10017 Travel Guide
Question: is it ever ok to ask a woman what her childbearing status is? (Answer: not unless it is particularly vital to the conversation, or if she brings it up.)
Another question: how many 21st-century women do you know who define themselves by their childbearing status? (Answer: unless they’re joking about ‘mom brain’, or write "proud mom!!" on their Twitter bio, not many, presumably because it’s the 21st century and in general society believes that women have brains and souls and vocations that don't necessarily include breeding, and the virgin/whore/mother categories were put on fade when we got the vote.)
Last question: in light of the above, just how much sense does it make for a hotel to market a new package for
barren sterile heartless unfulfilled childless women?
Personally we’d say not much sense at all, but the Westin New York Grand Central seems to think barren is the new black, because they’ve just launched a package called Womanhood Redefined, aimed at women of childbearing age who – the horror! – don’t have children. It is, they claim, an ‘industry first’. Guys, sometimes there’s a reason for that.
The Womanhood Redefined package aims to “create a new definition of happiness” for women (whose happiness meter is, of course, generally contingent on the number of offspring that have swum through their birth canal). The hotel has teamed up with Melanie Notkin, author of the gloriously titled book, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind Of Happiness. Together, they have decided that this is what childless women want from a hotel stay:
· A bed for the night (presumably unwarmed, just like your single mattress at home);
· A copy of Otherhood (to help you find happiness despite your stale loins);
· A $25 food and beverage credit towards cocktails at the bar (because SATC, woohoo!) or in-room dining (in case you are ashamed to show your single self in public);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s executive chef, who will tell you about superfoods and growing home gardens (crucial question: is he single? MAYBE YOU CAN MARRY HIM);
· A personal consultation with the hotel’s Running Concierge (careful now, overexercise can lead to fertility issues);
· 10% discount on yoga classes at a nearby studio (bcs you childless girls looove your yoga);
· A complimentary Westin White Tea candle (clutch it to your never-lactated bosom, it smells almost as good as a baby);
· Loaned exercise gear (because nothing feels as good as working out in second-hand sneakers).
It's often said that one of the best things about staying in a hotel is having someone else make your bed for you, but when the hotel is your home, it seems, you can forget about such perks -- even if you're a dog.
Here's Henry, pup-in-residence at The Roger Smith in Manhattan. The hotel tells us that Henry comes to work every day from Monday through Friday, and that "the guests love him". After a long day spent keeping things running smoothly at the Roger Smith, Henry makes his own bed and settles in for a well-deserved sleep.
He does a pretty good job, we think. His exact duties at the Roger Smith are unknown, but we reckon he's in the running for head of the housekeeping department.
[Video: The Roger Smith Hotel]
Andaz Wall Street and Andaz 5th Avenue partnered with upstate New York’s Beekman1802 farm to introduce a new in-room amenity line featuring a custom "Fresh Air" fragrance. The line includes a shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, as well as a goat milk facial bar and body bar, made exclusively for Andaz and available in all rooms and suites.
Beekman 1802 was founded in 2007 and is owned and operated by Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, businessmen turned “accidental goat farmers” who in 2012 won the CBS reality show, The Amazing Race. The soap and skin care line is made from only natural ingredients, which means no use of parabens, banned phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine or mineral oil.
We are even more pleased to hear that the products are cruelty-free and made with purified water. Sleek product packaging, too, is 100 % recycled material, so it's safe to say we will feel pretty good about slipping these into our bags next time we stay at a New York Andaz.
[Photo: Andaz Fifth Avenue/Facebook]
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Hyatt Hotels are going big in the big city this week. Not content with opening up the brand's largest NYC build in the past 30 years, today the Grand Hyatt New York is launching its first-ever artisanal chocolate line.
Available at the hotel's Market cafe, located in the lobby, the line features milk, dark, and white chocolate bars, and truffles in five flavors, each with a signature color and design: passion fruit, citrus, gianduja & white truffles, coffee, and dulce de leche (given that the chef is Argentinian, you've got to try that last flavor).
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Our "Hottest Hotel Chef in the World" contest was a hit with the battle for the ultimate golden spoon fierce between eventual final winner Antonio Minichiello and runner up (by eight votes!) Executive Chef Chad Minton of the Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue.
We thought it fair to share a couple of the tattooed-one's gems with you, as he was a great sport about the whole competition--and quite frankly, his fan club was a passionate bunch, often (illegally!) voting quadruple times for the skateboarding, freestlyin' kitchen master who rides a fixed-gear bike to work every day.
So, we tossed him a few questions and were delighted with his answers. We hope the Minton Minions (ha!) will be, too.
HotelChatter: If you would have won the competition, who would you have called first?
Chef Chad Minton: Definitely someone at Ford Modeling.
