10022 Travel Guide - Page 2
Now that Cinderella, Prince Charming, and a 1,500-lb dog have all graced the New York Palace with their presence, the midtown luxury hotel will tend to a little housekeeping. And by little, we mean a royal $120 million renovation.
Set to be completed in June, the first phase has kicked off in the top 14 floors, also known as The Towers. It's where, if you can afford it, the name of the hotel begins to make sense with its 176 residential-style accommodations and skyline views.
So, yada yada, another hotel renovation... why do we care? Well, we feel that renovations give a glimpse into changing (or not changing) hotel trends, and for this one in particular, we're looking outside the box at two things: The death of the light switch and the end of the overpriced, in-room movie.
It seems this whole Crestron control unit thing a ding we told you about is catching on with hotels across the country, meaning less wandering around the room looking for the appropriate switch. In addition, the rooms at The Towers will all be equipped with television systems that can sync with computers and personal Netflix accounts. We're sure we've said it somewhere before, but let us once again wave adios to the ten-dollar in-room movie rental(that we fall asleep halfway through). Good riddance, and let's keep this trend rolling, please.
Looks like we’re in the midst of another specialty holiday time, this time it’s called >National Sleep Awareness Week, which runs through March 10th. This is in conjunction with the return to Daylight Savings Time, when clocks move ahead and hour and most people lose an hour of sleep (but gain an hour of sunlight!).
Still, many people have trouble adjusting, especially those who travel a good deal. So, if you happen to have business in NYC, it might be worth it to stay at The Benjamin. Not only is this the place with a dedicated Sleep Concierge, but now they’ve instituted a “Work-Down Call”. The only way to describe it is that’s it’s the reverse of a wake-up call, they actually give you a ring and tell you when it’s time to call it a night.
That’s right, they know you’re still up in your room alone sending just one last email, making one more call, or, or…and the next thing you know it’s the wee hours and you've got to be up soon, walking into a meeting bleary eyed, despite sleeping on a cushy bed with 500-thread count sheets!
According to a New York Times story, NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne said last weekend two dapper dons (one sported a trench coat) walked into the hotel's lobby at 2 a.m. and while one distracted a member of the staff, the other took a sledgehammer and smashed a jewelry display case. He grabbed $167,000 million worth of goods, from watches to chains, all from Jacob & Company, aka "Jacob The Jeweler" as Mr. Arabo is known in the hip-hop community. Initial reports from the New York Post stated the value of the stolen goods was close to $2 million. When interviewed, Mr. Arabo, who has spent some time himself on the other side of the law, wondered why his jewelry was targeted with this statement
"This is small-time, running into a hotel, smashing things with a hammer. Unfortunately, it happened to me. How come it was my window, when there were other windows with jewelry in the hotel?”Jacob thinks he's special, obvi, but then he must have contemplated it more and answered his own question with this lightbulb thought: “I think they would recognize my name more than anyone else’s, from the magazines,” he said. Indeed, Jacob has been mentioned in many songs from Notorious B.I.G. to Kanye West to 50 Cent. The beloved provider of all things ice, whether tasteful or OTT is now considering putting future jewelry displays behind bulletproof glass, though we're not sure that will help with, you know, sledgehammers.
Fantasy Friday / Hotel Desserts / Hotel Jewelry / Four Seasons Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Proposal Hotels / Hotel Chefs / → All Tags
This holiday season, we know there's going to be a good deal of marriage proposals. But not every gift has to begin with Kay. In fact, if you've got the dosh, and a few minutes for some Fantasy Friday dreaming, we've got a sweet little tidbit to share.
Salvatore Martone, the Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons New York, has created a decadent “$20,000 dessert” that highlights a sparkling diamond from Leviev, one of the world's largest privately held diamond polishers and cutters.
So if you're thinking of asking for her hand in marriage, here's one way to do it!
It's truethere are quite a few hotels around the world with the word "Palace" in their names. It's at the New York Palace Hotel, however, that you actually find a prince and princess. Cinderella and Prince Charming showed up to the hotel's Madison Avenue courtyard yesterday evening to kick off the holiday season, light the Christmas tree, promote the upcoming Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella Broadway musical, and hint that they'll be dropping back in every so often during brunch at the hotel.
