The Merriest, Happiest Holiday Decorations at New York City Hotels, 2022 Edition

If we had choose just one word to describe the 2022 holiday season in New York City, we’d go with normal. And hey, after two years of pandemic craziness, normal sounds downright scintillating.

Lighting the way towards a blissful normalcy are the city’s hotels, dressed to dazzle whether you’re checking in — 6.5 million visitors were expected between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — or just checking them out, as we do every year. Camera in hand, we captured 11 deliciously decked halls, walls, and even sidewalks at hotels all over Manhattan — and added the city’s showpiece outdoor tree just because.

Happy Holidays! Read more

What We Loved at the 2022 Hotel Trade Fairs — And What You May See on Your Next Hotel Visit

For hotel design enthusiasts, a high point of the year is the annual arrival of BDNY, aka Boutique Design New York, and HX: The Hotel Experience, two big trade shows that camp out for a long, late-autumn weekend at Javits Center.

It’s the ultimate preview of coming attractions for hospitality geeks, a sneak peek at what you can expect to see in hotels before too, too long, from the latest trends in floor coverings, bedding and china to the latest lighting, mini-fridges and bathroom soap dispensers.

After two show-less years (both events were cancelled in 2020, and we missed 2021), we were thrilled to be back, roaming the caverns of Javits with notebook and camera. Here’s what caught our eye. Read more

Where Did The Queen Spend The Night When She Visited New York?

Queen Elizabeth II visited New York City three times during her 70-year reign, but she spent only one night at a New York City hotel. 

Her historic hotel stay occurred on October 21, 1957 during her first ever visit to the city. It should come as no surprise that the Queen and Prince Philip checked into the Waldorf Astoria, the mid-century, go-to hotel for presidents, potentates, popes and celebrities from A (Princess Astrid of Norway) to Z (Zsa Gabor). Read more

Sheraton New York Times Square Scores A Big Win Hosting the 2022 New York Democratic Convention

Ready to welcome a crowd: Sheraton Metropolitan Ballroom (Sheraton New York photo)

By Terry Trucco

When the New York Democratic Convention kicks off tonight at the Sheraton New York Times Square, it will be more than a political event. It marks the return of the high-profile party convention to a New York City hotel, the first since the pandemic sidelined large gatherings in March 2020. Read more

Hotel Obits, Part II: Six Notable NYC Hotels Closed Permanently By The Pandemic

By Terry Trucco

It was nearly two years ago that Covid muscled into New York City and shuttered more than 30 percent of the city’s 705 hotels — a significant number of them permanently.

Not every hotel that closed during the pandemic was a gem. But some are too notable to slip away without a few words of appreciation. Our first batch of hotel obituaries posted last fall with six Covid casualties we couldn’t let go without a send off.

Since then we’ve gathered a second batch — six more hotels that didn’t survive the pandemic but deserve one last look.  Read more

Eight NYC Hotels For Watching the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Pikachu and Eevee, new for 2021

In yet another happy step towards normalcy, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns to the streets of New York on November 25 for the 95th time.

It’s not clear how the city plans to designate this year’s outdoor viewing for those hearty souls hoping to take in the battalion of floats, marching bands and  airborne balloons (look for Pikachu and Eevee, Ada Twist, Scientist and Macy’s fetching reindeer Tiptoe leading this year’s crop of newbie inflatables).

As always, hotel rooms with parade views (and room service breakfasts) offer a serene alternative to a sidewalk teeming with humanity. Macy’s is still mapping out this year’s route, according to their website. But if recent years are any indication, the parade will march from Central Park West to Central Park South and down Sixth Avenue, aka Avenue of the Americas, to the Macy’s Herald Square mother ship.

That means eight hotels are situated directly along the parade route — two fewer than in 2019. Closed permanently due to the pandemic are Courtyard Marriott New York Herald Square, located steps from Macy’s, and the Excelsior, whose rooms overlooked the inflating of the balloons on Thanksgiving Eve.

Booking a parade-view room comes with a unique set of rules. Call the hotel directly (don’t even think about reserving online). Expect holiday pricing (the cheapest start at around $500 a night) and a three-night minimum. Another holiday quirk: the parade is meant to be seen from the street, so rooms on lower levels are most desirable. Just because a hotel faces Sixth Avenue doesn’t mean Astronaut Snoopy and Boss Baby will be visible from every window.

Here’s our 2021 list of hotels outfitted with parade-view rooms.  Read more

Farewell! Six Memorable NYC Hotels Closed Permanently By The Pandemic

The last 18 months have been a rough ride for New York City hotels. More than 30 percent of the city’s 705 properties shut down during the pandemic. And while dozens have reopened, it’s still anybody’s guess how many will ultimately return. What we do know is that at least 30 won’t be coming back, according to the Hotel Association of New York.

The hotels that checked out are a mixed bag of properties large and small, independents and chains, places you’ve never heard of and hotels so famous, so entrenched in New York City culture, that they seemed almost immortal. Not every shuttered hotel was a gem. But each provided employment for dozens of workers, paid taxes that supported the city, enlivened the neighborhood and extended hospitality, whether exemplary or less so, to some of the 66 million visitors who descend upon New York in a good year. And that doesn’t include the many locals checking in during a renovation, an altercation, a staycation or just after a long night.

With that, we offer our first batch of NYC hotel obituaries — six Covid casualties we couldn’t let disappear without a few words of appreciation. It won’t be our last. Read more

Which Hotel Restaurants Are On Board for NYC Restaurant Week 2021, Summer Edition?

NYC Restaurant Week returns July 19 to August 22. And like the city itself, RW Summer Edition is in far better shape than RWWinter Edition, which saw a sharp drop in participants and was limited to takeout and delivery meals. Read more

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

Get Delivery Or Takeout From A Hotel Restaurant During NYC Restaurant Week 2021

Call it the next best thing to room service.

NYC Restaurant Week, Winter Edition, the annual January blizzard of prix fixe lunches and dinners, has morphed into takeout and delivery meals through February 28, agreeably priced at $20.21. Read more