Posts

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

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

The Best of the New at NYC Hotels, 2012 Edition

When hotel historians – hey, they’re out there somewhere — look back on 2012, they’ll say what we already know: it was, for the most part, a very good year. New York City boasts 91,500 hotel rooms – up from 90,000 in 2011. Put another way, 29 million hotel room nights were sold in New York City in 2012. Read more

Still Shopping? Check Out Overnight New York’s Second Annual Last-Minute Hotel Holiday Gift Guide

Hotel shops sell a lot more than Band-Aids, bathrobes and bottled water.  Many stock amusing, even unusual items you’d be happy to give – or receive.

And here’s the best part. Many offer online as well as in-hotel shopping. So browse what caught our eye. There’s still time! Read more

Hello, Gorgeous — The Waldorf-Astoria’s Park Avenue Lobby Gets An Art Deco Makeover

Louis Rigal murals — and a silver-leaf ceiling.

Less is more is rarely the first thought that leaps to mind when you enter the Park Avenue lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria. This massive expanse is one of the most superb examples of Art Deco design in town.

The deco is decorative – allegorical murals by French artist Louis Rigal, gilded ceiling reliefs of frolicking naiads and stags, a floor mosaic of the Wheel of Life made from 150,000 tiny tiles. Read more

New York Hotel Sightings Abound on the Hit TV Show “Smash”

Carlton's star turn.

Carlton’s star turn.

Why is Smash, the hit NBC series about the creation of a Broadway musical, our favorite television show this season? We can’t recall a TV show or movie with scenes shot at more New York City hotels. Read more

How The New York Hilton Is Cultivating a Green Roof in the Middle of Midtown Manhattan

In observation of Earth Day (and Month), we pause for a quick pulse check on how New York City hotels are doing on the green front. Read more

A Cameo Appearance by The Plaza in Amor Towles’ New Bestseller “Rules of Civility”

We love it when a New York hotel makes a cameo appearance in a novel we like.  So imagine our glee upon opening Rules of Civility, Amor Towles’ exquisitely layered portrait of strivers and high society in late 1930s Manhattan, and following the characters into not one but three hotels, all beauties. Read more

5 NYC Hotels that Cook Thanksgiving Turkey (So You Don’t Have To)

Haven’t ordered a turkey yet? Loathe the thought of doing dishes on a holiday? There’s still time to book Thanksgiving dinner – and a room for the night — at a hotel restaurant if you a) act fast and b) aren’t too picky about dining early or late (most prime-time spots are taken).

Like rooms, restaurants at New York hotels come in all styles so you can choreograph Thanksgiving as you wish – splashy or quiet, midtown or downtown, turkey or vegetarian. You can even watch your weight (sort of). Here are five tempting options. Read more

Your Hotel Doesn’t Have a Spa? No Worries — Select Spa-less Hotels Now Offer Treatments

The new Hyatt 48Lex is a small, upscale hotel that offers guests everything you’d expect, from a restaurant and room service to a well-equipped fitness center – everything, that is, except a spa.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a hot stone massage or an herbal facial without leaving the premises. Read more