NYC’s Underground ‘Please Don’t Tell’ Bar Tells All

January 13, 2010

New York City’s fave “neospeakeasy” has become mainstream to the chagrin of some of its regulars. Besides the amazing drink menu created by Jim Meehan, Please Don’t Tell’s greatest asset is its “secret” entrance inside the hot dog joint Crif Dogs on St. Mark’s Pl. The phone booth entry not only makes patrons feel like they are experiencing something special, it has also filtered out those who weren’t in the know.

Mixologist Jim Meehan has been well known to drink connoisseurs for some time but now he’s bringing his talent, and his secret bar, to the forefront. Jim was recently featured on the Travel Channel and last week he made a high profile appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On the show, Jim spilled all of his secrets, like how to make one of his signature drinks, a Tequila Highball, and where to find his hidden bar.

But all of this publicity has some wishing PDT would stay a secret. One Twitterer recently exclaimed, “Now that @PDTNYC & Jim Meehan have been on Travel Channel and Jimmy Fallon, it should be really awesome to sit next to tourists at the bar!” While another patron pointed out the fact that speakeasies are suppose to be kept on the DL. “What point is it having a “secret” bar that everyone knows about??? They shouldn’t be listed in places like City Search, and they shouldn’t have a website or any other kind of advertising either. It should be simply word of mouth. They didn’t have the internet back in the prohibition years you know!”

If you’re one of those annoying tourists who wants to check out a real, big city speakeasy, make sure you make reservations and call early (212-614-0386), PDT’s 45 seats are usually booked by 4 pm. The only thing that irritates locals more than tourists, are tourists without reservations.  Via: cmb – Jaunted

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New Glass-Domed Rooftop Lounge in New York

December 16, 2009

Last week, The Strand, a boutique hotel recently opened in Manhattan’s Fashion District, threw a party to celebrate the opening of it’s glass-domed rooftop lounge. Friends, family and press sipped Champagne and stood with jaws dropped, staring at the incredible reach-out-and-touch-it view of the Empire State building just three blocks away.

The glass-roof is retractable (shown here open) and is one of just two in the city. The other covers Plunge, the rooftop bar at The Gansevoort Hotel further downtown in the Meatpacking District). The Strand’s lounge is more intimate and filled with comfortable Asian-inspired plantings and banquets, the perfect spot to enjoy a drink at night’s end. The lounge is The Strand’s sexiest asset, the rooms, while fairly large by New York standards, are simply furnished.

The hotel will likely be hopping twice a year during Fashion Week. As a tip of the hat to the fashion crowd, the owners sourced vintage fashion shots from Condé Nast’s archives and framed them in rooms and public spaces. So even if guest aren’t a part of the fashion crowd, they can feel like they are. And a new, soon-to-be-opened ground-floor restaurant features a cozy two-sided fireplace, another great gathering spot for this mid-town hotel.  Via: Carrie Culpepper – Luxist

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The Standard’s Boom Boom Room Will Now Be Called QT (As In The Old Hotel)

October 6, 2009

Where: 848 Washington at 13th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10014

The Standard New York’s exclusive 18th floor bar hasn’t even officially opened and yet it’s already changing its name. Apparently, the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco has sent the club a Cease and Desist letter for using its name (Type in Boom Boom Room in Google and this club comes up first.)

While we weren’t in love with the name Boom Boom Room (we always started singing the song, “Boom, Boom let’s go back to my room so we can do it all night and you can make me feel right” whenever we heard it), we like QT even less. BlackBook has the scoop on what QT stands for (on the Quiet) but to us, QT will always be Andre Balazs’ boutique dorm hotel in Times Square that is now known as Roommate Grace.

We’ve been able to tour the bar and it’s just killer. The views are awesome, the seating areas are gorgeous, (nostalgic, retro and modern all at once) and it’s probably the best thing to open in Manhattan for a seriously long time. So hopefully, they can come up with a better name for it than QT. Anyone have any suggestions? Put ’em in comments below.

PS. BlackBook’s Steve Lewis was also reminded of that cheesy song, “Boom Boom, Let’s Go Back to My Room” which was sung by Paul Lekakis and not Samantha Fox as our hazy memories thought. Watch the “anniversary” video here. by juliana – HotelChatter

[Photo: Urban Daddy]

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The Top Three New York Fashion Week Hotels

September 11, 2009

New York City better get down on its knees and thank the hospitality gods for its good fortune this season. Although it’s been a year full of recession talk and an accompanying slide in room occupancy, the first cool breezes of autumn are blowing in the city’s favor, with both Fashion Week and the US Open rallying for the city’s tourism industry.

Over at our brother site, Jaunted, we’ve already rounded up the Top Three Hot Spots To Avoid During Fashion Week, and the movers and shakers of the international fashion industry have to sleep somewhere in between runway shows and parties. Thus, we’ll let you in on the Top Three Hotels For Fashion Week:

3. The Jane:
The Jane’s popularity might come as a surprise to those familiar with its itty-bitty $99 rooms and shared, down-the-hall bathrooms, but this hotel on West Side Highway makes our list simply for the celeb-spotting and schmoozing that goes on at its bar. It’s actually the former ballroom, and it’s furnished with a whole amalgamation of collected oddities from hotelier Sean MacPherson. Cynthia Rowley held her fashion show here last season, but this time around it’s the location for the after-party after the after-party.

