlooked hotel located in Manhattan's thriving East Village? Though only two miles from the Standard, the crowds here differ greatly from those of the Meatpacking District. But will the hotel, under the new Balazs regime, adapt?