10013 Travel Guide - Page 2
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?
There’s nothing better than sitting by a pool catching up on your reading, and the Trump SoHo’s new Summer Reading Program encourages guests to do just that by letting them borrow their latest amenity—the Kindle Touch.
The glare-proof screen readers are pre-loaded with magazines like Shape, Forbes, and Inc., as well as books such as I Knew You’d Be Lovely, and What Alice Forgot, culled from Oprah’s 2011 Summer Reading List. Pool attendants will distribute the Kindles to those sunbathing at the expansive Bar D'Eau's pool deck, which we recently mentioned as one classy place to let the sunshine in.
Only thing is, you’ll either need to read fast or plan to stay at the hotel (with starting rates of $395 a night this summer) awhile if you get hooked into a nail biter novel like James Patterson's 11th Hour as the Kindles can't leave the pool area.
Summer's here and school's out which means your summer travel plans may involve schlepping the little ones along with you. Same goes for new parents who aren't quite ready to compromise their jetsetting lifestyles. While it definitely requires more planning and more organization, a dream vacation can still be had. All this week, we'll be looking at a few hotels that are making it not just fun but easier for families to have a summer trip to remember.
One of the greatest things about New York City is that you can find pretty much anything you want at any time of the day from vintage clothing and rare books to exotic cuisine, late-night party spots, outdoor recreation, entertainment for all tastes and something as random as a nail salon open past 9pm. And everyone delivers, even the grocery store.
So when it comes to families staying at The Soho Grand, it shouldn't be a surprise that the hotel has equipped the guestrooms with all the necessary basics for babies including a crib, a diaper pail and a Maclaran Volo stroller. Yet this is the first time we've seen a hotel go all out for babies, beyond plush crib bedding and a stuffed animal (the Soho Grand has one of those too, a soft cuddly teddy bear.)
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The Mondrian SoHo—romantic? Yes. But apparently not so liberal when it comes to people wanting to sex it up in the rooms.
The Daily News is telling us that a members-only swingers club called School of Sex (yes, they do have a Facebook page) was holding an event at the hotel over the weekend when security found out what was going on, and promptly shut the whole thing down.
Luckily, as the School of Sex puts it, "members were given ample time to exit the venue and say their goodbyes." Phew. Well, that's a relief.
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Well, the Tribeca Film Festival has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the fun's over in Tribeca for the rest of the year. Hardly! We've got our eye on the Greenwich Hotel—and now that summer is on the way, we're ready to pay a visit to the hotel's guests-only Courtyard.
Situated next to the Drawing Room, the Courtyard (pictured) expands on the Greenwich's whole retired-archaeologist-living-in-the-English-countryside vibe, with quaint stone benches, hanging lanterns, and ivy creeping up the brick walls. A Front Desk agent we spoke to called the space "quite stunning."
Of course, guests are the only ones who can actually access the Courtyard. But wait! Didn't we just hear about a new space inside the hotel that's become available to non-guests? Why, yes, as a matter of fact...
The NY Daily News did a story last weekend on the rapidly-rising World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, which just recently hit the 93rd floor, and is set to surpass the Empire State Building's roof in just a couple of weeks.
Sure, by 2014, you'll be able to actually ascend the tower's 102nd-floor observation deck. But until then, to get a good dead-on look at the construction, we'd recommend booking a room near the top of one of our favorite killer view hotels in Manhattan, the Trump Soho.
Is the WiFi free? Does the gym have good machines? All these things get noticed when checking into a hotel, but what about the atmosphere of the placespecifically the art on the walls or on the floor? We're highlighting properties around the world that do their artwork right, and the specific pieces you should stare long and hard at when next you drop by.
Today: The Trump Hotel Soho's "Flaming Cactus" poles by Animus Arts Collective.
First off, we must explain that technically these aren't part of the property of the Trump. They are, instead, in front of the Trump and along the side of it in a very small public plaza, and the artwork is made possible by the NYC DOT and Hudson Square Connection. Still, it 100% adds to the appeal of the exterior of the Trump, and the 52,000 zip ties literally tie in this area with St. Marks Place/Astor Place, where you can find more such poles.
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It's the home stretch of New York's most indulgent time of year, Fashion Week, and we were itching to see some of the action happening inside hotels. Luckily, our patience was rewarded with this video taken at the Soho Grand, of luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur debuting their Kinky Couture line. Picturing lots of pretty long-haired girls strutting up and down a carpeted room in their skivvies? That about sums it up.
In the video, you can see expressionless fashion editors scribbling furiously in their notebooks as models show off the hand-studded, Swarovski-encrusted duds—which didn't do a great job of concealing much (but that's the point). All we can say is good thing there weren't any handbags involved.