10022 Travel Guide
Sleep Ambassador / New York Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Services / The Benjamin / → All Tags
Meet Rebecca Robbins, The Benjamin NYC's Sleep Expert
Last year this time, we wondered whether the new trend of sleep ambassador programs was a valuable hotel amenity or just another useless marketing gimmick. During an interview with one such ambassador, we learned about the steps travelers should take to get a better night's sleep at a hotel. Basically, it was a "do this, don't do that" sort of conversation.
But one thing we failed to discuss was whether a sleep ambassador had any impact on a hotel beyond guest suggestions. Is there any concrete impact, or just a list of dos and don'ts? On a recent stay at the Benjamin NYC, we discovered that a sleep ambassador's job is not all about pleading to guests to make good bedtime decisions. During its renovation, The Benjamin actually called upon sleep expert Rebecca Robbins to help design the room.
Turns out, she helped the hotel make decisions surrounding the room's design that are aimed at getting a better night's sleep. Some, like eliminating noise, are obvious. Others, like using analog clocks, go a little under the radar. And chocolate on the pillow? To that, Ms. Robbins says no. Read on to see the complete list.
Hotel Closures / Hotel Renovations / Manhattan Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
Many have spent the night with old lady Waldorf, but few have owned her – until now. Because the new owners of the Waldorf Astoria New York, Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group, which finally sealed the deal last month, have announced that they’ll be converting some of the rooms into condos.
The rooms in question are in the Waldorf Towers, which currently operate as a hotel-within-a-hotel on the 27th-42nd floors of the building, with suites and apartments accessed via a separate entrance. (They’re “somewhat nicer” than the notoriously in-need-of-help rooms in the main building, according to our secret correspondent.) According to Wu Xiaohui, the company chairman, the plan is “to renovate the two towers into luxury residential apartments with world-class amenities and finishes to reflect its culture and social status.”
‘Tis the season to celebrate and there’s no better way than with a holiday-inspired beverage. And, as we all know, a holiday cocktail a day keeps the Grinch away. For Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week, we’ve scanned the globe for some delectably delicious cocktails that will leave you humming a merry tune that doesn’t include, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch.”
The New York Palace has gotten into the holiday spirit with its sparkly 12 Christmas trees adorned with 68,000 lights and 32,000 ornaments. The lobby also houses a 6’ x 8’ gingerbread house that is a replica of the hotel’s iconic Villard Mansion, which surrounds the hotel’s courtyard.
If you want to get into the holiday spirit too try concocting the Cranberry Garland cocktail or the Holiday Manhattan while you're trimming your own tree.
Bloody Mary is looking pretty spry at 80 years old. The cocktail was born when a St. Regis New York Hotel bartender named Fernand “Pete” Petiot spiced up a tomato juice and vodka libation with celery salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon and Worcestershire sauce – reinventing his simple cocktail formerly enjoyed at Harry’s Bar in Paris. The name “Bloody Mary,” though, was deemed too vulgar for the hotel’s elegant King Cole Bar patrons in 1934 and it was re-named the “Red Snapper.”
To celebrate the 80th birthday of this most-ordered cocktail at The St Regis New York (it’s so popular, in fact, that as Starwood opens new St Regis properties around the world, they introduce a local version of the cocktail in each destination), they’ve bottled the bevvie so that you can take it home with you and wake up to it the next morning (there are worse things you could do).
The Red Snapper Bloody Mary mix is bottled in a limited-edition bottle designed by renowned fashion illustrator, Bil Donovan, and produced by Arrowhead Farms, celeb event designer Bronson van Wyck’s cocktail line. You can get it at the Arrowhead Farms online boutique for $28 starting Nov 26.
Now if you prefer to stay over at The St Regis New York and just enjoy a morning-after Bloody Mary cocktail on the premises (no judgment) a room will set you back $665 per night in January.
[Photos: St Regis Hotels & Resorts]
Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Hotel Sales / New York Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Park Avenue Hotels / → All Tags
But don't worry. It will remain a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Hilton Worldwide, who unloaded the property, will remain in charge of the hotel's operations for the next 100 years.
Despite the property leaving Hilton's hands, the best news to come out of this sale is that THE HOTEL WILL FINALLY, AT LAST, GET RENOVATED. We've long known that the regular rooms at the hotel are total dogs. The Waldorf Tower rooms are more luxurious but still look a little stale and stuffy. No word on when the renovations will begin but we hope it's ASAP.
