Composer and Cabaret Artist Jimmy Roberts Performs at the Keyboard in Afterglow Series

Not so long ago, New York hotel bars were almost like supper clubs without the supper, a classic mix of martinis and live music, part Bobby Short, part Fabulous Baker Boys. For the price of a drink or two or three, a pianist, harpist or jazz trio would entertain you before you headed upstairs or back home. Read more

Hyatt’s New Hypo-Allergenic Rooms Help Guests With Allergies Breathe Easier

Once upon a time, no hotel room was complete without an ashtray. Non-smoking rooms eventually appeared and, voila, room categories were born.

Now the choices for guests booking at a small but growing number of hotels include a third category   — the hypo-allergenic room, cleansed within an inch of its life of nearly all surface and air-born impurities. For the estimated one in five people afflicted with allergies or asthma, this is news worth noting.

This month Hyatt became the first hotel chain to mount a grand-scale effort to purify its rooms – at least some of them. More than 60 full-service Hyatts currently offer the brand’s new Respire Hypo-Allergenic rooms, including the Andaz Fifth Avenue, Andaz Wall Street and Grand Hyatt, whose entire 29th floor is pure Respire, in New York. Read more

Now Playing at the Crosby Street: A Hip Sunday Night Film Club at a SoHo Hotel

Almost as many New York City hotels have screening rooms as spas. But it’s a lot easier to visit a hotel spa than to settle in with a bag of popcorn for a movie in a hotel screening room. Read more

Socialites, Lapsang Soochang and Carla Bruni — A Night at The Carlyle

The uniformed attendants posted behind a discrete desk in the grand black-and-white lobby were impeccably polite.  But check-in wasn’t unspooling quite as I expected. The man next to me, owner of a blue blazer and a belligerent British accent, waved a sheet of paper and demanded to know what the devil these bloody charges were.

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What Does the 2010 Michelin Guide Think of NYC Hotel Restaurants?

We don’t own a car, and we definitely don’t spend much time thinking about tires.  But as long-time fans of London’s Bibendum restaurant and follower of the red-coated Michelin restaurant guides, the French tire maker and its well-padded mascot have insinuated themselves into our lives. Read more

The Paramount Tweaks its Signature Lobby — Again

Last year Time Square’s Paramount hotel underwent major surgery.  And not a moment too soon.  Once quirky and cool, the Paramount was conceived in the early 1990s by hotelier Ian Schrager and designer Philippe Starck as the hotel equivalent of Target, offering chic on the cheap. A decade later, cheap had trounced chic, and the place was a dirty, neglected mess. Read more

The Royalton’s Un-extreme (Visual) Makeover — Or Did They Really Do Anything to the Place?

Hotels are notorious for tardiness when it comes to everything from opening their doors to refurbishing the lobby. But not the Royalton. Read more

Matilda Meets the Marriott: The Algonquin Gets a New Partner

Matilda memorabilia in the lobby memory cabinet.

Matilda memorabilia in the lobby memory cabinet.

You’d never know it to look at them, but the Marriott Marquis, a brute, 1980s John  Portman behemoth, and the Algonquin, a demure, history-drenched Edwardian, share something besides easy proximity to Times Square. Read more

Are Those Designer Condoms in the Mini-Bars at Thompson Hotels?

Fashion Week may be history, but designers haven’t stopped unveiling their newest creations. Read more

Touring The Waldorf=Astoria, From the Kitchens to the Mirrors of Versaille

The towering Waldorf=Astoria.

On a visit to the Waldorf=Astoria, I saw a notice for history tours of the hotel offered every Thursday and Saturday morning at 11:30.

Not many hotels boast sufficient history or chutzpah to warrant a tour priced at $50 a person (they do throw in lunch). Besides, the Waldorf devotes four bulging lobby display cases to memorabilia, from place settings for royal dinners to photos of illustrious guests, like Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Bruce Springsteen. What more could there possibly be? Read more