Posts

Farewell Alex Calderwood, Creator of Ace Hotels

Every decade or so, someone comes along and tweaks the way hotels look and do what they do.

In the 1970s, London designer Anouska Hemphill transformed a pair of run-down South Kensington townhouses into Blakes, the template for the one-of-a-kind boutique hotel with a sumptuous, ethnic-inflected aura and rooms so exotically dressed – puddled silk curtains, midnight colors — guests (usually) forgave the miniscule dimensions. Read more

What Are New York City’s Best Hotel Restaurants?

This month Michelin and Zagat had their say. Which hotel restaurants did these reviewing heavyweights smile upon?

The Modus Operandi differ sharply between the two guides. That said, you’ll see many of the same names in both. Read more

Want to Pay $100 for a New York City Hotel Room?

Central Park after dark.

$200 a night: Central Park view at The Roger.

You’ll have to come to town in January.

But 12 hotels are offering rooms for $100 during the third annual New York Hotel Week, January 3 through 12, 2014.

Another $100 gets you 14 hotels in a spiffier range. And for $300 you can sample a pair of boutique hotels normally in the $400-plus range. Can Brooklyn Hotel Week be far behind? 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

Feed Me: Michelin and Zagat Pick Their Top Hotel Restaurants for 2013

October isn’t normally thought of as the start of a new year – unless you’re publishing a restaurant guide. This month biggies Michelin and Zagat unveiled their 2013 guides to New York City restaurants. As always, we snapped up copies (yes, we still like paper guides).

How did New York’s hotel restaurants fare? Read more

Hey, Bud! Here’s What’s Blooming in Hotel Lobbies Around New York This Spring

Roses at Jumeirah Essex House.

“Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.” We hear you, Miranda Priestly. But strolling through a half dozen or so hotel lobbies, we couldn’t resist whipping out a camera and celebrating spring with flowers. Read more

Trip Advisor Rounds Up Its Best Hotels of 2012: How Did NYC Hotels Fare?

We don’t know whether to be befuddled or embarrassed. We’re pretty partial to New York City hotels, but not a single one – not one! – landed on Trip Advisor’s annual Travel’s Choice list of the 25 Best Hotels in the World list published yesterday.

New York did better last year, when the city offered fewer rooms but apparently played to more enthusiastic Trip Advisor users.  Though none made the cut for the top 25 international hotels in 2011, the plucky Casablanca in Times Square rolled in at number eight for best in the US. Alas, it – and every place else here in town – was shut out of that list this time. Read more

Where do Rock Stars Crash When They Play New York, Paris or Louisville, Kentucky? ‘Rock & Roll Hotels,’ a New Guide Book, Tells All

Sex, drugs and fluffy pillows. Think about it, dude. Rock musicians spend a lot of time on the road. The lucky ones score suites in some of the world’s best hotels. Those that don’t often crash in intriguingly oddball places. And things happen. Rooms get trashed. TVs get tossed into the pool. Harleys get driven into the lobby. Read more

Best of the New: What We Saw And Loved at NYC Hotels in 2011

images-2By the time 2011 morphed into a memory at the stroke of midnight, New York City boasted an unprecedented 90,000 hotel rooms. But the year that was didn’t just set records. If 2011 was a wine we’d raise a glass (and buy several cases). Read more

Need a Last-Minute Holiday Gift? These NYC Hotel Shops Want to Help

As hotels have edged into endeavors that have nothing to do with lodging – art galleries! screening rooms! bingo nights! – retail scores high as a splashy extracurricular effort.  With Barneys edging out Walgreens as a role model, it can be easier to find a one-of-a-kind necklace than a newspaper – remember those? – in the shop adjacent to the lobby.

This can be a good thing as the holidays move into full swing. We set out on an informal shopping spree, camera in hand, and came up with a sampling of items that would look good under a tree, from stocking stuffers to big ticket.

Behold, the first annual Overnight New York holiday gift guide. Read more