An Under-The-Radar Supporting Role For The Mark Hotel In “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

OscarHotels don’t win Academy Awards, but that hasn’t kept New York City hotels from landing in movies that get nominated. 

Consider 2013, when NYC hotels had close-ups in three movies chasing Oscars –Best Picture contenders The Great Gatsby and American Hustle which showcased extravagant, if wildly different, interiors at The Plaza, and Blue Jasmine (Best Actress, Cate Blanchett), which features a contentious argument shot near the big clock in front of the erstwhile Tribeca Grand (now the Roxy Hotel Tribeca).

Only one New York City hotel is in the running for reflected glory when the 93rd Academy Awards air on Sunday, April 25, and it’s on screen for less than five minutes. But the scene filmed in a suite at The Mark won instant notoriety when Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Sacha Baron Cohen’s cheeky mockumentary, debuted in October. It wasn’t for the interior design. Read more

The Famous Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock, Now Marking Time At The New-York Historical Society

On March 1, 2017, the Waldorf Astoria — the fabled “Host to the World” where room service, Eggs Benedict and Waldorf Salad were invented and where every president from Hoover to Obama spent the night — shut its massive doors for a gut renovation that was supposed to take two to three years.

We’re still awaiting the hotel’s reopening — and not holding our breath, because who wants to unveil a billion dollar renovation during a pandemic? 

But for Waldorf aficionados starved for a glimpse of Park Avenue’s Art Deco beauty, the New-York Historical Society offers a tantalizing teaser. Standing just past the check-in desk in an arched alcove is the Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock, the 19th-century tour-de-force feast of walnut, mahogany, marble and copper that greeted hotel guests for over 85 years and was renowned as a popular interior landmark as in “Meet me by the clock.” Read more

The Met Museum Returns With New Shows, A Fresh Look And A Friendly Attitude

I missed the Metropolitan Museum of Art a lot during the nearly six months it was shuttered due to Covid 19. Turns out the Met missed me right back, along with the 7.36 million guests who visit annually.

As I reached the entrance for a preview last week, fresh from my temperature check, I was greeted by Met Director Max Hollein, who was handing out wrapped Water Lilies masks to visitors. The love continued as I entered the Great Hall. “Welcome back!” exclaimed staffers everywhere I looked. “Enjoy your visit!” I heard as I was clicked through. It took every ounce of restraint not to yell Yippee! Read more

A Starring Role For Brooklyn’s William Vale Hotel in Ailey II’s Spirited New Dance Video

Touring is a big part of the job for members of Ailey II, the ebullient company of next generation modern dancers affiliated with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Tuskegee, Alabama; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Bonn, Germany are just a few of the 13 international cities the 12-person troupe has visited already this year.

So we think it’s inspired that the company chose a hotel — the Brooklyn-cool William Vale, no less — as a backdrop for the new video promoting their upcoming New York season at Ailey Citicorp Theater, which was to open on March 25 but may be rescheduled for later in the spring.  Read more

Holiday Decorations that Look Good Enough to Eat at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

We’re partial to holiday decorations displayed at New York City hotels. But this year we couldn’t resist including the edible art on view at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, a spirited creation with an unexpected link to New York City. Read more

Show of Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks Brings Time Travel to Sofitel New York Lobby

Call it the ultimate trunk show.

Stroll quickly through the lobby of the Sofitel New York, and you may think you’ve wandered into a Louis Vuitton showroom. But look closely at the array of travel trunks artfully parked atop side tables, tucked below the flower-filled console and stacked under a winding staircase, and it’s clear you won’t see these items circling on a baggage carousel.

The trunks are vintage Vuitton, the kind that sell for multiple thousands of dollars. A relatively common sight if you traveled First Class in the luxury liner/grand hotel days, they now show up mainly in stylish houses as eye-catching coffee tables, foyer consoles and foot-of-the-bed storage. And while these durable hard cases still look at home in a hotel, especially one that sports marble floors, wood paneling and French management, they’re a pop-up exhibition saluting “The Golden Age of Travel.” Read more

The New York Hotel You’ve Never Heard Of That Inspired Georgia O’Keeffe’s Skyscraper Paintings

On a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I chanced upon Georgia O’Keeffe’s panoramic painting from 1928 of the East River. A muted geometry of belching factory smokestacks and brackish water, it’s the elegant, if downbeat, work of an artist becoming visibly disillusioned with urban life, a good-bye-to-all-that rendering of the city she’d soon abandon.

But what really caught my attention was the title “East River from the Shelton Hotel.” Read more

Sofitel New York Salutes the 2019 Tony Awards with Lobby Photos, a Tony Awards Suite, a Cher Show Suite and More

The 2019 Tony Awards unfurl Sunday, April 9, yielding eagerly awaited answers to pressing questions: Hadestown or Tootsie? Oklahoma or Kiss Me Kate? And what about Jeremy Pope, who’s nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Play (Choir Boy) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Ain’t Too Proud)?

Sofitel New York doesn’t have the answers (yet). But their lobby, decked out in full Tony regalia through June 10, is a great place to put yourself in the mood for the Tonys if you don’t have a ticket for the big show at Radio City Music Hall. Read more

W Downtown Dresses Up Their Bar With Art By Their Newest Artists In Residence

The fifth floor Living Room at W Downtown boasts a showpiece ceiling, an attention grabbing sculptural canopy of Calatrava-style ripples. It even changes colors. But since the introduction of the hotel’s Artist in Residence program in December 2018, the ceiling is getting serious competition from the room’s charcoal walls, or to be precise, what’s hanging on them. Read more

Celebrating Winter: These Four NYC Hotels Are Going All Out for “Game of Thrones” in Its Final Season

It may feel like spring, but winter is here. Or for Game of Thrones fans who are keeping score, 67 episodes down, 6 to go.

The fantastical Westeros saga returns to HBO on April 14 for its final chapters. Lannisters! Targaryens! Dragons (dead and alive)! These four New York City hotels are toasting all things Thrones with a mix of viewing parties, themed drinks, trivia contests and deals for guests looking to take in the action from someplace other than the living room couch. Read more