Returning in 2019: The Original Hotel Okura Lobby To Be Replicated in New Hotel

If you, like me, were saddened to learn about the demolition of the iconic Main Building of the Hotel Okura in 2015, there’s intriguing news. Tokyo’s Ashai Shimbun reports that the building’s midcentury lobby, widely hailed as a masterpiece of Japanese modernist architecture, is to be faithfully reproduced in the towering new Okura hotel that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, just in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Read more

Bon Appétit! These NYC Hotel Restaurants Are Celebrating French Restaurant Week

Bastille Day is right around the corner (Saturday, July 14 to be precise). And France is in the World Cup finals on Sunday. Do you need any more reasons to dig into French Restaurant Week 2018 in New York?

This year 22 restaurants around town encourage you to Eat Drink and Be French with three-course lunches for $25, three-course dinners for $38 or a special multi-course $178.89 prix fixe feast for two through July 15. Two are at hotels. Bon appétit. Read more

Four Hotel Rooftops Where You Can Still Find a Spot to Watch the Macy’s Fireworks Show

We’ll take the works!

Macy’s unleashes their patented July 4 ode to the rockets’ red glare, aka the Macy’s Fireworks Showtonight from a fleet of barges floating in the East River between 22nd and 42nd streets. That make Fireworks 2018 a three-borough spectacular, with viewing opportunities throughout much of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, provided there’s nothing tall to obstruct your view (good luck). Read more

Why You Should Find Out If Your Hotel Is Near a Construction Site Before You Book

What happens when you check into a hotel that’s next to a construction site?

I thought about this when I walked by the Franklin Hotel, an Upper East Side boutique, on a recent spring day. I hadn’t been by the hotel in a while and was astounded by what I saw. A futuristic 19-story glass-front apartment building was going up next door and at first glance I thought it had gobbled up the hotel. Read more

“American Gothic” Made Him Famous, But Grant Wood Also Created Art for Hotels

Everyone knows artist Grant Wood (1891-1942) for his iconic depiction of a deadpan Iowa farmer, pitchfork in hand, standing beside a stern, yellow-haired woman wearing an apron. But did you know that in 1932, just two years after he painted “American Gothic,” Wood created a series of murals portraying Iowa farm life for a hotel coffee shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Read more

Coming Soon: New Owners for The Plaza Hotel; What Will They Get for $600 Million?

If all goes as expected, The Plaza Hotel — overnight home to Christian Dior, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Beatles, backdrop to movies like North by Northwest and Crocodile Dundee and playground for the impish Eloise — is about to change hands once again for an eye-popping $600 million. It’s just not clear who the new owner will be. Read more

Sleep in a Green Room: What Are New York City’s Most Eco-Friendly Hotels?

With Earth Day on our mind, it’s time for a quick check of the greenest hotels in New York City.

The super-greens are hotels that have earned LEED certification, third party proof of adherence to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards set by the U.S Green Building Council. Read more

$125,000 for a Second-Hand Door? Bidders Pay Dearly for 52 Original Doors from the Hotel Chelsea

And to think they were destined for the dumpster.

On Thursday night, an auction was held for 52 original doors from the Hotel Chelsea that were discarded when renovation began in 2012 and harvested by a resourceful former homeless man. And prices shot through the proverbial roof.

To wild applause from bidders and onlookers in a packed Ricco/Maresca art gallery, a battered, whitewashed door to a room once occupied by singer/songwriter Bob Dylan sold for $125,000, eye-popping even for an item associated with a Nobel laureate. Read more

Up for Auction, 52 Hotel Chelsea Doors Opened by the Likes of Bob Dylan, Mark Twain and Janis Joplin

At the stroke of midnight on July 31, 2011, the Hotel Chelsea, the outrageous, art-filled property that checked in legendary guests like Tennessee Williams, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Madonna, closed its doors for a renovation that was supposed to last one year, an estimate that proved wildly optimistic. Nearly seven years on, the 1885 Queen Anne brick pile remains closed and under construction for its latest transformation — into a luxury hotel with condos, the default for fabled landmarks from the Plaza to the Waldorf Astoria. Read more

In an Unusual Sunday Press Release, Ace Hotels Announces Plans for an Oregon Forest Property

We’re always happy to hear about new hotels, particularly innovative properties with unexpected amenities. Which brings us to the news release we received today that Ace hotels plans to open their first forest outpost in West Linn, Oregon.

Billed as “an experiment in urban arcology,”  the planned Ace Hotel Hobbit House is set to open in Winter 2018. It will occupy a domed one unit property with a skylight built deep in the West Linn woods by a mime trained by Marcel Marceau who happens to be a self-taught designer and builder. Read more