10013 Travel Guide
Actors Navid Negahban who plays terrorist Abu Nazir, and Nazanin Boniadi, who plays CIA analyst Fara Sherazi, were joined by former CIA Directorate of Operations Jack Devine, and journalist and former government official John Miller (hunky Damian Lewis, alas, was not present). Together they discuss the television series as well as -- amongst other things -- issues of national security, interviewing Osama bin Laden (Miller in 1998), representations of strong female Muslim characters on television and plotholes.
"There's no cell phones allowed in CIA buildings," Miller pointed out. "However, I've learned that every time I see something on the show and say that would never happen, I read about it in the New York Times six months later." Yikes!
Guests staying on the Club Floors were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and mingle afterwards during the Sheraton Social Hour while sipping on Sheraton Selects wines.
There's tons of hotel news flying around today and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so here is a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the latest.
· Mondrian Soho Is Really No Mo' But Morgans Won't Go Down Without a Fight: In June, we heard whispers that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name. And now, it's official. A Delaware court ordered parent company, Morgans Hotel Group, out of the hotel. However, Morgans isn't going without a fight. NY Daily New's Confidential column got a hand on some of the court filings between Morgans and property owner, Suchin Downtown Realty, and it's ugly.
Morgans has alleged that the hotel owners cut costs, including the elimination of an extra generator which really could have come in handy when Sandy happened and by skimping on the size of the penthouse suite. Meanwhile, Suchin says that Morgans mismanaged the property, causing it to place last in REVPAR results compared to its competition.
Right now, Morgans is appealing the decision and apparently, it's business as usual at the hotel. Rates start this weekend at $409 a night.
Check out more interesting hotel news after the jump!
Morgans Hotel Group / Hotel Woes / Mondrian Hotels / Soho Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Boston Hotels / → All Tags
To quickly get you up to speed, OTK Associates (one of the largest shareholders of the Morgans stock), has sued fellow board members to stop them from doing a deal with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa company and from recapitalizing assets. It’s an extremely complicated situation but a Delaware court recently ruled in favor of OTK, who is now trying to replace the exist boardmembers with picks of their own.
In their recent letter to shareholders with their boardmember suggestions, OTK Associates revealed that foreclosure proceedings began in January for the Mondrian Soho. But that's not all:
In February 2013, the owner of Mondrian SoHo, a joint venture in which Morgans Group owns a 20% equity interest, gave notice purporting to terminate our subsidiary as manager of the hotel. It also filed a lawsuit against us seeking termination of the management agreement. We intend to vigorously defend our rights to continue managing the property under our management agreement and related agreements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful.
Hotel Fitness / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Yoga / James Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Killer View / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
A rooftop yoga class is making waves in New York, and it's taking place at none other than The James Hotel. Led by a local NYC yoga teacher, the class was launched last year and has been slowly gaining momentum, no thanks to the jaw-dropping views seen from the top of the hotel.
Another reason the class stands out? It's women-only.
Twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8am, ladies gather up on arguably the most scenic rooftop in the city and breathe and stretch and go 'ohm' in the company of other ladies. As in, all the mamas without the papas. As in, girls not guys. As in, the rooftop is called Jimmy, but he's the only dude allowed to the party.
Just in case you're still hankering to continue yesterday's Cinco de Mayo activities (or missed out),you're in luck!
From now until May 10th, New York's Sheraton Tribeca has a specially extended Cinco de Mayo promo in their Dutch Lounge hotel bar.
This deal ties in with their loyalty program, a subject we've been talking a good deal about lately. So, if you want to get your Patron and points on, for every margarita purchased from the Dutch Lounge from 5-7pm, you'll earn 50 SPG points (max 300 SPG points, per member per day).
To get the points, present your SPG card to the waiter when you place your order.
[Photo: Sheraton Tribeca]
You already know, the Trump Soho ticks off all the boxes of a sleek luxury hotel. Soho nabe? Check. Fendi Casa furniture? Check. Bathtubs with killer views? Check. Special events for Fashion Week? Check. Models AND sushi? Check and check. Yet despite all these cool requisites, the hotel is actually very kid-friendly.
We detailed our surprise last summer with their Lather Baby toiletries but they've upped the ante since then, adding a Hop Skip blue whale faucet cover for bath time along with Go Fish baby shampoo and bubble bath, a loofah glove, squeaky toys for babies and a step stool for those sorta-older kids who need just a bit of help inside the shower. Trump even has children's robes in three sizes along with kid slippers.
