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Another Trick Up The Virtual Sleeve Of The New Apple Watch: It Unlocks Hotel Room Doors

It monitors heart rate, exercise and calories. It makes and takes calls, texts and emails. It surfs the internet.

And for Starwood Preferred Guests staying at select hotels in the W, Element and Aloft chains the new Apple Watch can open doors — specifically, the door to your room.

There’s a Maxwell Smart quality to this. (Hey, Rolex — jealous?) The Apple Watch works at Starwood hotels wired for keyless systems where you can open guest room doors using your iPhone or Android. Read more

Tuning Up Your Toe Loop: The Best NYC Hotels for Ice Skating

Ice skating at the Standard

Ah, the crisp, chill days of December. They may not be here yet, but they’re coming. And with them our thoughts turn to salchows, toe loops and flips – or more realistically, trying to not to belly flop on the ice.

Each winter outdoor rinks sprout up throughout Manhattan. Never mind that we’re talking frozen concrete instead of frozen ponds; concrete is urban poetry.

The Standard Hotel rink is back along with stalwarts like Bryant Park’s Citi Pond, the Rink at Rockefeller Center and Wollman and Lasker rinks in Central Park.

So liberate your inner Yuzuru Hanyu — or Adam Rippon. Here’s where to check in if you crave skating and the city – or just want a rink-side hotel that will warm you up with hot chocolate, or something stronger, après skate. Read more

Is The Hotel Check-in Desk Dead — And Does It Matter?

No check-in desk at the Yotel, but a robot stores your bags.

No check-in desk at the Yotel, but a robot stores your bags.

The massive, inquisition-style check-in desk, once as basic to hotels as beds, pillows and running water, occupies a spot high on the endangered amenity list. But so, in some cases, do check-in staff members. Read more

Are iPads The Next New “It” Item at Hotels? The Morgans Group Thinks So

The Royalton iPad.

The Royalton iPad.

What’s the next hotel room amenity destined for the slag heap littered with CD players and tube TVs? My guess: the in-room phone with its push-button call list for the concierge, room service and housekeeping. Read more

First Look at Aloft Harlem — A Cool New Hotel for the ‘Hood

Harlem isn’t known for hotels. In fact, it’s main headliner, the white brick Hotel Theresa – guests included Louis Armstrong, Malcolm X, Little Richard, Josephine Baker and Fidel Castro — closed in 1967. Read more