10019 Travel Guide - Page 2
With a wave of super-charged, high-tech vending machines in the airports dispensing everything from phone chargers to make-up and even iPhones, it was only a matter of time before hotels got in the automated dispensary 2.0 game as well.
Of course, vending machines in hotels is not a new concept. Hotels have long offered vending machines to service the late-night munchies or thirst of their guests. But the upscale vending machine is rather new. The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas launched a U*Tique vending machine a few years back that sells high and low items like souvenirs, make-up, and expensive headphones. Meanwhile St. Martin's Lane used to have an automated machine that sold goodies from Selfridge's department store. Indeed, The Hudson Hotel was a sort of pioneer with their Semi-Automatic Vending Machine which they first showed off in 2010.
But now, The Wellington Hotel in Times Square has installed a modern type of vending machine that sells everyday goodies from souvenirs to snacks to essentials that you actually need (chargers and toothpaste.)
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With The Quin just around the corner offering its amazing/ridiculous Bergdorf Goodman on speed dial gimmick, we can't blame fellow Small Luxury Hotels of the World member WestHouse Hotel New York for upping the ante in the high-fashion stakes.
WestHouse has partnered with Net-a-Porter to offer guests access to a dedicated phone line to the Net-a-Porter customer care team, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 22 languages. Guests receive same-day delivery (to WestHouse) and, if staying in one of the hotel's 16 suites, direct access to personal shoppers from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. on weekdays and to customer care after hours and on the weekends. There's also seamless online direct connect to Net-a-Porter's website via in-room Intelity Pads.
If you've walked along 57th Street, Manhattan recently, you don't need us to tell you that the Viceroy New York is a thing of beauty. Both inside and out, the first full hotel façade and interior design project by Roman and Williams positively glows; from the lantern-like glazed black brick-and-metal windows, to the in-room brass fixtures and marble countertops. The newest development is the opening of their Suite 57, a two-bedroom suite that takes up the entire front section of the 28th floor: what they are calling "a great New York City apartment".
We've been anxiously awaiting the opening of the citizenm Times Square for a while now. But while the "affordable luxury" hotel with capsule-sized rooms is closer than ever before to opening, there's still no firm opening date.
We've put down mid-2014 on our master openings list and we think that still holds true. If the spot opens before May, we'll be pleasantly surprised.
That said, citizenM has promised to announce its date on its Facebook page soon, saying as much on a recent FB comment:
In the meantime, here's what we do know about the hotel:
Scrolling through the in-room television programming at The Quin the other day, something caught our eye. Not the $12 gourmet peanuts on the list of provisions, nor the in-room menu of luxury items from the lobby's Bergdorf Goodman Vitrine, but something a little less grandiose. A charming tale of a girl and her new friend, as told by her dog, Peppermint, "a fun-loving, fast-talking teacup Yorkie".
It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
It was back in April 2012 when we learned that the old Buckingham Hotel on 57th and 6th, near Central Park, closed down to begin its transformation into The Quin. We followed the hotel's renovations every step of the way and apparently, you did too as The Quin was the hotel you most enjoyed reading about in 2013 (in other words, it was the most-trafficked hotel page.)
The hotel finally opened in November (after a few delays) but before it did, we gave you the lowdown on the Best Room to Book--the Premier Suite. Then we toured the hotel on opening day and peeped around some more guest rooms. We also coveted the items in the Bergdorf Goodman Vitrine in the lobby; an in-room menu of luxury items available to buy in the hotel from the famed department store.
While the spectacular 15-foot digital art wall went live a few days after opening, we're still waiting on The Quin's restaurant--The Wayfarer, which is promising a "fresh seafood-focused menu in an inviting setting."
In the meantime, rates at The Quin start at $379 a night this weekend for a superior room with a king bed. That includes a Duxiana bed clad in Sferra linens, a Nespresso machine, Evolve Guest Controls for lighting, temperature and music, Fresh toiletries in the bathroom and Samsung LED HD televisions. Oh and free WiFi too. That's a real people pleaser right there.