Oh man, Taylor Swift and her new boy band-er beau Harry Styles are, like, sooo busted. The pair were reportedly hanging out in NYC on Monday night—you know, just doing regular kid stuff like singing karaoke at Hudson Hotel. By 4am, the pair still weren't ready to call it a night, so one thing led to another, and soon they were back at Taylor's suite at the Greenwich Hotel.
What happened after that, we'll leave up to your imagination. But we're willing to bet it didn't involve more karaoke.
The next morning, paparazzi caught each of them leaving the hotel at separate times. Ah, the classic walk of shame, just like we used to do in college, except with dorms instead of expensive hotels. And nobody cared about taking our picture. Phew!
Need more facts? E! Online writes:
When Koi Soho opened at Trump Hotel in September, we dropped everything to check it out—fashionably late, of course—and it turns out we weren't the only pretty little things there.
When we arrived, we thought we were crashing a Vogue after-party. Seriously, the entire restaurant was packed with models, and not the ones that you see in JC Penny ads, FYI. We asked our waitress what private event was taking place, to which she casually replied, "No event, it's always like this."
A little history: the restaurant space used to be Quattro Gastronomia Italiana, which didn't quite work out. We did the math: carbs + models = fat models = no work. So it only made sense that Trump turned to Koi Restaurant Group from LA, a well-known team that delivers sushi like no other.
Models like to eat things with sticks, and we know this because we've seen them camp out at Bryant Park Hotel, another fashionable place where the only Koi existed in Manhattan—until now, obs.
When it comes to pop-up restaurants in NYC, there's no one more experienced than Guerilla Culinary Brigade founder Alan Philips (we like to think of him as the Ian Schrager of pop-up hotel restaurants).
We've experienced our fair share of Philips-masterminded meals at places like The Sanctuary, THOR and THOR again. So we were impressed to hear he was setting up a temporary space over at Mondrian SoHo.
Make that double impressed once we got there and saw that the dining room was hidden behind a secret revolving bookcase...
Just the other week, we called out Tribeca Blu in
Chinatown uh, Tribeca as an affordable option in downtown at a time when NYC hotels are regularly asking, and receiving, $300 a night for an average-looking room.
We did forewarn any interested guests by saying that the spot is more like an "upmarket hostel" with no restaurant, no bar, no business center, no refrigerators and no fitness center. However, WiFi is included. And the recent reviews on TripAdvisor were pretty decent.
But a FOH (Friend of HotelChatter) who checked into the Tribeca Blu promptly checked out after getting up to his room. (And it wasn't just because of the cramped space. That photo above is pretty much the entire hotel room, minus the bathroom.) The bad experience actually started from the moment he walked into the hotel.
New York Fashion Week brings all sorts of interesting people into town and the city takes on a frenetic, well-dressed energy. If you think you may need a little help getting your glam on, the Trump SoHo is setting up a free pop-up beauty bar open to the public on September 6th the day of Fashion's Night Out.
From 5-8 pm, The Spa at Trump SoHo will host a makeshift beauty section on the 7th floor next to its chic poolside Bar d’Eau. Gals (and guys, too!) can prep for a night on the town with complimentary makeover treatments . As they get pampered while sipping on free prosecco and nibbling on small bites, they can also do a bit of shopping and purchase the makeup and skincare products on hand by Kate Somerville, SpaRitual and more, as well as items sold at the Trump’s spa.
Here’s what’s for free on the Beauty Bar menu:
*Hair touch ups: blow dry, flat iron, curling iron, up-do (no wash)
*Makeup touch ups
*Nail polish change
We say if you’re in the area, this is something to jump on! It certainly beats trying to do a frantic, free makeup application at Sephora, right? What, you’ve never done that?
Looking for a cheap new place to stay in NYC? You might want to take a look at newcomer Tribeca Blu, which opened back in May and has slowly been building itself up as a basic, convenient option for folks needing lodging near Soho, Tribeca, Chinatown, or any other of Manhattan's trendy downtown nabes.
The hotel's amenities are what we'd call..."limited." No restaurant, no bar, no business center, no refrigerators, no fitness center. But the one perk TB does have going for it is low rates—and for many cash-strapped travelers, that's a big perk.
We logged onto the website this morning and found rates of just $169.15 (WiFi included). For that kind of money, who needs room service?