7 Hotels That Spin It For Bike Riders

New York isn’t Amsterdam. But since 1993, the addition of 100 miles of greenway paths has changed life for bike lovers. We wouldn’t recommend plowing into midtown traffic unless you’re Tour de France fit  – or a bike messenger. But the city’s growing network of bike lanes offers savvy riders a fun, pollution-free way to get from Point A to Point B and take in the sights that whirl by.

These five properties (plus bonus mentions) lead the growing band of hotels that house bikes to lend or rent to guests. (Condolences to the Hotel Gansevoort Meatpacking District, whose fleet of Puma bikes was stolen and, as of this writing, has not been replaced). Read more

Help! I Need a Room For A Last-Minute Summer Visit

Q.  I know New York in August is no picnic, but that’s when I can come in from Baltimore for a three-night weekend. (Baltimore in August is not so great, either.) I don’t want to break the bank, but I’d like a hip hotel with some style. Since I always stay in midtown when I come in for work, I want to be downtown this time.  Any ideas? Read more

More Light (for now) at Le Parker Meridien, or What Happens When They Knock Down the Building Next Door

For a short time, you can see Le Parker Meridien as it hasn’t been seen in years. Or to put it another way, the south side of West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues looks like a wide smile with a tooth missing. Read more

60’s Redux: Sipping Classic Mai Tai — with an Umbrella! — at the Pierre

When we strolled into the Two E Bar at the Pierre, a glamorous, windowless, black-and-white lounge with silk throw pillows on the banquettes, we never dreamed we’d wind up with a dark orange drink sporting an orchid and a paper umbrella. But atop our black-lacquered cocktail table stood a flier announcing the Two E Tiki Festival. Read more

Ricard Cocktails and Parisian Punch: Two NYC Hotels Celebrating Bastille Day Sip By Sip

It’s July 14, and ten days after celebrating the red, white and blue, we cheer the blue, white and red. Where to go if you’re feeling French today and can’t make it to the President’s garden party at the Palais de Elysee?

Sofitel New York seems an obvious choice (the world knows about its French connections). And it doesn’t disappoint. At Gaby, the hotel’s French-inflected restaurant named for one Gabrielle Chanel, live music by a French Canadian band plays from 5 pm to 9 pm. The chef has prepared a special amuse bouche featuring cheeses and prociutto. And Ricard, the anise flavored liquor that’s a French national drink, flows, if not freely, then at a special price — $5 straight, $7 Ricard cocktails. (Created in 1932 in Marseille by Paul Ricard, it’s blended from Chinese star anise, Syrian licorice and herbs from Provence.)

The Carlton isn’t as obviously French as the Sofitel, but it’s home to Millesime, the Frenchest hotel brasserie in town. In a salute to Bastille Day, a jazz band plays in the hotel lobby from 5 pm to 7 pm. From 7 pm on, the music moves to the Millesime salon, a stylish wood-paneled lounge where guests can sip champagne or down a French-inspired libation like the $16 Gige (Plymouth gin, St Germain elderflower liquor, lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, soda and fresh grapes) and Parisian Punch (house-made orange spice brandy, Haymans gin, apple cider, pineapple, cranberry and lemon juice) served in cut-glass cups for two or more ($42).

And when darkness falls, glance up at the Empire State Building. No fireworks, but it’s lighted in blue, white and red.





Is The Hotel Check-in Desk Dead — And Does It Matter?

The massive, inquisition-style check-in desk, once as basic to hotels as beds, pillows and running water, occupies a spot high on the endangered amenity list. But so, in some cases, do check-in staff members. Read more

Sidecars, Cosmos and Harvey Wallbangers: Drinking Up Eight Decades of Cocktails at The Barclay

Sounds like a riff on Long Island Iced Tea, ie mix ½ ounce of everything. But instead of a single drink we’re discussing one from each decade from the 1920s through the 1990s.

This summer the bar at the Barclay Intercontinental New York is serving up a Decades Cocktail Hour, weekdays from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Mondays celebrate the 1920s (Sidecar) and 1930s (French 75). Tuesdays relive the 1940s (Bellini) and 1950s (Harvey Wallbanger). Wednesday, the 1960s, is Vodka Martini night. Thursdays salute the 1970s with Caiparinhas. Fridays usher in the 1980s (Tequila Sunrise) and the 1990s (Cosmopolitan). At $8 a drink, pricing is retro, too, at least for a New York hotel bar. Read more

Fresh Flowers — The Ultimate Hotel Freebie For All — At The Plaza

I love hotel freebies, the kind you get when you walk through the door. A great looking lobby generously appointed with sofas and chairs? Check. Read more

On the Road: Sipping a Highlands Margarita at the Highlands Inn in Carmel, California

It sounds like a mixed metaphor, but no, we’re talking mixed drinks – one of the coolest drinks I’ve had this summer. Read more