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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

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

On Their Toes: The Joffrey Ballet Offers Tips on Grace and Poise to Staffers at JW Marriott

Hotels and dance. They happen to be two of my favorite interests, but they aren’t obvious partners. So cheers to JW Marriott for looking to the Joffrey Ballet to inspire its ground troops in matters of grace and poise.

Sometime over the summer Chicago’s elite dance company created a series of training videos for JW Marriott staffers. The JW Marriott in Chicago, hometown to the Joffrey and the idea, got first dibs on the videos. Read more

A New Hotel with Great Views of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For 364 days of the year the most desirable rooms at the new Courtyard Marriott Manhattan/Herald Square are those with views of the Empire State Building. But that changes on Thanksgiving Day.

The new 167-room hotel has the good fortune to sit on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 35th Street, a block away from Macy’s Department Store and directly above the street where Snoopy, Hello Kitty and all the other balloons, floats and bands pass by in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Read more

Bored with that Solitary Mint on Your Pillow? JW Marriott Offers a New Take on Turndown

It’s a tiny thing, but a treat at turndown is an easy way for a hotel to win points with its guests and differentiate itself from the competition — and airbnb. I know I’m grateful when something thoughtful and unexpected turns up at turndown. (I still use the tiny tub of mandarin and lemon lip balm left on the bedside table at the Crosby Street Hotel.) Read more

The Essex House Gets Rebranded – and Parties with Jon Bon Jovi

They skipped the bells, whistles and champagne last September when JW Marriott took over management of the Essex House, the gracious 1931 tower overlooking Central Park and operated most recently by Dubai-based Jumierah Hotels.

Last night they made up for it. Read more

Essex House Gets Rebranded (So Long, Jumeirah; Hello, JW Marriott)

It’s a good thing the iconic red neon ESSEX HOUSE sign blazing atop the roof doesn’t mention the hotel’s brand. Following its sale last week to Chicago-based Strategic Hotels & Resorts, the Essex House has a new manager — again. Read more