10036-6204 Travel Guide
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, 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...
Last summer, a lot of buzz surrounded the opening of The Out NYC, New York's first-ever gay-themed hotel, located in midtown, several blocks west of Times Square (and right across the street from Yotel).
However, unlike its neighbor Yotel, which towers 27 floors above 10th Avenue, there was one thing missing from this place: a good view. When we checked into the hotel shortly after it opened in March, we were greeted by the above view from our Superior King—bright green astroturf, funhouse mirrors and an assortment of beanbags. Can you really blame us for feeling like we were trapped inside a daycare center, dressed up as a hotel?
We thought we'd be done, for a while, at least, announcing new hotel restaurants in New York City. But of course, we're not, as New York never slows down for a second, and keeping up with the hotel scene is like trying to start a conversation with a squirrel: the darn things just move too fast!
Anyway, this week saw the opening of two new hotel kitchens, and one of them is actually called Ktchn, though spelled without the "i" for extra cool points. That's the New American eatery adjacent to the lobby at The Out NYC, and, thankfully, Ktchn will be bean bag-free.
Hotel News / Hotel Deals / Gay Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Beds / Hotel Discounts / Hotel Bunk Beds / → All Tags
Funny how these hotel trends come and go. Just yesterday, we were philosophizing about the pluses and minuses of booking a hotel room with bunk beds, and then today comes an announcement from the guys at Out NYC about their new European hostel-inspiredSleep Share rooms. Can you guess what's inside the rooms? Bunk beds.
As of this week, the hotel has now made these rooms available as an alternative to the regular Deluxe, Deluxe Double and suite options. If you remember, one of the hotel's basic credos is for guests to stay, play, eat and chill. And there's no better way to accomplish that than a hostel-style shared room full of (hopefully, friendly) strangers.
The other obvious incentive, is, of course, the price.
Hotel Spas / Hotel Saunas / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Jacuzzis / Gay Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Hey look, the Out NYC has finally put the finishing touches on its Fire Island-themed, glass-roofed Revive Spa. The brand new wellness center, which includes a gym, treatment room, sauna, steam room, two jacuzzis and some cabanas, can now be enjoyed by guests (male or female, straight or otherwise) all summer long.
When we poked around on a recent weekday morning, we spotted a gentleman relaxing in one of the jacuzzi tubs. And what a way to start the day! The giant windows allow in plenty of light so it feels kind of like being outside; though since the entire bathhouse is enclosed, you're never really confronted with the noise from nearby Times Square. The thumping bass from neighboring XL nightclub, however, might be another story.
Take a look at our photos below!
Cool Hotel Jobs / Gay Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Art / Hotel Lobbies / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
Now in its second month of soft opening, things are only just starting to heat up at the Out NYC. After recently speaking with the hotel's GM, David Lopez, we learned the hotel's big opening is actually scheduled for Gay Pride in June, when a full-force grand opening bash will kick the "straight-friendly urban resort" into high gear for the summer season.
But that's not all. We also learned that Out NYC is planning to hire what they're calling a "cultural guru" to steer the direction of the brand as a whole and curate interesting partnerships among leaders in the fields of art, fashion, design and architecture. Sounds a little like those "connoisseurs" that St. Regis likes to hire. Except the Out NYC is much smaller, and has much more of a targeted audience.
So what exactly does the Out NYC have in mind for its cultural guru? Read on to find out!
HotelChatter Reviews / Gay Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Beds / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Design / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Take a look at the renderings on the front page of The Out NYC's website, and you'll see: spacious, well-lit rooms; a big flashy facade; and dazzling green outdoor spaces with plenty of smiling folks. But, as we've seen before, shiny images on a hotel's website aren't always the best indicator of what actually goes on there. And in the case of The Out NYC, which we assumed would be in full-on party mode to celebrate its grand opening, things were admittedly a little more subdued than we expected.
We showed up right on the dot at 2pm, following the advice of a Front Desk agent we had spoken to a few days earlier, who had recommended we arrive early to ensure a better room. We had actually taken part in a social media promotion gimmick that promised a free room upgrade to anyone who tweeted about their stay prior to coming, or shared the news on Facebook, prior to arrival. We opted to tweet it on our private account—we're sell-outs, we know.
Here's your first look at The Out NYC, New York's first-ever "straight-friendly" hotel, which opened this past weekend after a rainbow ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.
Our full review of the hotel is coming later in the week, but we thought we'd share this snapshot of the hotel's interior courtyard, which is lined with astroturf, framed by funhouse-like mirrors, and dotted with over a dozen brightly colored beanbag chairs.
At first, we found this cute. Then, upon realizing our room faced directly onto the courtyard, we started to feel a little exposed. No music, no bar, no scene—just an eerily quiet, slightly exaggerated looking playpen. And then we were welcomed with a packet of gummi bears (packaged in a plastic mini hard hat, to apologize for the ongoing construction). Quickly, we realized we'd arrived at New York's newest daycare center, dressed up like a hotel.
Yup, after quite some build up, The OUT NYC is slowly stepping out into the spotlight. And as we predicted last summer, the first part of the hotel to open will be XL Nightclub, the 14,000 square foot cabaret and dance venue. And the grand opening event is tonight.
XL hopes to distinguish itself by filling two holes in the NYC gay nightlife scene: nightclub and cabaret. Frequent big-name house music DJs will get the crowds dancing, plus a proper stage and lighting have been installed to accommodate proper cabaret performances. Tonight's big attractions? Amanda Lepore (who took part in an ill-fated party at Gansevoort Park not so long ago), DJ Lady Bunny, and an open vodka bar from 10-11pm.