10021 Travel Guide
FBI agent outside Helly Nahmad Gallery at The Carlyle Hotel
Looks like we've got another hotel heist on our hands, but this time it's of the legal variety instead of the unfortunate robbery that befell the Four Seasons. The latest target is the Carlyle Hotel, specifically the Helly Nahmad Gallery, which was raided by FBI agents on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. The gallery, which is a separate business from the Carlyle, has been a tenant since the 90s, with an entrance on the hotel's Madison Ave and 76th Street side.
The historic Carlyle has other famous residents, including Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey. According to a New York Times article, the gallery,which was filled with multimillion dollars worth of art including masters like Picasso and Francis Bacon, had actually appeared closed before the raid--its windows covered with brown paper and a sign on the door reading “We are closed for renovation, please ring the bell or call.”
The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is charging gallery owner, Hillel "Helly" Nahmad for racketeering, conspiracy, illegal gambling and money-laundering. Apparently the indictment details that Nahmad is behind a "high-stakes illegal gambling business run out of New York City and Los Angeles that catered primarily to multimillionaire and billionaire clients.” Nahmad surrendered to LA authorities yesterday.
Family-Friendly Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Manhattan Hotels / Upper East Side Hotels / Hotel Strollers / → All Tags
Don't pretend you haven't noticed. There are pregnant women and babies everywhere you look. It's like a walking advertisement of "I know what YOU DID LAST FALL!". We pretend to coo and smile at your love bugs and belly, but we're really smirking, you nasty thangs, you!
Still, for those of us who have babies and toddlers to schlepp around, the number one pain-in-the-ass is the stroller. (The car seat gets a close second). It's all, folding, un-folding, lugging, latching, and then the folding again. And that's for a basic model. We're counting down the days until we never have to travel with a stroller again. (We've got about 600 or so to go.)
Mercifully, hotels are starting to come to our rescue by offering strollers for guests to use during their stay.
And in Manhattan, The Mark on the Upper East Side has upped the ante by pairing up with high-end stroller brand, MacLaren, to create a super stylish Mark Hotel Baby Stroller that's done up in the Mark's signature black and white stripes. This stroller is Bergdorf and Madison Avenue shopping ready.
Hotel Packages / Hotel Programs / Manhattan Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Don’t have time to commit to a book club? Not always able to get out for lunch? Well, New York's Carlyle has a compromise with their new Literary Luncheon Series, “In Conversation at The Carlyle”.
In conjunction with Random House Publishing Group, the legendary hotel is bringing three celebrated authors to have a three-course lunch, chats, and personalized book signings of their latest books with an intimate group of readers.
Right now there are three Lunch Series scheduled:
Monday, April 1: Legendary poet, writer, teacher, and director Dr. Maya Angelou kicks off the event.
Tuesday, May 7: Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times columnist, and novelist Anna Quindlen will host.
Thursday, June 27: Best-selling author Curtis Sittenfeld, whose work has appeared in The Atlantic and Salon will lead the discussion.
The three-course luncheon begins at The Carlyle Restaurant at 12:30pm, then guests will move to Café Carlyle for the author discussion. Cost per event is $125 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity) and includes the prix fixe menu, a glass of wine and a signed personalized copy of the author’s book.
For reservations call The Carlyle directly at 212-570-7109.
Movie Set Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Donna Karan / Anjelica Huston / Felicity Jones / Jack Davenport / Relais & Chateaux / Celebrity Scoop / → All Tags
What are the requirement to make a memorable short film shot entirely at The Surrey in New York City? Donna Karan knows. Get Angelica Huston to direct, throw in Felicity Jones and Jack Davenport and attach your name to it. The result is one of the best hotel video promotions ever conceived. Interestingly, that wasn't the intention. It's a film about hosiery. But it still makes a great hotel promo video.
Now, we love us some Donna Karan and we love us some Surrey, so this was a collaboration just waiting to happen. Felicity Jones and Jack Davenport play strangers that meet at the bar, and thus a romantic interlude transpires. There's a lot of things going on with Felicity's legs, as you'll notice. Hosiery, remember?
We won't tell you what happens next but it involves a candle. Or maybe it doesn't. Either way, you'll most likely be paying attention to the backdrop… The Surrey has never looked so sexy!
Hotel News / Hotel Breakfasts / Manhattan Hotels / Al Sharpton / Loews Hotels / Celebrity Scoop / → All Tags
Remember when we said the Loews Regency was prepping for a $70 million renovation? Well, the hotel is now scheduled to close on Jan 1 when the work begins. No big deal. The city has about a million other hotels to choose from.
However, the news has proved slightly traumatic for a particularly attached group of executives, investment bankers and media personalities, all accustomed to having their "power breakfasts" inside the hotel. To accommodate them, the hotel has signed a contract with a nearby Park Avenue restaurant to recreate the scene between 7am and 10am each morning, ensuring Larry King gets his usual Cheerios with blueberries, and Rev. Al Sharpton's whole wheat toast is browned just the way he likes it.
