10010 Travel Guide
When we visited the Flatiron Hotel last year, we told you about the presence of owner Robert "Toshi" Chan's adorable dog, Ponzu who stands guard at the entrance to the hotel's event space Toshi's Living Room, greeting guests with an adorable bark. Toshi clearly has soft spot for pooches, so it's not surprising to hear that he has teamed up with Sleepypod, a Californian pet product company, and other pet brands, including the Honest Kitchen, SimplyFido, and Little Eatz, in an effort to make travel as enjoyable for our furry friends as it is for owners.
It's time for a walk down memory lane with a HotelChatter flashback!
On this day way back in 2010, we read the news that hotelier Ian Schrager and his commercial landlords had defaulted on a $140 million loan for the Gramercy Park Hotel. This was kind of a common occurrence back then as hotels were still trying to recover from the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009.
Yet with GPH in 2010, one investor was not interested in assuming the loan for the hotel because it was hard to get Schrager to agree to stay. And we couldn't have imagined GPH without Schrager...back then.
Today, we're totally ok with the fact that GPH no longer has Ian Schrager roaming the lobby. (He left less than six months after this.) No doubt that's because his Public Chicago, which opened in 2012, has kept us very entertained. Now, we're just wondering when he will open more of them. Oh and we can't forget about his hand in Marriott's Edition Hotels. We'll see the fruits of his labor again with the London Edition, opening this October.
As for the Gramercy Park Hotel, it's still a great spot and nearly all of Ian's handiwork remains. The hotel also has new restaurants from hotshot restauranteur Danny Meyer. Plus, you can probably even get into the Rose Bar these days! Rates start at $395 a night at the end of July.
Whoever came up with that little motto “It’s the thought that counts” for special-occasion gifting is a more spiritually evolved creature than we (or Kristen Stewart …or Johnny Depp’s new piece) will ever be. Loving thoughts are appreciated, but if you really want to make our next birthday memorable, please book us the VIP birthday package at the Flatiron Hotel.
Specifically, the one that comes with a private sushi chef, a classic Cadillac Deville ’65 with chauffeur, four tickets to the New York Giants, and all-day spa treatments for all the friends who are staying with us in the 4000-square-foot Toshi’s Penthouse. Plus a few more little things we haven’t detailed (full package details after the jump). It’s $8000 per person, plus tax and tip, but if you love someone, money’s a small price to pay, right?
Changes are slowly coming to the Flatiron Hotel Toshi, which opened in August after an exceptionally drawn-out (and slightly confusing) limbo period. When we last stopped in, the lobby furniture had us scratching our head, and there was a lot of empty space.
Thankfully, the furniture has been replaced, and the lobby has been filled out with a stage in one corner, a full bar in the other, and some snazzy red velvet curtains that give the place a kind of cabaret vibe. As for the scene? We're not entirely sure.
Yesterday, we saw that it's possible for guests at the Gramercy Park Hotel to take home their favorite parts of the hotel when they check out. But there's something weird and creepy about taking home the cocktail dress of the waitress who just served you drinks at the bar.
Thankfully, that's not one of the options on the Amenities menu. But after you see the new dresses (worn by waitresses at Rose Bar or Gramercy Terrace), which were created by French-born designer Sophie Theallet, you might well be wishing for one of your own!
Designed out of stretch silk crepe, the garments have been made in two colors—"Gramercy red" and "midnight blue"—and are supposed to mimic the rich textures of the room interiors. Luckily, Theallet didn't get too literal and deck the waitresses out in velvet curtains and tassels in their hair.
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The plush, dark rooms feel more like your rich, moody uncle's place than your typical hotel room and they are full of lovely little details, including the Allure magazine-editor-curated toiletries--a mix of best-of-the-best products rather than all items from the one brand.
And now, you can take a whole lot of the hotel home with you. For a price. You see, the rooms at GPH are designed for you to shop til you drop. Everything in the collage above—from the pretty tassels right down to the tray that the bathroom toiletries are sitting on—is for sale.
Woah, we thought one New Year's Eve hotel lockout was bad enough, but this second one is making us super glad we stayed home on Saturday night. And really, the timing couldn't be worse for Gramercy Park Hotel, who narrowly avoided a complete catastrophe in October with the whole plummeting elevator business. Just as they were starting to win back our confidence, their key card system goes and crashes. At midnight. Leaving guests stranded in the hallways for seven hours.
The NY Post reports that 200 guests were shut out on New Year's Eve right after midnight when all of their key cards stopped working. And though the Marriott Denver Tech Center managed to address a similar issue (in that instance, with over 3,000 guests) in under four hours, GPH apparently struggled from around midnight until 7am, having to individually reset each guest's key for the room they'd already checked into.
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Gramercy Park Hotel General Manager, Elizabeth Mao
Have you ever flirted with a hotel concierge? In our series, Concierge Interviews, HotelChatter goes behind the Front Desk and gets chummy with the men—and women—whose job it is to never say no. Filmed inside various lobbies, courtyards, and bar lounges, each video will offer a glimpse into the world of hotels from the people who know them best. Got a burning question you'd like us to ask? Or have someone in mind for us to interview? Email us your requests!
Those were the words of actor Josh Charles after a plummeting elevator incident at the Gramercy Park Hotel left him and thirteen others more than a little rattled. It was Thursday night, and the hotel had been hosting a Tribeca Films premier on the rooftop terrace. The event had gone well, and people were in good spirits. Until around midnight, when a (significantly inebriated) crowd stepped into the elevator on their way home.
With the elevator doors still open, floors visibly rushed past the gap, and the crowd realized they were free-falling through the hotel. Director David M. Rosenthal told NY Mag's Vulture: "I think we fell eight stories before the emergency brake went off. We initially thought we'd gone all the way to the basement and bounced on springs." Yikes!
The Flatiron Hotel Toshi has come a long way since last year. Seemingly left between owners for quite some time, these days the hotel has actual guests and a flashy new lobby (though the IKEA furniture is questionable). And now they're ready to hire some local talent.
The folks at Flatiron Hotel Toshi tipped us off to an ambitious arts program they're planning, which aims to bring together all sorts of local performers: musicians, actors, dancers, poets. They've ordered a piano, and are even planning a stage to be built in the southeast corner of the lobby. Think you've got something to offer? Read below for details!
Last night, we got the chance to poke around inside the lobby of the Flatiron Hotel, which as we mentioned two weeks ago, is finally open for business. Though, since our visit took place around 10:30pm, the deserted lobby gives it kind of a ghost hotel feel. Which actually sat pretty well with us!
The receptionist on duty basically gave us free reign to roam through the lobby's first and mezzanine levels, photographing everything from the marble floors to the fish tank to the weird sink area by the front door (there's still some work to be done, obviously). No lobby bar, but we did find out that a rooftop bar—always a great addition to any neighborhood—is on its way. Our two cents: give the nearby Ace a run for its money and keep drink prices low. #JustSayin
In fact, one day before said post went up, the hotel had quietly opened without a single statement or announcement from any member of their team. In fact, the hotel has been bought up by Robert Chan (and is now being billed as the Flatiron Hotel Toshi). And in fact, guests have been staying there since Monday.