Madeline and the Ritz — How Hotels Influenced the Life and Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

The New-York Historical Society is a labyrinthine building, but it’s not hard to find Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, on view through October 19. You just follow the mob of kids (and trailing parents) to the enormous rendering of the Bemelmans’ red-headed imp that heralds the show. Read more

How Olivier Widmaier Picasso Turned the Sofitel New York Lobby into an Art Gallery

Olivier Widmaier Picasso looks the part. Or so it seemed at last night’s opening of Revealed, the exhibition of 30 photographs of 20th-century artists he curated for Sofitel.

With his compact build and energetic intensity there’s a passing 21st-century resemblance to his grandfather (his mother, Maya, is the daughter of Pablo Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter). And though a lawyer by training, his current interests orbit the art world. Read more

Renaissance Murals on the Ceiling: The Sherry-Netherland Lobby Gets a New Old Look

If you last visited the Sherry-Netherland hotel two or three decades ago – or even early last year – expect a jaw-drop moment when you next enter the lobby.

For nearly 40 years, the lobby ceiling – a parade of graceful arches stretching what seems a mile high – was white. Generations passing through assumed it was always so.But history buffs, Art Deco enthusiasts and Sherry aficionados with long memories (and even longer lives) know otherwise. Read more

What’s on View Across from Check-in? How the Quin Hotel Turned The Lobby Into an Art Gallery

where ny art 2 The lobby showpiece at The Quin hotel is an imposing 15-foot video art wall pieced together from flatpanel screens.

At its debut last fall, the hotel touted the flexibility of video art and announced the wall’s content would change like an art gallery, veering from original work commissioned by the hotel to pieces from, well, any era.

We’ve heard that one before, but the Quin meant it. When I stopped by this past weekend, the wall’s content was once again different from my previous visits. Read more

And The Oscar Goes To: NYC Hotels with Supporting Roles In the 2014 Academy Awards

No hotel has ever won an Oscar. But that does not mean hotels haven’t had close ties with the Academy Awards over the years. Read more

From Belle Epoch to Disco — How The Plaza Dressed Up for the 70s in “American Hustle”

From North by Northwest and Sleepless in Seattle to Crocodile Dundee, it’s hard to imagine a hotel with more Hollywood screen time than The Plaza. Last year alone the hotel racked up vivid cameos in The Great Gatsby and American Hustle. Read more

From E-books to Beyonce — The Best of the New at New York City Hotels, 2013 Edition

It’s time for my annual over-the-shoulder look at the year that was in New York City hotels.

If New York felt unusually crowded in 2013 there was good reason. The city hosted 54.3 million visitors, up from 52.7 in 2012 and nearly 20 million more than in 2002.

And while some of them no doubt stayed with friends, relatives and Airbnb, others helped fill the 30 million hotel room nights sold, up 1 million from 2012. The results? Visitors on average paid a pricey $296 a night, and hotels enjoyed an 87.8 percent occupancy rate. Read more

Where Did Beyonce Check In When She Wanted to Shoot a Sexy Music Video?

“I see music,” Beyonce declares in the press release for Beyonce, her new album of songs and videos released yesterday without the usual rev-up fanfare.

And what does Queen B see when she visualizes the music — and the story surrounding it — late at night? A room at The Standard Hotel, High Line branch.

Beyonce

Beyonce at the Standard

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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

Pass the Popcorn: What Movies Did Hotel Guests Watch in Their Rooms in September?

A hit in New York City hotel rooms.

A hit in New York City hotel rooms.

Last month the in-room pay-movie viewing habits of hotel-goers throughout the US, Canada and New York City were pretty much in lockstep. Guests tuned into the antics of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy (The Heat), Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx (White House Down), and Bradley Cooper and Zac Galifianiakis (The Hangover Part 3).

But what are we to make of the fact that The Bling Ring, a movie about light-fingered, celebrity-addled Los Angeles teens, was hit in New York hotel rooms but failed to make the Top Ten list across the nation and in Canada? Read more