10036 Travel Guide
This might sound like an oxymoron but tomorrow is the United States' own National French Bread Day, which will celebrate all French bread, from baguettes to croissants, viennoiseries and more (Cronuts probably not included.)
One of the Frenchest hotels in the U.S., The Sofitel New York at 45 West 44th Street, is celebrating the day (which is also the first day of spring, although the weather in NYC looks otherwise) by turning their private dining room at their brasserie, Gaby, into a pop-up boulangerie serving 15 different kinds of French bread and French pastries.
Even better than the fresh bread smells that are sure to waft through the hotel, the cost of the bread will be just $1, with all of the proceeds going to City Harvest, a food rescue organization that helps feed more than 1.4 million in-need New Yorkers. Donations beyond $1 are also accepted.
In case you want to wake up with the fresh bread tomorrow morning, rates at the Sofitel tonight start at $241. while rates for tomorrow night, when the bread might not be as fresh, start at $267.
[Photo: Sofitel New York]
Hotel Fitness / Larry Johnson / Manhattan Hotels / Times Square Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
New York's Knickerbocker Hotel is set to open/reopen on February 12 and while we're excited to see the end result of the transformation of a hotel that closed in the 1920s and languished as an office building for decades back into a modern day Times Square hotel, we are momentarily distracted by their fitness offerings.
That's because The Knickerbocker has hired former Knicks basketball player, Larry Johnson, as their new "Fitness Curator." So apropos. #alsoclevermarketingtheweekbeforeopening
Johnson who was a power forward for the Knicks, hand-picked the equipment placed in The Knickerbocker's fitness center, which includes such advanced machines like MyRide V3 spinner bikes by MATRIX and technology like the NIKE + iPod connectivity and FitTouch Technology.
The next time you check into The Algonquin Hotel, you may notice a special member of the hotel's family hanging around the front desk. Say hello to Matilda, the 10th consecutive cat to live at The Algonquin since the 1930s. Hello gorgeous.
Matilda is well-documented here at HotelChatter (cat fashion show, anyone?) but the hotel's pampering of the house cat never ceases to amaze us.
Now, Matilda has a new suite in the hotel's reception area, a tree house of finely craved wood, plush carpeting, and fancy monogramming. Matilda has her own "Chief Cat Officer"and her own business card. So if you fancy meeting her, have your people call her people. And while you're waiting, check out the amazing Blue Bar.
Nearly ten years ago, the existence of The Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square, a Beaux-Arts building that closed down to hotel guests in 1921 and operated as an office building ever since, was wiped away, with the exception of a sealed-off entrance to the subway. But come February 12, the property will once again open as a hotel.
We showed you a glimpse of the public spaces at the Knickerbocker back in April, but here's a look at one of the 330 rooms at the hotel. Very simple, rather understated and almost a little bland. But the amenities do sound good with SFERRA linens, 55" flat-screen TV, complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, Ted Gibson toiletries and free WiFi.
Elsewhere at the hotel, Chef Charlie Palmer, whose Aureole is across the street, will oversee Charlie Palmer at The Nick, a full service restaurant and bar; Jakes @ The Knick, a coffee shop; and St. Cloud, the outdoor rooftop bar overlooking Times Square which will feature a cigar lounge from tobacconist, Nat Sherman.
The hotel, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, has rooms available on February 12 for $495 a night for a superior room with a king bed.
[Photo: Knickerbocker Hotel]
Cute Hotel Doggies / Pet-Friendly Hotels / New York Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Gay-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
Hospitality for pets is apparently “the fastest growing sector in the travel market”, which makes all the cute hotel doggies we’ve seen recently seem slightly less cute and slightly more cynical. Joking! Obviously nothing could make those dogs any less cute.
The latest hotel to jump on the furry bandwagon is The Out NYC, which has just opened some Dog House Suites – dog-friendly rooms attached to private courtyards – particularly handy for offleash activities or, we guess, doing their business. Even better, access to the courtyard is via a pet door, so they can come and go while you’re taking care of your own business. They’re not just any old courtyard, either – each has a dog house, fake grass, “faux fire hydrant” (not sure of the appeal of this one) and seats for you humans.
