10128 Travel Guide
Once upon a time, The Surrey touted itself as the only rooftop bar on the Upper East Side (excluding the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is, after all, a museum. And therefore doesn't qualify). But since early June, a rooftop bar on top of the Hotel Wales has laid waste to that claim, creating some much-needed competition for the upscale 'hood.
The above shot of Carnegie View, as the bar is officially known, illustrates exactly what we like so much about uptown hotel rooftops: no overbearing skyscrapers, awesome sunsets, and views of the famed Central Park reservoir. And maybe, if we're lucky, a shot of wheatgrass?
Last week, a small sign planted on a sidewalk called our attention to a new health-centric eatery located inside a boutique hotel. No, there was no hipster scene-y appeal, nor did the eatery have some hot celebrity chef's name attached to it. But we like to think of the Juicy Naam—a popular Long Island-based raw food and juice bar that quietly opened inside the Upper East Side's Hotel Wales last month—as Madison Avenue's answer to The Donut Plant.
Museum Hotels / Guggenheim Museum / Hotel Packages / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Art / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / → All Tags
One of our favorite art exhibitions of the last few years was at London's Tate Modern, when installation artist Carsten Höller built silver tube slides into the museum's atrium and actually allowed patrons to experience them.
Now that Carsten is scheduled to show in New York at The Guggenheim, what kind of fun interactive toy will us Yankees get?
Höller is installing a hotel room! Like London's slides, the room will be interactive, welcoming guests nightly through a partnership with the Waldorf=Astoria Collection. Although reservations just opened, sadly they are already sold out; we will just have to hope that some lucky sleeper thinks to video blog the experience. And what an experience:
Revolving Hotel Room is an art installation comprising three outfitted, superimposed turning glass discs mounted onto a fourth disc that all turn harmoniously at a very slow speed. During the day the hotel room will be on view as part of the Guggenheim's theanyspacewhatever exhibition, which runs from October 24, 2008-January 7, 2009. At night, the art installation becomes an operative hotel room outfitted with luxury amenities.
The Franklin Hotel, considered one of the gems of Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, recently announced they've completed a year-long renovation.
Just around the corner from Central Park, the unbelievable shopping on Madison Avenue, and the famous Museum Mile (which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Museo del Barrio, The Jewish Museum, and the very cool Cooper Hewitt), this little hotel -- only 50 rooms -- has more than just a central location to brag about. There are loads of new touches to the overall decor, rooms, and service.
Among the new renovations are spacious rooms turned out in tasteful, muted colors, and the amenities are many: Flat screen LCD-TVs, Bvlgari bath products, Frette terry robes, rain-head showers, Egyptian linens, iPod-/iHome-compatible clock-radios, free shoe shines and newspapers, free local phone calls (Hi, Mom!), and New York Sports Club access -- so you can work off the high-end booze in the mini bar. Oh, and bring Fido, too. The hotel is pet-friendly.
As if that isn't enough, you can stuff your face in style. There's a comp European breakfast buffet, a daily artisanal cheese-and-wine tasting, and 24-hour self-service espresso and cappucino, in case you get a little drowsy after sampling all that fromage and vino.
The only downer? The hotel is still charging a daily $12 service fee.
Last week we let you know about a "Good Neighbor" policy at the Franklin Hotel on the Upper East Side. UES residents are entitled to a 15 percent discount off the hotel's best available rate. We found one for Friday night for $319 but a tipster let us know that the hotel adds on a $12 charge to the room rate.
Here's what he wrote in to us:
if you look closely on their website you will see all their so-called free amenities are not so free after all. They charge a $12 per night service fee on top of your room and tax. That fee is not calculated in your total until check out.
Most likely, that 15 percent off is saving you the hotel fee and some of the crazy New York City taxes. But if you're an out-of-towner, you're forced to pony up the whole shebang.
We're not sure how you feel but we think that hotels who have such added (sometimes called "resort") fees should just lump it into the hotel room rate and spare us all the itemized details.
Let us know how you feel about these types of hotel fees.
· It Pays to be a 'Good Neighbor' at the Franklin Hotel [HotelChatter]
· Ritz Carlton's Ritzy Cancellation Fee [HotelChatter]
Just like JDV's Locals Only Offer at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, The Franklin Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side is offering The Good Neighbor Policy which is a 15 percent discount off the best available room rate, all year round.
This is probably a good idea for when guests are in town and you can't seem to squeeze any more people onto the pull-out couch in your shoebox apartment. Instead, have them help you out with your hotel room here. The Franklin only has 49 rooms, so it gives off a bit of a residential feel ("home away from home") with detailed decorations like:
European antiques, crystal chandeliers, original mosaics, and Cowtan and Tout wallpapers.
Thankfully, there's no scary floral bedspreads here. Additionally, the hotel has complimentary European breakfast each morning and wine reception in the evening.
However, there are some so-so reviews on TripAdvisor with a few citing the breakfast, the tiny rooms, the out-of-the-way location (if you're trying to do some mid-town sightseeing), and the noisy elevator as the hotel's faults.
But the staff was described as professional and helpful and the rooms are stocked with the newest amenities. Plus the hotel manages to beat the NYC hotel average rate of $400+ for a weekend night with a rate of $319.
And if you look real close, you will see that the hotel "guest" in the picture above does not suffer from any suitcase OCD at all.
Another picture of the hotel room after the jump.