Lately, there's been a bit of hotel resurgence in the Central Park area. There's the Quin, the Viceroy, the Westhouse and a 1 Hotel is expected to next year too. But those are all luxury hotels with rates starting around $400 a night. Which is why the news of a Hilton Garden Inn in the area has us, and our wallets, feeling relieved.
The 401-room hotel will open at 237 W. 54th Street, about six blocks south of the park between 8th and 7th Avenues. It will also be the largest Hilton Garden Inn in North America.
Right now the opening date is set at January 5th but we couldn't find a room open online until February 4th for $152 a night. That's for a room with one king Serta bed, a large work desk, a 40-inch HDTV and a "hospitality" center with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee/tea maker. Oh and the WiFi is freeeeeeee. There's also a king deluxe room with a private walk-out terrace that's just $239 a night ($203 if you pay in advance.)
Of course, these rates are for February in NYC, typically a low season. We fully expect these to go way up once summer comes around.
[Photo: Hilton Garden Inn]
Today is the 80th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition and, to commemorate, the newly-opened Viceroy New York is launching a Cartender program so that you might party like it's 1933 .
From 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. every day the Cartender will kick-off happy hour in the hotel's Library. The vintage bar cart will be filled with a rotating selection of complimentary petite-cocktails from the hotel's ground-floor Kingside restaurant by Gerber Group. You don't have to be a guest to grab a cocktail but there is a limit of two per person; better that way, the Viceroy's far too pretty to get sloppy in.
The Viceroy: Would you "slog it for days/weeks eating Takeout Chicken in front of the TV in your unders" in this room?
We love design and architecture superteam Roman and Williams for their work at Ace Hotel New York, Standard NYC and Viceroy New York. But we are also rather taken with their excellent, often unhinged and grammatically erratic, Facebook page (category: counselling and mental health) where they give their uncensored take on everything from architectural news to hairdos and, now, hotel reviews -- of hotels they designed!
Update 11.13.13: The digital art wall is now live!
As is often the case, not quite everything is up and running yet. There are a few rooms still being worked on, the 15-foot digital art wall is not yet live (though looks pretty cool as is, IOO), and the Wayfarer restaurant is not open (but will be, hopefully in about two weeks -- room service, thankfully, is available).
Nevertheless, we stopped by for a peek on opening afternoon and watched as the lobby steadily filled up with arriving guests -- we were told occupancy rates for opening week were high. And indeed, for a random Tuesday in November (today), rates are $499 a night. Normally, they will be even higher at $599 a night. Fortunately, that includes WiFi and a bunch of other goodies. Keep reading to find out what those are.
Here’s what you get in exchange for what amounts to a year’s salary for many:
Three nights in the 3,546 square-foot, 45th floor, two bedroom, three bathroom bi-level Penthouse Suite with views of Central Park and Times Square from every room.The master bedroom has a king-size Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed; the second bedroom has two doubles.
Bottomless wine tasting with in-house wine expert David Ocampo, featuring wines rated 90+ by Wine Spectator. from wineries such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, Seghesio, Villa Antinori, Peter Lehmann, M. Chapoutier, Paul Cluver and Domaine Lafond.
A two-hour cooking session with Executive Chef Joe Fontanals in the suite’s full kitchen and dining room
Access to the 44th floor Club Lounge with 24/7 complimentary beverages and snacks
Upon booking the Penthouse Escape package, guests have an initial consultation with a member of the hotel’s culinary team to discuss their food interests and any special requests. Guests then receive copies of recipes created during the experience.
Would you like to wake up with this man?
The New York City Wine & Food Festival is happening this weekend, and the Hudson Hotel is getting into the spirit by inviting top celebrity chef Guy Fieri, he of the bleached spikes and full-throttle delivery, to get into bed with its guests. In a sense.
Here's what's going on: Fieri has recorded a series of wake-up calls that will be played for any guest at the Hudson (the official hotel of the NYCWFF) who requests such a call from Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20. The general gist of the message will be Guy letting guests know they'd better "Wake Up Hungry At Hudson" because there will be a lot of eating to do at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, but we expect the message will be delivered in a rather more exclamatory tone. Let's hope he keeps his yelling to a minimum; it sounds like it could be too much excitement first thing in the morning. We'd probably need our coffee first.