In a city that seems to have a catchy nickname for every neighborhood (NoLita, TriBeCa, the Flatiron, et al), no one seems to know exactly what to call that part of Manhattan around Sixth Avenue and 29th Street. A few blocks southeast of Madison Square Garden and a few blocks southwest of the Empire State Building, the neighborhood tenants are nondescript costume jewelers, button-sellers to the trade, and wholesale import companies, interspersed with mom-and-pop markets and the occasional martial-arts supply store.
“It’s an area that you pass through to get somewhere else, but I think we’re going to change all that,” says Thomas Mathes, general manager of Eventi, a new 54-story hotel managed by Kimpton Hotels and set to open on May 15. “We call the area North Chelsea.” Which may be stretching the map coordinates a bit, but in any event it’s more attractive than, say, Garment Center South.
Fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s 60-year career is the subject of a book due this year (published by Assouline); the 89 year old designer has several anniversary-related events in store between now and September.
There are countless things I never thought I’d do: solve a thorny calculus equation; pacify an enraged mama polar bear with my calming gaze; stroll the 57th-floor roof deck of David Copperfield’s penthouse with a blood-orange harvest moon rising behind me, a jazz-swing cover of “Black Hole Sun” sounding around me, and the flat immensity of Manhattan unfolding before me.
And yet, thanks to Travel + Leisure, one breezy evening last September I found myself doing just that. Not the math and bear part, of course—but attending a party chez Copperfield. To publicize his private-island resort on Musha Cay in the Bahamas (more on the news there in a minute), the magician gave us a sneak peek of his New York City home.
"It's nothing the hotel did. It's a simple lack of business and a decline in the tourism industry," said Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Vivian Deuschl.
The owners of the 348-room property, Village Hospitality LLC, an arm of Deutsche Bank, will stop funding the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas day-to-day operations on May 2.
"That was the owner's decision and we reluctantly agreed to go along with it," Deuschl said.
Luxury properties have been hit hard in the past year and a half. Corporate travel and business from associations accounts for the bulk revenue of these hotels, but companies and groups have cut back on travel spending in the past year.
So, own your own piece of the Snowpocalypse (or, D.C. residents, wait out the approaching storm in luxury, no snow shovels required). Call the Jefferson directly at (202) 448-2300 and ask for the Winter Storm Special. Pack your snowpants and mittens.
Think for a second: When’s the last time you heard any welcome news—news really worth celebrating—out of New York City’s Financial District? (Here’s a hint: it was likely back in the days when Lehman Brothers was considered a bastion of solvency.)
Once the epicenter of Manhattan’s high-rolling, fat-cat corporate culture, Wall Street has lately been in serious need of a boost. That’s why the opening of the Andaz Wall Street hotel earlier this month couldn’t have been better timed; finally, in their hour of need, both weary business visitors and beleaguered hometown financiers were granted a new sanctuary.
Washington, D.C. is getting a different kind of stimulus package this month—one spearheaded by the newly-appointed Secretary of Love and Relationships, Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The famous love doctor (inspired by the Obama’s “date nights”) has wasted no time in making her priorities clear, by launching “Date Nights D.C.,” a program that offers tons of deals during the month of February at D.C. hotels, restaurants, museums and more. Here are some highlights:
Wall Street Journal | Putting a new spin on the term "designer hotel," boutique chain W Hotels is hiring a fashion director to amp up its style credentials and its profile within the fashion industry.
After a two-year search, the chain is planning to announce next week—on Feb. 11, the opening day of New York Fashion Week—that it has hired stylist Amanda Ross in what is very likely a first for the hotel industry. W Hotels, which operates 36 properties worldwide, is a unit of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
With my snowboarding skills firmly intact, I decided this season I would head west again (after three years) for some real-deal riding. Here are my highlights from my January jaunt to Vail and Beaver Creek.
Favorite runs: Avanti and Pickeroon, Vail (lift ticket $97 a day)—often-groomed, excellent mix of intermediate and advanced slope. Larkspur Bowl and Golden Bear, Beaver Creek (lift ticket $97 a day)—the bowl was next to empty and made me shout, WOOHOO, multiple times; I renamed Golden Bear “Honey Bear” because it was such a sweet ride.
Favorite après-ski spots: Garfinkel’s, Lionshead (drinks for two $15)—lots of picnic tables outside, making it easy to spot your friends; I accidentally stayed après après. Los Amigos, at Vail Village (drinks for two $15)—watch tired experts and out-of-their-league beginners make their last run down the black-diamond Pepi’s Face, and be thankful you’ve already loosened your boots.
If this is the fifth dirtiest hotel in America, things may be better than they seem. The Quality Inn in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, found itself on the worst sort of list recently: TripAdvisor's 2010 Dirtiest Hotels in the United States. Reporters at the local newspaper, the Pocono Record, showed up with a video camera the next day and posted the results on You Tube. It's hard to discount the numerous bad reviews about the hotel found on Tripadvisor.com; some of the specific complaints are positively disgusting. Yet when you view the video, you wonder how the images could be so vastly different from the Tripadvisor user comments.
Mark Orwoll is Travel + Leisure's international correspondent.