HC: Have you ever been called a “Hot Chef” before? What does it mean to you?
CM: I have not and now that I am so hot, I need to take a page from another famously hot New Yorker, Spiderman. “With great power comes great responsibility”. This more true now than ever. I need to be aware of this. I pledge to only use my “hotness” for the good of mankind.
HC: Did you read the comments people said about you? What was your favorite?
CM: I can’t believe what an amazing response there was. I want to sincerely thank everyone that took the time to log on and vote for me. So many hilarious comments and creative user names. “I saw him carving the lamb at a halal truck with a katana.” and “Chef Chad is soo hot, they had to re-calibrate all the fire detectors in the kitchen.” Plus, a poster said, “one time he made me soup, for free!!!”. Those were all standouts for me.
HC: Ok, quell our curiosity...What does this nickname Chaddah mean?
CM: I have no idea! I think some people were just having fun with my name, but I've never been called that.
More on Chef Minton after the break!
We can’t help but notice hotel employees are looking downright dapper these days. Seems like those sterile suit-and-tie numbers of yesteryear are being replaced with ensembles so enviable, we want to score them ourselves. (Just witness our Lacroix love at Sofitel's So Bangkok).
Known for working with New York City artisans in an array of capacities, the Andaz's latest collaboration is with American fashion designer Richard Chai. The CFDA award winner has worked with Marc Jacobs, Geoffrey Beene, Donna Karan and Lanvin. In 2008 his diffusion line with Target sold out within days and Blake Lively, Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker are fans of his work.
Chai has recently created a collection of new uniforms for the Andaz' hotel hosts. The eight simple, but sophisticated pieces were designed to replicate the property’s philosophy of attentive, yet uncomplicated service, and consist of a blue, navy, and black palette. Each host has been fitted with customized Chai pieces to ensure a casual, but tailored look.
Talk about haute hotel couture!
[Photo: Andaz Hotels]
So, you know which hotel bar has the best scotch collection, but, with apple season in full swing, perhaps you have a hankering for a good Calvados.
In that case, may we recommend you head up to the Intercontinental New York Barclay's Barclay Bar, where, with 92 labels this season, you'll find the country's biggest collection of apple brandy of Normandy France.
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It was all showbiz the other week at the grand opening party for The Lexington Hotel New York, a recently transformed historic midtown Manhattan property that was a happening spot back in the 1920s. It's now become part of Marriott's Auograph Collection.
Musicians and actors like Patti Labelle and Dorothy Lamour called The Lexington home while they toured, and it was the famous love nest of Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe, who spent nine-months living in an 18th floor suite that's been renamed "The Centerfield Suite".
But sticking with its jazz roots, the festivities were kicked off with a live performance from the cast of the upcoming Broadway jazz show "After Midnight", which was produced by nine-time Grammy Award winner, Wynton Marsalis. The show has only been previewed by President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama, once during a U.N. GA Summit reception at the Waldorf Astoria, so guests were lucky to have this special treat.
Labor Day is over but there's a different, somewhat random, holiday to commemorate today: it's National Skyscraper Day. Although the day comes a couple of months too soon for Marriott who have yet to open their much-anticipated tallest hotel in New York City, let's see what a different two-tower skyscraper hotel has going on to celebrate this special day.
The ONE UN New York, formerly known as the Millennium UN Plaza, has chosen National Skyscraper Day to announce a Skyscraper Curator program that will kick off October 1st.
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We told you back in March that the 725-room hotel formerly known as the Lexington, then Radisson Lexington, and then just The Lexington again had recruited Dash Design to handle its multi-million dollar renovation. Well, the renovation is in its final stages, and we've had a sneak peek at the results.
The Midtown Manhattan classic property has kicked off their Drink of the Day specials at Henry's Rooftop Bar (which we'll be talking more about tomorrow!).
This cocktail, called The Hemingway Daiquiri is made with 1.5 oz of rum, 1 oz grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice. It goes perfect with the stunning view of the NYC skyline.
Sounds refreshing, no? Now if only Mother Nature would make up her mind with this weather. We've had our April showers, time for the May flowers and mojitos!
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Somehow a new Residence Inn opened in NYC on March 1st, and we heard not a whisper about it, until we were invited to their grand opening last week. The day happened to coincide with the brands third annual "Resident Mom of the Year" celebration, which always occurs near Mother's Day.
So, who was bestowed the honor of spokeswoman for Residence Inn's, all-suite, family-friendly properties? None other than Iron Chef, tv-host, and mama extraordinaire, Cat Cora.
Cat dazzled the crowd with her cute southern twang, warm personality, and ability to convince the crowd that cooking quinoa, stir fry, and parfaits is simple as pie in the hotel's kitchen.