Stopping into the couryard to view the tree is free, of course, but to try a little of Cinderella's NYC lifestyle you'll have to pay. The season brings not only a special weekend brunch, but also a Cinderella-themed room package.
Celebrity Chefs / Alain Ducasse / Hotel Restaurants / St. Regis Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
How does one say “Shut It Down” in French? It looks like Alain Ducasse is taking Rachel Zoe’s phrase as gospel, first with pulling out of W Vieques this past spring and now with the latest news of closing Adour at the St. Regis New York.
Chef Ducasse hasn't officially stated the reason for abandoning the five-year old restaurant, only mentioning through his handlers that it had been on his mind since the spring. Seems he wasn’t in a good mood during that time. Plus, this decision comes just six years after he closed down his restaurant at Essex House, another pricey place.
The opulent Adour was lauded with three stars in 2008 by New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, and a quiet favorite among those with deep pockets. Not surprising considering the menu consisted of $65 entrees, an $125 tasting menu, and an extensive wine list that would make an oenophile weep.
You gotta hand it to Starwood. When it comes to partnerships, they certainly know how to align themselves with the right brands to make people really sit up and take notice (a few that come to mind: W and Instagram, Westin and Amazon, Aloft and Bud Light...oh, and Pitchfork).
Back in April, St Regis made a lot of guests happy by ordering fleets of the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur model to be "stationed" at their hotels around the world. Now, St Regis New York has decided to take the partnership one step further by creating a dedicated Benley Suite. And it's taking reservations for next month.
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DoubleTree Metropolitan, located on E 51st and Lexington Ave, has always struck us as a whacky spaceship hotel from the 1960s—and indeed, its unique Art Deco exterior, designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus in 1961, continues to be part of the hotel's charm. But now with the added bonus of top-to-bottom renovated guest rooms, which in turn pay tribute to the building's retro curves.
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People do funny things when they're in love. And hotels do funny things when they want more followers on Twitter.
In an effort to gain more social media buzz, the folks at Waldorf-Astoria in New York have launched a new campaign asking old guests to return anything they've stolen from the hotel. The stolen goods will then get displayed on the hotel's Facebook page—ideally, with a little background story on each item—and then showcased in a special exhibit inside the lobby.
The klepto-guests themselves will remain anonymous. So what's in it for them? The chance to set things right.
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No, The Benjamin's Sleep Concierge, Anya Orlanska.
If you have a hard time following the presidential race, The Benjamin is here to help with yet another interactive pillow-themed initiative called the Presidential Pillow Primary. From now through August, each of the top candidates (Obama, Romney and Gingrich) will be matched up with a pillow from the hotel's famed 12-plus pillow menu, and guests will get to vote on their favorite pillow. And by pillow we mean presidential candidate.
And by "presidential candidate," we mean: this is a hotel and it's all just make believe. Do not, we repeat, do not try to cast your actual vote here in November, though do feel free to come here and figure out if it's the latex-wrapped "Obama Pillo1," or the boomerang-shaped Mitt Romney pillow, that sends you off into dreamland.
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We thought we heard some funny noises coming from the Waldorf-Astoria last time we visited, and it turns out the hotel does indeed have some rackety new residents who have set up shop on the roof. The NY Post reports that 48,000 honeybees have been installed to make Waldorf-Astoria-branded honey, which will then be served to guests during meals as well as packaged and sold.
We would normally expect this from other, balmier destinations (like, for instance, Grand Wailea, whose honey we've tasted and enjoyed), but we guess there's no reason why New York can't get in on the fun. Come to think of it, this is something that's been done for a while now—we spotted this emerging trend back in 2010 in places like Toronto, Chicago and Charlotte. And as the saying goes, if bees can make
it honey in New York, they can really make it anywhere.
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The Benjamin Sleep Concierge, Anya Orlanska
Have you ever flirted with a hotel concierge? In our series, Concierge Interviews, HotelChatter goes behind the Front Desk and gets chummy with the men—and women—whose job it is to never say no. Filmed inside various lobbies, courtyards, and bar lounges, each video will offer a glimpse into the world of hotels from the people who know them best. Got a burning question you'd like us to ask? Or have someone in mind for us to interview? Email us your requests!