NYC Hotels to Check Out – or Into – for The Fourth of July


237 may not be a Big Moment birthday, like a bi- or tri-centennial, but hey, how many people do you know who have reached it?

Countries are another story, but we love July 4 and so, it seems, do these hotels. All offer something, like a spot for taking in the fireworks, viewing the sport of competitive eating or just gazing at Lady Liberty on a red-white-and-blue-letter day.


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Why Is The Plaza All Wrapped Up To Look Like The Plaza?

Seems it wasn’t that long ago – 2005, to be precise – that The Plaza closed for major refurbishments inside and out. The spruced up property reopened with a flourish in 2008 housing hotel rooms, condominiums and a high-end shopping mall that has since morphed into the wildly – and deservedly – popular Plaza Food Hall and Todd English Food.

So why is this 1907 landmark swaddled in a pale white scrim, the kind that signals heavy-duty construction work instead of an artwork by Christo? Read more

An Impromptu Grab ‘n Go at The New York Palace

Grab 'n go at the Palace.

Grab ‘n go at the Palace.

Here’s a picture you won’t be able to take at the New York Palace come September. “Well, hopefully not,” as a staff member put it.

If all goes as planned, the end of summer will herald the end of the hotel’s $100 million renovation. Read more

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

Seems it was only yesterday we were 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 we visited the Hudson to check out Hudson Common, the newish beer and burger court, we 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, we discovered it was gone. Had it been moved? Read more

What’s the Most Expensive US City for Travelers This Summer?

Move over, Manhattan. The most expensive American city for travelers this summer is Honolulu.

This isn’t to say New York City is a bargain; it comes in number 2 in the third annual Tripadvisor Tripindex guide, which lists the 10 priciest and 10 cheapest US cities for travelers. Still, this is one index where first place isn’t coveted. Read more

Is Hotel Room Service on the Way Out — And Do You Care?

The news last week that the New York Hilton-Midtown plans to stop offering room service later this summer was a shocker. Envisioning a big player like the 1,980-room Hilton without food-bearing, cart-pushing servers is, at first blush, like imagining a hotel without fresh towels or porters or doors that lock.

Room service has been a basic amenity since it was popularized by the Waldorf Hotel, the 1893 forebear of the Waldorf=Astoria.

I know I’m a fan. I can recall a litany of memorable room service deliveries from a romantic breakfast for two at the Four Seasons New York, complete with a rolling white-clothed table bearing lemon ricotta pancakes nestled in a warming cupboard, to the midnight coffee – in a silver pot next to an orchid in a bud vase – my jetlagged husband and I poured happily at Honolulu’s Royal Hawaiian. Read more

The Paramount Lobby Gets a New Look — Again

I can’t think of any New York City hotel lobby that’s had more redesigns in recent years than the Paramount, the 1920s French Renaissance pile in the Theater District. Read more

Is This New York City’s Worst Hotel for Singles?

You’re looking at a picture of the Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side. Is this the worst place to stay in New York City if you’re single?

It is according to a survey that asked singles to identify the top New York City hotels to be avoided by unattached men and women looking for a good time. Read more

Pass the Popcorn: What Were the Most Watched Movies in Hotel Rooms in May 2013?

We’ve been Passing the Popcorn for well over a year, and the latest results gave us our first movie flip. Identity Thief, April’s second most popular hotel room movie in both the US and Canada and in New York City, came in first in both categories in May. And April’s Number 1, Jack Reacher, landed in second in both the US and Canada and NYC this time around. Read more