10018 Travel Guide
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Openings / Langham Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
Though we gave you a heads up about the change last fall, Langham sent out a formal announcement late last week, confirming that tomorrow, May 7, the former Setai Fifth Avenue will become Langham Place, Fifth Avenue. The announcement mostly tells us what we already knew, except for a few minor details. It turns out the hotel will indeed undergo some cosmetic changes—including new permanent artworks, updated decor, a Chuan spa, and a new lounge/bar concept.
And good news for folks visiting NYC this week: the opening of the new lounge, featuring a menu by former Maialino chef Jeffrey Seizer, coincides with the re-branding of the hotel tomorrow. So come hungry!
(For those of you wondering about the fate of the hotel's celebrated restaurant, Ai Fiori, rest assured. It's staying put for now.)
It almost snuck past us with its March 14th opening, but we managed to get in the highly anticipated Hyatt Place Midtown. Originally scheduled to accept reservations last November (which then got bumped to March 15th), it got the typical pushback until it was juuuust right for a crowd who took advantage of a new hotel debuting in time for St. Patrick's Day weekend. Ballsy!
From our one-night midweek stay observations, the 185-room hotel is already hopping (probably from that in-house Starbucks coffee they serve) and operating at full capacity.
The reason appears fairly simple--it's a good deal for the location as we've mentioned in our pre-opening stories. Other biggies are the large rooms with doubles or kings, many with pull-out sofas (great for families) free WiFi, desk, and complimentary hot breakfast spread. That's why at 9 a.m. on a Friday morning, the dining room was absolutely packed with patrons. Once we saw the plates, we said, screw the cereal and yogurt and grabbed a cheesy frittata with pesto sauce that was ridiculously delish. At first the breakfast scene appeared overwhelming and a little mobbish, but the Hyatt staff kept the food coming and plates cleared quickly, so it wasn't quite as chaotic as it looked, and by 10 a.m., all was quiet again.
We also learned Hyatt Place offers a few other services we think are just dandy and may give comparable hotels something to think about.
Things are moving along over at The Refinery, Manhattan's upcoming 1920s-themed hotel housed in an old hat factory. Though the building is still under heavy construction, owners are aiming for a May opening date, which ought to coincide nicely with rooftop season. And hey, wouldn't you know it: the hotel's going to have a swingin' rooftop bar.
Housed atop the 101-year-old Neo-Gothic building, the still-unnamed 3,500 sq ft rooftop space will boast a full kitchen, a giant retractable glass ceiling (meaning you can go even during non-rooftop season), a fireplace, a fountain, twinkly lights, and reclaimed wood from old water towers decorating the ceiling. Oh, and the Empire State Building looms so close it feels like you can reach out and grab it.
No doubt, we'll be heading up here to sample a few cocktails once the doors open. But how about the rooms themselves?
Yesterday, we finally received some long-awaited news about the opening of Hyatt Union Square. Yes, the hotel is on for an early spring opening. And yes, rates will be high ($479/night, in case you've forgotten).
But that's not the only Hyatt coming to Manhattan this year.
Just twenty-three blocks north, the less-hyped Hyatt Place Midtown is ready to rock 'n roll. Though there's still paper on the windows (as shown in the photo above), the "place" is basically set to open. Reservations are being taken for March 15, and starting rates are $314/night.
So, what to expect?
Element Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Westin Hotels / Green Hotels / Free WiFi / Hotel Bicycles / → All Tags
We have made no attempts to disguise our love for Element Hotels here at HC HQ. We just wish there were more of them.
We toured the property back in 2010 when it first opened, and recently had the chance to stay at the hotel while in NYC for a super-quick jaunt. Between the location near Times Square and Port Authority, the killer views from the little but somehow-still-secret rooftop, and all the thoughtful ways the hotel caters to guests of the 21st century, we were won over again, two years later.
If you can't bear the fact that NY Fashion Week is drawing to a close, then how about distracting yourself with some couture-inspired nosh over at The Strand? The fashion-loving hotel (framed, vintage Vogue prints hang on the wall)—which we also know is a fish-loving hotel too—has created a prix fixe Fashion Week 2012 dinner menu, and there's still plenty of time to enjoy it.
