A First Look at Hotel Belleclaire’s Renovated Retro Lobby

Be seated.

Be seated.

For years the lobby at the Belleclaire bothered me.

The Belleclaire was the W of its day, as cool as they came in 1903. Read more

Another Unexpected Cameo for the Hotel Carter on “Smash”

The ratings may be tanking, but someone on the production end of Smash, NBC’s Broadway soap, has a wicked sense of humor.

To boil things down if you don’t follow the show, in Episode 12, Bombshell, a musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe, opens at last to thunderous applause and, alas, mixed reviews. Read more

Why Are So Many NYC Hotels Tweaking Their Names?

Is the hottest New York hotel amenity a new name?

Consider: In recent months Stay morphed into Night Times Square (never mind that the original Night Hotel is just two blocks away). And the Sheraton New York Hotel & Tower changed its name to Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel (never mind that it’s not all that close to Times Square). Read more

A Room Where You’ll See The Candidates On Election Night

Every city that’s home to an election-night political candidate, from mayor to POTUS, has at least one hotel you’ve seen a lot even if you’ve never been inside. Read more

Mingling With Giles Bensimon’s Elles in the Lobby at the Sofitel New York

What hotel wouldn’t kill to bring Charlize Theron, Cindy Crawford, Naomie Campbell, Christy Turlington, Uma Thurman, Ines de La Fressange, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears (on a good day) together in one room?

The prize goes to the Sofitel New York. It got the job done, never mind that the women are present in photographs taken by French photographer Gilles Bensimon. Read more

A Raid on the Helly Nahmad Gallery at The Carlyle Hotel

It’s no mystery why hotels want shops on their properties almost as much as restaurants and bars.

The best keep guests entertained (and on the premises), attract additional visitors (who may migrate to the restaurant or bar) and impart a patina of prestige to the property, not to mention forking over rent.

But things can go horribly wrong, as the Carlyle Hotel discovered today. Read more

Harvey Wallbangers at the Pierre? Checking out the TwoE Bar’s New Retro Drinks Menu

It seems some retro drinks, like Manhattans, Gimlets and Sidecars, have never gone away. Then there’s the Harvey Wallbanger.

As the story goes, this time-warp riff on the Screwdriver made with vodka, orange juice and the Italian liqueur Galliano was invented in 1952 by mixologist Donato “Duke” Antone and popularized during the bellbottom era by a savvy Galliano salesman. (Consider: Megan Draper serves Galliano to her New Year’s Eve guests in the Season Six opening episode of Mad Men.) Read more

Stay No More — A New Name for a Times Square Hotel

Stay into Night.

Stay into Night.

Having two hotels two blocks apart from each other with same name sounds confusing. But that’s exactly what Vikram Chatwal and the folks at Wyndham Hotels did late last month. Read more

Are Those Vitamins In the Minibar at The Standard?

Hotel minibars make me think of good times, not good for you. (M&Ms for $7, too, but that’s another story.)

But the minibars at the Standard hotels — including the Standard High Line and Standard East Village in New York – are tweaking what’s good, or at least what you’d imagine to be good in an in-room stash. Read more

Pass the Popcorn: What Movies did Hotel Guests Watch Most During March 2013?

I can see why producers want their movies to win Academy Awards. They stick around in secondary markets like hotel rooms and make money. Witness last month’s stats for hotels across the US and Canada and in New York City: five of the top ten in-room movies were Best Picture nominees. Read more