10019 Travel Guide - Page 2
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.
Don't call it a resort fee. Unlike those annoying, often useless nightly charges so beloved of hotels in Vegas, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, we don't find too much to gripe about with the $30 a night mandatory fee that the brand new WestHouse Hotel is going to be charging when it opens next month.
The concept of WestHouse is a blending of "the privileges of a luxury hotel with the residential comforts of a New York townhouse," and so is reserving its two bars -- the ground-floor Den and 23rd-floor The Terrace -- for guests of the hotel.
Browsing through our photo archive, we come across many hotel memories: some fond, some we wish to forget, and some that stand out for being just that little bit different. One of the latter relates to The Plaza New York, which has had a rather tumultuous decade or so: from its controversial acquisition and disgruntled owners suing the developer over the sight-unseen acquired apartments, to struggles at both the restaurants and the food mall. Then of course there was that whole Charlie Sheen disaster.
Way before all of this went down, we found ourselves inside The Plaza on a sweltering early summer day when its contents pre-renovation were on sale, for anyone who wanted to take a piece of hotel history home. The truly fancy stuff had already gone by auction, so we’re talking everything that was left. And we do mean EVERYTHING: from maids uniforms and iron boards to linens and individual strands of the chandeliers, if it was there, you could buy it.
We were fascinated by the strange experience of walking through the ornate public spaces and the long corridors, all packed with piles of sometimes rather questionable stuff. But it didn’t stop there.
The Viceroy Hotel Group are opening their first branded New York property today. This was one of our most anticipated openings of the year so, naturally, we snuck in for a peek a day before official opening.
This is the first full hotel façade and interior design project by design firm Roman and Williams, who also worked on the Ace Hotel New York and Standard NYC, (as well as some properties in Chicago). Now, their glazed black brick-and-metal window fronted building cuts quite an elegant figure on West 57th Street.
The long-awaited Viceroy New York is opening its doors next Wednesday (October 9th), which is, amazingly, right on track with the opening date announced back in August.
We stopped by the other day to take a look at the glazed black brick-and-metal window-fronted building, the first full hotel façade by design firm Roman and Williams, which is looking as sleek as we'd expected. We can't wait, though, to get a peek inside at the 240 guestrooms that are said to be designed in a ship cabin style,and the street-level Kingside bar and restaurant.