Each item on the menu (a choice of two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts) celebrates a different designer's individual collection, so for example, the butternut squash risotto is paired with the Hermes Fall 2012 collection.
No clue as to how they decided which designer went with which menu item, but it's kind of fun to put a name (Valentino, Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana) to the dish. Oh, and the food itself? Really, really yummy.
Alanis Morissette is on the road again promoting her new album, Havoc and Bright Lights, and one of her recent stops in New York City was the Cellar Bar at The Bryant Park Hotel.
The singer performed a bunch of her greatest hits as part of preview event for Southwest Airlines' Live In the Vineyard sweepstakes. Here's a video of her singing, "Thank You" which the hotel posted on their Facebook page. We think this tune is muy apropos since the hotel began offering free WiFi at the start of the year.
But did Alanis actually enjoy the free WiFi at the hotel? These photos from the Daily Mail lead us to believe she may have stayed elsewhere as BPH doesn't have those steps at their entrance. Saddies. If you're interested in staying here, rates start around $375 a night in September.
[Front door photo: Terra.com]
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / Historic Hotels / Factory Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
We already knew the hotel would be referencing the building's history as a former hat-making factory—but now we learn that pretty much everything, from the architecture to the furniture in the rooms to the 1920s-inspired tea parlor in the lobby, will play a part in simulating what it would have been like to be a tenant in a milliner's workplace at the turn of the century.
The sprawling building, which spans an entire New York City block, is known as the Colony Arcade, and went up in 1912. The hotel itself is set to open with "loft-like" rooms, and a 3,500 sq ft rooftop space, in the fall.
For more details on The Refinery, read on!
By now we know, there are definitely no shortages of new hotels opening in New York City. And yet we've just learned of a new one opening at 45 West 38th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. For now, they are calling it Hotel 38.
The 21-story commercial office building was bought by Lodgeworks back in September, according to the Real Deal Blog. Back then, a company executive said the building would turn into a hotel within two years.
Today, we have some further detes about the property from the hotel restaurant experts at Steven Kamali Hospitality which say the hotel will be an independent 3.5-star property with 180 rooms, a fitness center, an open business center and a restaurant and rooftop bar, along with in-room dining. And we even have a tentative opening date--first quarter of 2013.
As of yesterday, the Bryant Park Hotel offers free WiFi
On December 29, a little birdie clued us into the fact that Bryant Park Hotel was considering making the switch to free WiFi. And in a moment of somewhat warranted self-flattery, we wondered if our list of New Year's resolutions for hotels had anything to do with the its decision.
But Front Desk Manager Darren Sumner set the record straight, explaining that over the years, the hotel had received "many, many requests from guests," and simply wanted to "listen to their needs." So it seems we aren't the only ones who like to gripe about hotels still ruthlessly charging for the convenience of in-room WiFi. Not that surprising, really. We're just glad to be a part of the revolution.
Wyndham has already pulled the hotel off its website and we presume it's undergoing some slight updating to get ready for the DoubleTree takeover.
But the loss is really no big deal to Wyndham considering that they have another Wyndham Garden hotel just 12 blocks south in Chelsea on 24th Street. We guess the upcoming Tryp by Wyndham Hotel in Times Square, just one block over, will be re-routing guests to this property from now on.
However, we will mourn the loss of the hotel's free WiFi as DoubleTree will be charging $9.99 a day. Not sure a DoubleTree cookie will make up for that. Ok, it helps a little.
Hotel Openings / Manhattan Hotels / Midtown Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Construction / SpringHill Suites / → All Tags
Last week, when we updated our list of major new hotels coming to NYC (mostly in midtown), we really thought we had all our bases covered. Tryp on 35th St; Hyatt Place on 36th St; Hyatt Union Square and a few others.
Then we learned on Monday that Marriott is bringing a new Courtyard to Herald Square. But that's not all that Marriott has up its sleeves. Two and a half blocks up, a new building that's going up at 25 W 37th St will supply Manhattan with its first-ever SpringHill Suites hotel. A rendering of the new property shows off a rooftop bar and some funky dot-and-dash patterns for the windows on the building's exterior. Almost like morse code. What is Marriott trying to tell us?