2. The W Union Square:
You won’t find any parties or runway shows here, but you will hear the town cars being orders up by guests to get to these events. W Hotels are a huge sponsor of New York Fashion Week, and have hosted a backstage lounge in the tents at Bryant Park for the past several seasons. Ask you concierge for access, and you could be chilling with B-list celebs like Amanda Bynes and Solange Knowles in no time, not to mention noshing on Pop Burger sliders.

1. The Standard, duh:
There’s no competition here, what with the opening of the Standard Grill restaurants and the hotel’s proximity to the Meatpacking District events of Fashion’s Night Out tonight. In the lobby and in line for their table, you might run across the like of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Gwen Stefani, and Elle Creative Director, Joe Zee.  by JetSetCD – HotelChatter

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The World’s Most Expensive Hotels

August 30, 2009
Starwood Hotels
The Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva commands $65,000 a night for its four-bedroom penthouse.

Amid the recession, rock stars, diplomats and other celebrities find solace from the doom and gloom by spending their time in sanctuary provided by the world’s most luxurious, and expensive, hotels. While many of us are tightening our belts, shortening our summer holidays or even abandoning them, hoteliers to the rich and famous claim to have no trouble filling their most exclusive accommodations, and in the case of the most expensive suite in the world, managing to double its rate to $65,000 (€45,642) a night.

In an annual survey by Financial News’ sister publication Wealth Bulletin, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, tops the list as the most expensive hotel room in 2009, commanding $65,000 for its four-bedroom penthouse — twice as much as patrons paid a year ago for its luxurious setting and views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.

The hotel’s management puts the rise down to “buoyant demand” from government officials and U.N. diplomats.

Last year’s winner, the iconic Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, came second this time, at $35,000, $1,000 up from last year.

New entries this year were the third-placed Presidential Suite at the Hotel Cala di Volpe in Sardinia, the Villa La Cupola Suite at the Westin Excelsior in Rome and the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo.

Despite the past year’s financial and economic turmoil, prices at the best hotel suites have risen by an average of 10% this year. Herbert Ypma, founder of the Hip Hotels brand, said: “The very high end hasn’t suffered all that much. A lot of hotels used to having upmarket clientele are getting the benefit of them taking far more time off than usual — so they have more time to stay in hotels. Money was never the issue, time was.”

Hoteliers said that although the number of business travellers has fallen in the past year, government officials have taken their place in the best rooms and suites.

President Barack Obama and his entourage took over the entire Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow for three nights in June. The President Wilson Hotel said heads of state and other high-level government officials are fuelling demand for its hugely expensive Royal Penthouse Suite.

Vivian Deuschl, spokeswoman for Ritz-Carlton Hotels, said demand is also coming from wealthy leisure travellers: “Last year they might have taken three or four cheaper holidays. This year they are taking one big vacation, but pulling out all the stops.”

The 10 most expensive hotel suites according to Wealth Bulletin’s survey for 2009 are:


Four Seasons
The library of the Ty Warner Penthouse at New York’s Four Seasons Hotel.

1. The Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva — $65,000 per night

Complete with a cocktail lounge, the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson is so exclusive that bookings reportedly have to be made through the hotel’s chairman. The suite occupies the entire top floor of the hotel. It is reached by a private elevator, has four bedrooms overlooking Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc and comes with six bathrooms. Equipped with bulletproof windows and doors, it is almost exclusively reserved for celebrities or state heads, ideal with the United Nations headquarters a five-minute drive away.

2. Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel, New York — $35,000 per night

Business at the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York has remained as buoyant as when the suite opened in 2007, according to a spokeswoman. The nine-room suite has walls inlaid with thousands of pieces of mother-of-pearl. There is an indoor-outdoor Zen garden, a private spa room with a screen of living bamboo and a book-lined library, which has a grand piano at its centre.

3. The Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia — $34,000 per night

The Presidential Suite at Hotel Cala di Volpe near Porto Cervo, averages around $34,000 a night, although during the peak summer season will cost as much as $45,000. Located in the hotel tower, the multi-level Presidential Suite sprawls across 2,500 sq ft and has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private gym, a steam room and a wine cellar. It is crowned by a rooftop terrace with an outdoor saltwater swimming pool.

4. Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome — $31,000 per night

Villa La Cupola Suite in Rome’s Westin Excelsior embodies all things Roman and excessive: a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi, frescoes and stained glass windows detailing allegories of a mythological figure paired with a modern one, such as Atlas and Television, Hypnosis and Neurosis, Hermes and Marketing and Hermaphrodite and Fashion. Located on the fifth and sixth floors, the suite covers 6,099 sq ft and has an additional 1,808 sq ft of balconies and terraces overlooking Via Veneto.


