10007 Travel Guide
Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Stonehill and Taylor / Hotel News / → All Tags
What do you do with an outdated office building in one of the best locations in Lower Manhattan? You convert it into a hotel of course! That’s just what Marriott has done, with the opening of Residence Inn New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area.
Yes, that's really it's full name. We guess when you start overpopulating your brand in NYC, you have to be as specific as possible about the hotel name. The next Residence Inn may just be called, "Residence Inn New York Next To the Bodega at 42nd and 5th, No, Not that Bodega, The One That's Across From The Starbucks and Duane Reade."
But we digress.
The latest Residence Inn for Manhattan has a stellar location at the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway, in the heart of the financial district and a short walk to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As for the building, it dates back to 1903 and formerly contained offices for financial bigwigs, as well as for the jewelry industry which had its own downtown contingent.
Thompson Hotels may be planning to head west (Seattle) and south (Nashville), but they’re not forgetting their NYC properties: Smyth Tribeca, which arrived after a much-delayed start just shy of six years ago, finished the first phase of its complete redesign last month.
That includes the entire ground floor, which has been divided in a series of smaller spaces, filled with a mixture of Scandinavian and American mid-century furniture. Above is the Den, with a fireplace that uses Guastavino tile – and if you wonder why that’s significant, it is the same that is used for the ceilings of city landmarks like Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall.
Hotel News / Green Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
As Earth Day approaches, and hoards of organizations attempt to "raise awareness" about the environment by giving away tons of free, useless crap like tshirts, mugs and stickers, the Milennium Hilton New York has made a big step in the right direction by installing a power plant that converts natural gas into electrical and thermal energy.
The combined heat and power plant will consist of two 250 kilowatt cogeneration units inside the actual hotel. Now, if anyone wanted to write in and explain what that actually means, we'd be grateful. But for now, we're content just knowing that Hilton has been proactive about cutting down on its energy consumption.
As far as we know, this won't put any pressure on the hotel to increase rates. Which is good, since a hotel room in lower Manhattan sure is expensive enough without having to worry about subsidizing a power plant too. For upwards of $400/night, you'd at least like to feel that your money has done something good.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel WiFi / Hilton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Notice anything different?
Though the lobby, restaurant, and bar (above) at Millenium Hilton all benefited from a recent freshening up—new furniture, new colors, new floors—a self-described "technology upgrade" isn't turning out to be quite as state-of-the-art as the hotel would have you believe. Yes, high-speed internet connection is now available from anywhere inside the hotel. But? That convenience comes with a price.
It might be possible to overlook that minor setback and just admire the pretty new granite floors and earthy tones brightening up the whole lobby—if it weren't for our other beef with the unfortunately-located hotel: its proximity to the construction noises of Ground Zero. Now, you know what would be a great, sensible way to compensate for the endless crane-hauling and rock-blasting? No, not earplugs. Free WiFi!
Celebrity Scoop / Kim Kardashian / Kourtney Kardashian / Reality TV Hotels / Hotel News / Thompson HOtels / → All Tags
As we all learned last fall, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian took over the Smyth Tribeca while filming their new E! show "Kourtney and Kim Take New York" and last night the very first episode of the show premiered. Naturally, we were stoked to see the inside of the hotel suite, notsomuch Kim and Kourt.
The girls "checked in" to the hotel and were sent up to the 8th floor penthouse suite where a pretty awesome two bedroom suite with a living room, dining area, full kitchen and an 800-sq.ft. outdoor terrace awaited them. The girls promptly ran outside on the terrace where Kourtney shouted, "The Kardashians are here!" Then Kim giggled and said, "We should throw something." Oh boy.
Hotel News / Hotel Construction / Four Seasons Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
It's been awhile since we've heard any rumblings about the Four Seasons Downtown New York, so even though this news tells us that the wait for the hotel continues, at least it's progress.
Real Estate Channel brings us word that the condo-hotel project being developed by Silverstein Properties will finally break ground in 2012.
Larry A. Silverstein delivered this news himself, almost three years after announcing the project. He believes financing will at last become available and that the building will be completed in 2014.
Now, some folks might be turned off by the amount of paparazzi hanging around the joint but from the picture, it looks like this hotel doorman is loving his new guests. We just hope Kimmy and co. are tipping him for his efforts!
