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NYC’s New Eventi Hotel is Located in…

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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.

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Paris Dispatch: Eiffel Tower News, Cool Apps, Exhibits, More...

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You can now buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower online at www.tour-eiffel.fr (English section); it’s also possible to reserve online at both the 58 and the Jules Verne. Van Cleef & Arpels took home the Best iPhone Application award at the Stratégies / Firstluxe.com 2009 Awards. “A Day in Paris”, was inspired by the brand’s site: unejourneeaparis.com. The app traces seven romantic, interactive circuits in Paris with poetic stops along the way.

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You Slay Me: RBC Coffee

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RBC Coffee, which opened last month in Tribeca, is quickly becoming one of New York's favorite coffee spots (it's barely been open for a month and it's already nominated for a 2010 Time Out NY EatOut Award!).

And with good reason: these people are serious about coffee. The passionate baristas here pull awe-inducing shots of espresso from their super hi-tech Slayer machine. While many focus on the $18,000 price tag of this machine (this is the only one on the East Coast), it's what comes out of the machine that makes it so incredible. The Slayer's variable pressure brewing, or "pressure profiling" allows baristas complete control over every aspect of the brewing process in order to create impeccable texture and flavor.

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Ritz-Carlton to Close Lake Las Vegas

Reuters |  The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co will close its five-diamond property in Las Vegas this May, after the hotel struggled with a slide in demand and revenue.

"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.

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Finally, Some Good News on Wall Street

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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.

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NYC’s Magnolia Bakery Opens in Dubai

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Move over Carrie Bradshaw, Sheikh Mohammed wants a Red Velvet cupcake, too. Today, New York City’s beloved (and occasionally maligned) Magnolia Bakery opened in the UAE at the Bloomingdale’s in the The Dubai Mall—a big move since its only three other locations (for now) are in Manhattan.

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Hyatt Debuts Two New U.S. Properties

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The Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa opened today off of Florida's West Coast, outside of Tampa. The West Indies-inspired beachside resort features 250 suites with full kitchens. Clearwater guests will also be able to enjoy themselves at an eco-friendly spa, a 24-hour gym, and an eighth floor pool deck with 20 air-conditioned poolside cabanas, in addition to a pool and hot tub on the 16th floor Sky Terrace.

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Great Views (and Prices) at NYC's Newest Hotel—The Strand

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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.

200912-b-strand-lobbyjpgI 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.

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Europe's New Must-See Museum Galleries

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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.

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Going Overboard: A "Titanic" Museum?

 

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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.

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