[Photo: HotelChatter Flickr Pool]
British-born, NYC-based artist Shantell Martin has designed a stream-of-consciousness-type summer tote exclusively for W New York. As an added bonus it's filled with sweet treats and summer essentials for a weekend getaway:
- Sugarfina Candy Cubes (Champagne Bubbles, Martini Olive Almonds, Peach Bellinis, Sugar Lips, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, and Robin’s Egg Caramels)
- Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen
- Never Hungover hangover prevention
So how do you get ‘em? It’s remarkably simple: stop in at the W New York’s newly reno’ed Living Room on Fridays between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., order a cocktail, and presto! A tote bag arrives. This will only last until supplies run out, but we’ve been promised that they have a goodly sum available.
[Photo: W New York]
A stay at the newly renovated New York Palace is not too shabby in itself, but now travelers looking to add a touch of exclusivity to their stay need look no further than The Towers, a 176-room hotel within a hotel, with its own reception area and private elevators, located on the top 14 floors.
Towers rooms range from 465-square foot Towers Rooms; Specialty suites (including the stunning 5,000 square foot triplex Champagne Suite and the Jewel Suite by Martin Katz); Towers Executive Suites; One Bedroom Suites, to the over 1200-square-foot Towers Corner Suites that feature fully stocked cocktail bars, kitchens, dining room tables and chairs for six, large outdoor terraces, and the option to add a connecting room with two Queen beds.
As well as a post-renovation rejuvenated look and feel, rooms in The Towers feature touch-screen tablets that control all of the room’s high-tech features including automated lighting, roman shades and blackout privacy curtains. Towers guests also have privileged access to Rarities, an intimate, men's club-inspired 25-seat salon — accessible to the public by reservation only.
A stay in the Towers also gets you a dedicated Les Clefs d'Or concierge team, house car service in a Mercedes GL350 or Maybach and Maître d'Etage service. Additionally, business travelers who book a Towers Corner Suite are treated to the “You’ve Arrived” service, which includes complimentary arrival airport transfer from New York City’s major airports.
Midweek June rates for The Towers start at $655 for a Tower King.
[Photo: New York Palace]
The newly renovated Benjamin has its own snazzy 24-hour fitness center stocked with Technogym equipment but, if you're the type of traveler who needs a little extra push to get your workout in, the hotel's new partnership with SIN Workouts might be a blessing.
SIN Workouts offers individually-tailored training program design and management, bookings at top studios with industry-leading instructors, one-on-one fitness consultations, and additional services, all geared to get you to and through your workout. Individual hotel guests, corporate groups, bachelor/ette parties and everyone else can book a service through the Benjamin's concierge, or through the sales department prior to arrival.
They've been at it for a while, but The New York Palace is finally finishing up its $140 million renovation project that began last spring.
As one might expect of such a storied venue, the menu at Rarities is upscale, featuring Champagnes, Prohibition-style bottled spirits, modern classics and a connoisseur’s wine cellar that includes such "rarities" as the $485 a glass Fladgate Scion 1855 Vintage Port; the $27,000 a bottle 1985 Romanee-Conti Grand Cru. A collection of rare scotches are displayed in a dramatic, illuminated glass vitrine.
Anthony and Josephine Fioravante, better known as Tony and Jo, spent their wedding night back in 1948 at the Waldorf Astoria and last weekend they celebrated their 66th anniversary with a night at the same hotel for $15.75! How so? Because Tony and Jo kept their reciept from that special night six decades ago and the Waldorf, which has a tradition of honoring the original rate for couples celebrating an anniversary of 50 years or more, not only honored it but upgraded them to the exclusive Towers of the Waldorf Astoria. Lucky! Rates in the Towers usually start at $399 a night.
Hotel Renovations / St. Regis Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
The renovated King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York may be where you can find that hangover-curing Bloody Mary, but the rest of the hotel on 55th and 5th is worth a look-see as well: all 171 rooms and 67 suites have been refreshed.
One key thing we think when browsing through some of the pictures? Someone certainly wasn’t afraid of color when dreaming up the new design, and we must admit we love the bold red in the Imperial Suite, especially with the circular windows and cozy integrated seats. Rain or shine, it looks like a perfect place to while away an afternoon with a newspaper or a good book.
We all love a good Bloody Mary when we're hungover. Not only is it tasty, the tomato juice and the celery stick help replenish all the vitamins we lost the night before. So, it's pretty perfect that January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day.
And just in time for the biggest hangover day of the year, the St. Regis New York has completed renovations at its King Cole Bar -- reopening under the direction of Chef John DeLucie (he of Waverly Inn fame) -- so you can sip on a Mary in the very place it was birthed in 1934.