If you're a frequent guest of the Yotel New Yorkin Times Square, well, that's kinda cool. Tell us more about that. Oh sorry, we mean, you may want to join up with the hotel's new loyalty program called, TheClub@Yotel (all one word.) But there's a catch--it's only for business travelers.
Here's what repeat biz travelers and their companies can get with the new club program:
Hotel News / Hotel Services / Westin Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Sleep / Hotel Sleep Aids / → All Tags
Hotel wake-up calls are fairly standard--the hotel calls you at your desired time and lets you know it's time to wake up. But some travel-weary guests could do with a Hotel Go-To-Bed call, which would remind them to get a good night's sleep, especially if they've requested an early wake-up call.
And now these early riser but late to bed folks have a hotel who's looking out for them. The Westin New York at Times Square just launched a new Rest Well Calls program to aid guests in getting a good night’s sleep.
After arranging a wake-up time, staff will also give guests a ring the night before, alerting them that it is time to go to their (Westin Heavenly) bed. The hotel will give guests an hour to power down their devices and will let them get a full seven to eight hours of sleep before calling with the wake-up call.
"“We have seen a trend in wake-up call requests coming in at times that make it impossible for guests to be getting the sleep that they really need,” said General Manager Sean Verney in a press release. “Our mission is to ensure that guests leave feeling better than when they arrived, and the new Rest Well Calls will help both leisure and business travelers to get the right amount of sleep.”
Extended stay hotel, AKA Times Square recently unveiled a bi-level lounge with 1,000-square-foot warparound terrace deck designed by Piero Lissoni. The space, which is exclusive to residents, is located on both the 12th floor and the previously hidden 13th floor, named a.13.
The 3,000-sq.ft. lounge features slat walls created with Japanese charred wood, wide-plank white-oak flooring and furnishings that include designer Ingo Maurer’s lamps, B&B Italia's Charles Sofa and Arne Jacobsen’s iconic swan chairs. The 12th floor has a fitness center, media alcove and cozy nooks, while the 13th floor has giant windows and a private resident-and-guest-only bar with an a.vod vodka vault installation.
Residents are invited to booze it up in the space and the WiFi is blessedly free. Just be careful when emailing or Facebooking after drinking.
Rates at AKA Times Square start at $435 a night.
[Photo: AKA Times Square]
The historic Knickerbocker Hotel is gearing up for its summer opening with an announcement that it has partnered with leading design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates to design all public spaces and guestrooms (we actually kinda told you that ourselves back in November, but OK).
The hotel, a Leading Hotels of the World, will have 330 guestrooms, including 40 suites, a signature restaurant by Charlie Palmer and a 7,500-square-foot rooftop bar and terrace offering panorama of the city's skyline.
East & West, a new dining and lounge concept from China Grill Management, opened in the hotel last week and features a menu by Executive Chef Bradley Day that features shareable small and large plates and pays homage to the best of the eastern and western worlds -- kinda like the hotel itself.
As long as it's still operating under this name, The Hotel Carter in Times Square will never be able to shake its reputation as The Dirtiest Hotel in The World, a dishonor bestowed on the hotel in 2008 by TripAdvisor. Yet we had heard horror stories from the Hotel Carter for a few years before that.
Put it this way, a "good" review from 2005 went like this: "Didn't Get Killed Mugged or Infected."
But now, The Carter might get a new life. The WSJ says the building is on the market and several buyers have been interested. As soon as next week a new owner could be announced. Which has us wondering, what hotel brand could be put in? Well, the way the hospitality market has been going in NYC and especially near Times Square, the possibilities are probably endless.
That said, the Carter is going to need to be closed and renovated. An analyst told the WSJ that at least $125 million was needed to bring it up to a 3-star level. Yowza.
If you want to stay at one of the last
shitholes semi-affordable hotels in Times Square, the Carter is currently going for $209 (#thatsnotok) for a double room on Sunday night.
Having hosted theatrical extravaganza Queen of the Night for the past three months, the Paramount Hotel has surely earned its luvvie chops, so its recent announcement that will become the official hotel partner of the Tony Awards seems like a natural progression.