When you’re the new kid on the hotel block, how do you make yourself stand out? If you’re the Strand (33 W. 37th St.), the new Manhattan luxury property that debuted in Midtown this month, you combine hard-to-beat views with old-world glamour.
I recently stopped by the 177-room Art Deco–inspired hotel, and while a lot of the highlights are in the process of being rolled out over the coming months—spacious 19th- and 20th-floor Premier Empire rooms with balconies and knockout views; an outpost of Miami’s popular Fish Called Avalon restaurant—one feature that’s already up and running is the Top of the Strand, a rooftop bar on the 21st floor showcasing New York in all its glittery glory. The bar’s retractable glass roof was closed during my visit, but when it’s pulled back on warm summer evenings, it’ll seem like you can reach out and graze the Empire State Building with your fingertips.
Rooms start at $268 and include a full European style breakfast, along with great details like Egyptian cotton sheets, quirky asymmetrical lounge chairs, Fragonard bath products, and super-soft bathrobes.
Three museums in European capitals—London, Madrid, Berlin—opened spectacular new galleries this fall/winter. The collections are unrivaled—some of them on view for the first time—and their exhibition design provides visitors with novel perspectives and insights that beg a lingering afternoon.
Planning a roadtrip to Dollywood next year? While you're in the kitschy wonderland of Pigeon Forge in eastern Tennessee, be sure to add the brand-new Titanic Museum to your must-see list. The three-deck replica of the ill-fated ship will guarantee an educational (albeit ridiculous) experience in addition to riding the roller-coasters at the buxom blonde's theme park.
After five years in the making, the Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe finally opened its doors to the public today. (Lucky first guests/skiers at the 170-room property were treated to a fresh snowfall.)
2010 is shaping up to be a great year for Americans to travel to the Argentine capital, which celebrates its bicentennial next year with a wave of new hotels, a grand theater reopening, and one of the best exchange rates of the decade.
Spain-based NH Hoteles is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the country by inaugurating not one but two new Buenos Aires properties: the nominally green, 116-room NH Tango (whose décor, appropriately enough, is themed after that quintessentially Argentine dance); and the sleek, 176-suite NH 9 de Julio, so named for its position on the mammoth 10-lane boulevard traversing the city. Both hotels are located downtown, near such tourist attractions as the Obelisque and the Teatro Colon. Another addition to the city: the luxury 91-room Blue Tree Buenos Aires Ker, in tony Recoleta.
Yes, Philippe Starck may be one of the most overexposed hotel designers in the world. But just when you think, “If I’ve seen one room by Philippe Starck, I’ve seen them all,” you step into a space like the Spa at Icon Brickell.
Something about Starck’s designs just seems to make sense in Miami. And this glamorous new spa, the flagship for Viceroy Resorts, is particularly successful, with water as its central theme.
The first documentary from King of New York director Abel Ferrara takes the Chelsea Hotel, that Manhattan landmark (and not in a T+L 500 way), as a subject. Since 1905, the place has been a haven for artists (Andy Warhol, R. Crumb), writers (Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams), and musicians (Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan), not to mention a fair share of drug addicts and prostitutes.
But as Bob would say, the times, they are a-changin’—two years ago, new management ousted owner Stanley Bard and several long-term residents in effort to clean up and bring in a different type of clientele, or, as Ferrara puts it in the movie, to turn the hotel “into a more expensive version of itself.”
With so many people—and companies—“going green” these days, it’s hard to know who’s in the Eco Revolution for real. When it comes to buildings, however, there is one way to be certain: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The strict guidelines developed by the U.S. Green Building Council focus on construction and energy consumption. In the world of travel and hotels, this seal of approval helps separate serious change agents from so-called green properties touting towel re-use programs. Every little bit helps, but there are shades of “green” to be sure.
To date, there are only 16 LEED hotels in the U.S., with a handful more pending the arduous certification.
At the new Walt Disney Family Museum, opening in San Francisco on October 1, you can catch a glimpse of Walt Disney, the man, before there was an empire. Before his animation career took off, Walt spent his childhood in rural Missouri and Kansas City, and worked a newspaper route and drove an ambulance in World War I.