Ritz-Carlton
The Presidential Suite at Tokyo’s Ritz-Carlton.

5. The Presidential Suite, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo — $25,000 per night

The Presidential Suite, on the top floor of the city’s tallest building, has spectacular views of Mount Fuji and Roppongi Hills, as well as an expansive vista of Tokyo’s impressive cityscape. It occupies 2,368 sq ft. For refreshments, guests may enjoy the $18,000 Diamonds-Are-Forever Martini, which comes with a one-karat Bulgari diamond at the bottom.

6. The Bridge Suite, The Atlantis, Bahamas — $22,000 per night

The 10-room Bridge Suite is actually a bridge spanning the two towers of the Atlantis Hotel. The 23rd-floor suite is decked with marble floors, a grand piano and a 22-carat gold chandelier. It was known in former times as “the Michael Jackson Suite” because of his regular stays. Prices have come down from $25,000 last year and fees are negotiable. Nevertheless, the suite is so exclusive the hotel does not even advertise it.

7. The Imperial Suite, Park Hyatt Vendôme, Paris — $20,000 per night

The Imperial Suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris provides guests with an “in-suite-spa” concept — with the bathroom/spa comprising a whirlpool bath, a steam shower room and a massage table. The 2,500 sq ft penthouse suite has a huge living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a work area.


Burj Al Arab
The Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

8. Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab, Dubai — $19,600 per night

Since it was built in the mid-1990s, the Burj Al Arab has become one of the world’s most instantly recognizable hotels with its billowing sail-like structure stretching out on an artificial island into the Gulf of Arabia. The Royal Suite on the 25th floor has a marble-and-gold staircase, leopard print carpets, its own private lift and a rotating four-poster canopy bed.

9. Royal Armleder Suite, Le Richemond, Geneva — $18,900 per night

The Royal Armleder Suite at the Le Richemond Hotel is named after the wealthy family who used to own the famous hotel before Rocco Forte bought it in August 2004. The three-bedroom suite, which stretches over 2,500 sq ft on the seventh floor, has a 1,000 sq ft terrace with panoramic views of Lake Geneva, a real log fire and floor-to-ceiling bulletproof windows. Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte’s sister and well-known hotel interior designer, designed the suite.

10. The Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow — $16,500 per night

To stay at the best suite in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton would cost around $16,000 a night — $500 less than last year. Furnished in Russian imperial style, the 2,370 sq ft suite has views of famous Moscow sites including the Kremlin and Red Square. The suite comes with that necessity for the security-conscious Russian billionaire — a panic room with its own energy and telecommunications facilities.

Research for this survey was compiled during mid-August. Prices are rate per night including taxes.

by Tara Loader Wilkinson

provided by
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From Financial News at http://www.efinancialnews.com

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The Surrey Hotel Will Cater to Cartier Lovers and Other Luxury Enthusiasts

August 22, 2009

Where: 20 East 76th Street [map]New YorkNYUnited States10021

Um… Is that Kate Moss?

Recession, Schm-cession. While some are in conservation and simplification mode, others, like the soon-to-be-opened Surrey hotel refuse to put luxury on the back burner. In fact, it happens to be at the forefront of the design plan for the Upper East Side-located property. Set to open on October 1st, The Surrey will have 190 “salons” (we’re pretty sure that’s a fancy way of saying “hotel rooms”), with 30 suites, a Presidential suite and a Penthouse.

The design nods to the 1920s and incorporates more than a few highfalutin touches: gray marble floors, French limestone walls and archways, and the kicker, a Jimmie Martin-designed “Cartier Closet

The designer name march continues in the “salons,” with requisite LCD TVs and iPod docking stations, Duxiana beds, Pratesi robes, Sferra bedding, and more. It’s like Fifth Avenue landed in your room, er,salon

As for dining, famed chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s Cafe Boulud will service the lobby level-bar, rooftop garden (which overlooks the UES and Central Park), hotel spa, and in-salon orders. Suffice to say, The experience won’t come cheap—we’re talking $499-$699 introductory rates. They say you can’t put a price on quality; to that we snicker. A mid-to-high three figure price tag sounds about right.  Via: hotelchatter

[Lobby renderings courtesy of The Surrey Hotel]

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The High-Tech Menu At An NYC Wine Bar Is So Lush 2.0

August 20, 2009

Where: New York, NY, United States

Ordering a meal off a geeky interactive menus absolutely makes our day, and we just realized that at Adour in the New York St Regis Hotel they’ve taken the geek factor to a really nerdy extreme by making their wine menu interactive.

It’s nowhere near as flashy or game-like as other high-tech menus we’ve been ogling recently, but neither should it be: choosing a wine is a serious business. Adour itself has this to say about their interactive wine screens:

The wine list is organized in an entertaining format, color-coded and classified by origins, one specific appellation within each region … an innovative way for guests to discover wine producing areas.

High-tech but refined, as you can see. Nothing wrong with that—we just like being able to push a few buttons instead of having to ask the staff all our dumb questions.  by amandak – Jaunted

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