Loews Chariman Jonathan Tisch told the Post: "When we announced the closing, people stopped me on the verge of tears." Yikes.
Celebrity Scoop / Mariah Carey / Manhattan Hotels / Celeb Hotels / Hotel Music / Hotel Bars / Hotel News / → All Tags
Over the weekend, a few guests were enjoying some light jazz during dinner at The Carlyle in New York when one of their fellow diners got up on stage and join in with the band for an impromptu singalong.
Normally, this would not be cause for much concern, except for the fact that the amateur singer in question was no amateur at all but Mariah Carey, dressed in an iridescent gold Naeem Kahn dress, honey locks flowing down her shoulders.
The appearance, we're guessing, was slightly more than guests had originally bargained for when they booked their dinner reservations. Waiters, meanwhile, kept busy afterwards picking up jaws that had dropped to the floor.
Hotel Cocktails / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Services / Hotel Bars / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We love that hotels have embraced the cocktail culture and have upped the game with superlative sippings that make ordering a simple gin and tonic an embarrassment these days.
No, folks are getting fancy, not only at the bar, but they've brought it to the hotel room, too. Take the In-Room Cocktail Program at The Surrey Hotel, a swank hotel on New York's Upper East Side. They go a step further than bringing you the ingredients to make cocktails in the comfort of your room. They'll do it for you.
Dial room service and a well-trained and dapper mixologist from the hotel's Bar Pleiades will select a pint-size bottle of the booze of your choice—from Grey Goose vodka to Hudson Baby bourbon—and bring it to your room via a silver-tray topped wooden cart.
Oh, we love that they even have hard-to-find Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer on hand to create authentic Bermudian Dark n’ Stormy’s. Using said cart that holds mixers, muddlers, and the fixins', the bartender creates your first round of drinks.
Sometimes, it's the little touches that make a hotel stay which is why we spend a large part of our time devoted to showing you what's in a hotel room minibar, what magazines are laying on the nightstand and what toiletries are placed on the sink.
Right now, over at the fashionable Mark Hotel on New York's Upper East Side, they are going a little old-school with their mini-bar items by offering Kodak disposable cameras alongside the usual snacks and booze. Except these cameras are done in black and white stripes, a reflection of the hotel's signature marble floors of black and white stripes.
Now you can capture your stylish stay in a stylish way. Then you can show your grandkids that once upon a time photographs were actually done on film. Priceless!
Rates at The Mark start around $455 for a superior courtyard queen but the hotel is running a special summer offer that gives you 20 percent off the room rate if you stay two nights or more. That brings the price down to about $365 a night. The cameras are $18.
HotelChatter gets a little leery when established New York City hotel’s announce they’re opening a spa. We wonder if it’ll be some shoebox operation with a limited treatment menu and outrageous prices. Given that there are so many independent spas to choose from that do a great job, we’re approaching the buzz about the new Cornelia Spa at The Surrey Hotel with cautious, but hopeful optimism.
We haven't heard much from the Loews Regency Hotel for a while—not since Donald Trump decided to send his mismatched cast of sideshow freaks to run the place for a much-loved episode of Celebrity Apprentice (why yes, Joan Rivers, you can be our concierge any day of the week).
Meanwhile, the 354-room hotel hasn't been getting any younger, so it's good to hear that they're finally throwing some money to get it renovated—about $70 million, in fact— like sooo many other NYC hotels these days. We're thinking specifically of places like The Algonquin, New York Helmsley, and Grand Hyatt.
Unlike those other places, however, Loews has in mind to do some major brand expansion over the next few years, so in many ways, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Retro Hotels / Hotel Postcards / Vintage NYC Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Rosewood Resorts / Rosewood Hotels / → All Tags
The Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan is one of our favorite "old luxury" hotels and today we stumbled upon something from its heyday--a postcard. You know, the kind that hotels used to stash in the desks so that you could send your friends smarmy "Wish You Were Here" notes?
Sure, lots of hotels are still doing the postcard and stationary thing--probably even the Carlyle still--but in these green days where hotels are eliminating paper waste at every turn (even check-in and check-out!), hotel postcards are a dying breed.
And we're pretty sure that today's modern postcards don't say things like, "Transient and Residential Accommodations" and "Telex" numbers. (For the record, the Carlyle still takes transients, aka hotel guests, and very well-to-do folks still live there.)
Also missing? A website address. These days, that's how you know something is retro.
Click "MORE" to see the back of the Carlyle's old-timey postcard!
New York has really cleaned up its act since the 80s, and the likelihood of getting mugged on the Upper East Side is pretty much slim to none. However! If you happen to be staying at The Mark New York, and are looking to beef up your self-defense skills, a good place to start might be the hotel's new martial arts and kickboxing studio, Punch Fitness Center.
The studio, which opened in November, and its owner, Adelino Da Costa, were profiled by the NY Times back in 2008 for introducing the world of boxing to the affluent Upper East Side neighborhood—and with great success. Now, Da Costa has set up on the hotel's second floor to offer his unique blend of Thai boxing, boxing, kickboxing and martial arts conditioning to guests whenever they want it.