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From E-books to Beyonce — The Best of the New at New York City Hotels, 2013 Edition

It’s time for my annual over-the-shoulder look at the year that was in New York City hotels.

If New York felt unusually crowded in 2013 there was good reason. The city hosted 54.3 million visitors, up from 52.7 in 2012 and nearly 20 million more than in 2002.

And while some of them no doubt stayed with friends, relatives and Airbnb, others helped fill the 30 million hotel room nights sold, up 1 million from 2012. The results? Visitors on average paid a pricey $296 a night, and hotels enjoyed an 87.8 percent occupancy rate. Read more

When the Roof’s a Farm: Five New York Hotels that Grow Their Own Food

Hard as it may be to picture – especially if you’re gazing at the Empire State Building – Manhattan was once blanketed by farmland. John Rowland, the 19th-century surveyor who mapped Manhattan’s street grid, knew all about it. In his spare time he fashioned nearly 100 maps of the island’s farms.

But enough history. Manhattan farming is back, albeit on a very small scale (think planter boxes). Still, finding a Manhattan hotel that grows its own food – or at least some of it – is a lot easier than it was as recently as a year or two ago. Read more