Meet “Naughty Angels,” An Art Show By Jimmie Martin That’s Making Mischief at The Surrey Hotel

If you’ve ever stopped by the art-filled Surrey Hotel on the Upper East Side, you’ve probably noticed Graffiti Armoire, a curvy legged, scrawl-covered antique chest that stands near a commanding Chuck Close tapestry portrait of Kate Moss.

The sassy black and white cabinet was created by the Swedish-born design team of Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlmann, aka Jimmie Martin, and is usually closed. But for now, a door is flung open, revealing a slick chili pepper red interior and a glass shelf holding a distinctly uncherubic silver cherub checking his flip phone. Dubbed Cardinal NYC, he sports a cigarette, a red skullcap, a cross dangling from a heavy chain and wings. Read more

Cheers! The Savoy’s Stylish Cocktail Menu That Doubles as a Collectible

When my daughter was little she had a Harry Potter book with pop-up pictures of Hogwarts, Hagrid, Hermione and the gang that, truth to tell, I looked at more than she did. She’s still too young to drink legally, so people like me must be the intended audience for the latest twist in cocktail culture — the pop-up picture cocktail menu. Read more

Teapots from The Plaza, Teaspoons from the Waldorf: Why Collectors Love Hotel Silver

A neighbor who knows I write about hotels recently invited me to her home. “My mother collected hotel demitasse spoons,” she said.

A Jazz Age actress and flapper, Mom liked to take tea at posh spots like the Ritz Carlton in Boston and New York’s Savoy Plaza. Read more

Where the Swells Stayed — A New Pictorial History of the Waldorf Astoria

Nothing promotes time travel like a grand hotel. Step inside and you’re whisked to another era where you can imagine yourself trading stories with Winston Churchill or Grace Kelly, Cole Porter or the Duchess of Windsor, albeit with locally sourced menus and WiFi.

New York’s Waldorf Astoria is one of these full-throttle time machines. If walking into its soaring Art Deco lobby doesn’t deposit you in 1931 or 1945 or whatever 20th-century moment you crave, Waldorf Astoria, a new book by William Alan Morrison should do the trick (Arcadia Publishing; $21.99). Read more

Keeping Goldilocks Happy: Four Seasons Hotels Rolls Out New Customized Beds

Guests at five-star hotels expect a cushy bed when they’re tucked in for the night. Still, the vaunted Four Seasons mattress comes with an extra sprinkling of fairy dust. Read more

Want a Bedtime Best Seller? A Hotel Where Guests Read E-books Hot Off the Presses

Reads on the Road

Reads on the Road

It’s no fluke that libraries are the go-to amenity at smart hotels. Books and travel go together like gin and tonic, airplanes and airports, pillows and pillowcases.

70 Park Avenue, a stylish hotel in a 1920s building south of Grand Central Station, is New York’s latest hotel to go literary but with a twist. Read more

How Marriott’s UK Hotels Turn Worn-Out Hotel Sheets into Tote Bags with Style

Marriott's Sweet Dream tote.

Marriott’s Sweet Dream tote.

Anyone who’s had the misfortune of sleeping on hotel sheets that were ripped or frayed knows that bed linens don’t last forever. Sixty washes constitutes a lifetime for a sheet. Read more

RIP Semi-Automatic — Hudson Hotel Quietly Retires Its Vending Machine

Hudson's semi-automatic.

Hudson’s semi-automatic.

Seems it was only yesterday I was reporting the arrival of the Semi-Automatic, the Hudson hotel’s cool vending machine. You may recall it as the one stocked with gold-plated handcuffs, Haute Hippie sequin miniskirts and Ouiji boards instead of Doritos and M & Ms.

But today when I visited the Hudson to check out Hudson Common, the newish beer and burger court, I got a shock. Strolling over to the Semi-Automatic to see if it was still selling Equinox Derringer bikes (for $2,300) or, more realistically, toothbrushes, I discovered it was gone. Had it been moved? Read more

Need a Last-Minute Holiday Gift? These NYC Hotel Shops Want to Help

As hotels have edged into endeavors that have nothing to do with lodging – art galleries! screening rooms! bingo nights! – retail scores high as a splashy extracurricular effort.  With Barneys edging out Walgreens as a role model, it can be easier to find a one-of-a-kind necklace than a newspaper – remember those? – in the shop adjacent to the lobby.

This can be a good thing as the holidays move into full swing. We set out on an informal shopping spree, camera in hand, and came up with a sampling of items that would look good under a tree, from stocking stuffers to big ticket.

Behold, the first annual Overnight New York holiday gift guide. Read more