Planning on getting close to the Kardashians on your next trip to NYC? Let's take a glance at the room rates. This weekend, a queen superior room was found on the hotel's website for $419 a night. The following weekend that rate jumps to $429 a night.
On Quikbook.com, the rates weren't that much different--about 5 percent off. (But the brand-new James Hotel was available for $387 a night.) The Smyth hotel wasn't listed on Expedia at all but TabletHotels.com had a room for $395 a night.
Do you remember the Smyth Tribeca? It opened back in February 2009 but compared to its social siblings in the Thompson Hotels collection, Smyth is often forgotten about, largely because it lacks any sort of nightlife scene. However, that should change now that its restaurant, Plein Sud, from restaurateur Frederick Lesort, is finally open.
The restaurant has actually been soft-opened since April but without a liquor license, meaning guests had to drink in the bar area before dinner or after but not during. (Our friend tried to go there for a first date once and found out this crucial, potentially disastrous bit of info.)
Now that the grand opening is today, we're finding out some other crucial bits of info. Like that Plein Sud's executive chef is one Ed Cotton, formerly of BLT Market and db Bistro and soon-to-be seen on "Top Chef Season DC". So we're not quite sure how he's faring considering that when he filmed this show, Plein Sud was most definitely not open. But perhaps he's been working all this time on these tasty-sounding dishes?
But can you blame us? The Smyth Hotel in Tribeca has been open for nearly a year and the hotel's restaurant Jour et Nuit is still not yet open. However, Thompson says it's in the works.
While we ordered food from the bar while kicking it during a Digital Nomad expedition, the full-fledged restaurant from French chef Frederick Lesort will open this Spring.
HD Mag says:
In spring 2010, New York's Smyth Hotel will introduce Jour et Nuit Restaurant and lounge, spearheaded by native Parisian restaurateur Frederick Lesort. The hotel’s owners, Thompson Hotels, hired AvroKO to re-create the vibrancy of the French Riviera for the bi-level restaurant, bar (housed in the Yabu Pushelberg-designed lobby), and underground Cellar Cocktail Lounge.
Meanwhile, in other Thompson Hotel news, their winter offer is giving $159 rooms at Donovan House and $199 rooms at Gild Hall. Also thrown in is a $40 per day food and beverage credits. Mention promo code WINTER to book. The offer is based on availability but doesn't expire until February 28, 2010.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the lifestyle of digital nomads -- folks who work from wherever they might roam. HotelChatter has been covering hotel wifi since the beginning, but as we cited in our 2009 annual hotel wifi report times they are a changin'.
The biggest change on the tech side is the growing popularity of the usb broadband card. As more and more people buy into these cards (and more and more GMs pray to the hotel gods they do) there are a growing number of digital nomads that no longer tap into a hotel WiFi network.
Instead, these nomads are in search of killer hotel lobbies to comfortably work in. That's right, digital nomads have no problem coming in, kicking back on hotel lobby couches and doing an hours worth of work. So once again hotels have a choice -- welcome these folks, pay no mind to them, or actively try to kick them out.
With this in mind, we figured it was time for us to start rating hotel lobbies on their digital nomad quotient. In our latest edition, the The Smyth Tribeca Hotel.
We often travel alone and spend the night in hotel rooms alone but on a recent trip to New York City, we managed to have a few travel buddies come along with us. Our mother stayed with us when we visited The Plaza (she loved the rooms but misses the old feel) and a dude very close to our hearts, who we'll call Mr. Z, stayed with us during our two nights at Smyth Hotel in Tribeca. Thanks to him, we learned what dudes look for in hotel bathrooms.
When we spend months stalking a single hotel, getting pumped every time reservations go live and then getting angry when those reservations close up due to delays, we know all of the teasing builds some pretty high expectations for the property.
But when we finally stepped inside Smyth Tribeca's lobby on its first official day of operation, we felt we were ready to take a look at the hotel objectively. Having seen the rooms prior to the opening, we figured we were gauging our expectations accurately.
And yet. Staying at the hotel on Tuesday night was a little bit like meeting a long-time celebrity crush and finding out he's actually super short: still impressive just not as awesome as you'd anticipated.