Archive for May, 2012

New York Rooftop Bars

The sky is the limit when it comes to enjoying the setting sun in New York City this summer. Rooftop bars, patios and lounges are the city’s exclusive hidden treasures, offering the chance to absorb and enjoy the Manhattan hustle and bustle from above.

Gansevoort Park Rooftop + Lounge – Gansevoort Park Avenue
Located in New York’s NoMad District, Gansevoort Rooftop Bar + Lounge is everything a New York rooftop bar should be – stylish and modern with a breathtaking view of Manhattan and more. Floor-to-ceiling windows, an open-air pool and six distinct venues have made the Gansevoort Park Rooftop a must-see.

Salon de Ning – The Peninsula New York
For a spectacular view of Fifth Avenue and beyond, Salon de Ning is a prime destination for killer cocktails in an “east-meets-west” setting. Drawing inspiration from 1930s-era Shanghai, Salon de Ning offers visitors an eclectic atmosphere to sip one of the lounge’s signature cocktails while enjoying shared plates in the heart of Manhattan.

A60 – 60 Thompson
As the day draws to an end in New York City, guests at 60 Thompson’s A60 rooftop lounge can watch the Empire State Building and the New York City skyline light up as darkness falls. It’s a members-only rooftop bar, but hotel guests are also welcome to enjoy a cocktail at this exclusive hot spot.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:

Gansevoort Park Avenue, Peninsula New York, and the 60 Thompson.

See all of our New York City Luxury Hotels.


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The US Open

As one of North America’s quintessential golf experiences, the US Open Championship has been the site of some amazing fairway drama over the past century. While championship tournaments like the British Open and the Master’s are played at the same courses every year, the US Open pushes its participants by visiting a cross-section of America’s most competitive, picturesque courses. There’s a reason organizers have branded it “Golf’s Toughest Test” – winners of the tournament rarely finish below par.

For the fifth time since its inception in 1895, San Francisco’s Olympic Club plays host to the US Open. Established in 1860, The Olympic Club is America’s oldest athletic club, and its Lake Course (where players will battle it out for the US Open championship) remains largely unchanged since 1927.

One of the US Open’s most unique features is the fact that any professional or amateur golfer can qualify for the tournament at local qualifying events. It’s a chance for budding golfers to play alongside the world’s elite – and, if fate is on their side – maybe bring home the championship.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:

Campton Place, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, and InterContinental San Francisco.

See all of our San Francisco Luxury Hotels.

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Lollapalooza Chicago

Since its launch in 1991, some of the world’s best-known, critically acclaimed bands have played at Lollapalooza. The annual festival no longer travels the continent like it once did; instead, music lovers flock to Chicago’s Grant Park in droves.

Over 160,000 people will visit the 300+ acre Grant Park over the course of the three-day event (August 5-8), making it one of North America’s biggest music festivals. This year’s lineup features an incredible cross-section of artists, from reunited rockers like Black Sabbath, Afghan Whigs and At the Drive-In to indie darlings like The Shins, Metric and Sigur Ros.

With Chicago’s unparalleled city skyline as the backdrop, and so much on offer at the festival, enjoying music on the stages is just one of many attractions while at Lollapalooza. Check out a collection of Chicago’s favorite eats in Chow Town, where vendors provide top-notch food all weekend long. Stop by various booths and kiosks across the park for handmade crafts, wine sampling, video games, autographs and more. Bring the kids – if they’re under 10 years of age they get in for free, and Kidzapalooza, located on the festival grounds, will keep them happy and entertained.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:

The Trump International Chicago, Hotel Palomar Chicago, and theWit Chicago

See all of our Chicago Luxury hotels.

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SportsThere’s nothing quite like following your team across the country as they fight it out for the ultimate prize. And the most passionate hockey and basketball fans will be crisscrossing the United States – north and south for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and from coast to coast for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

The NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics is rife with riveting storylines. In the last two years, each of these teams has made it to the NBA Championship series and lost. And while it’s only the third time these two teams have met in the playoffs, this is the third year in a row – needless to say, a rivalry has emerged.

The Heat boast one of the game’s most high-profile lineups (including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and two-time MVP LeBron James), while the Celtics are no slouches with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce.

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals will feature two groups of players that have beaten strong teams and overcome significant obstacles en route to the finals.

The series will pit one of the greatest goalies in NHL history – the New Jersey Devils’ Martin Brodeur – against a fast-paced Los Angeles Kings that hit their stride just before the playoffs and have been flying ever since. At 40, Brodeur still shows flashes of his younger brilliance between the pipes for the Devils, and is supported by a strong, balanced group of skaters that can get it done. The Kings, meanwhile, move the puck well and quickly, and are backstopped by the remarkable Jonathan Quick.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:

In Los Angeles, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.  See all our Beverly Hills Luxury hotels.

In New York, Trump Soho New York. See all our New York City Luxury hotels.

In Miami, Mandarin Oriental Miami. See all our South Beach Luxury hotels.

In Boston, Onyx Hotel. See all our Boston Luxury hotels.

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June 10, 2012

Beacon Theatre NYC

Tony AwardsThis June 10, the 66th Annual Tony Awards comes to New York’s Beacon Theatre, with a glittering roster of veteran and new talent vying for the coveted awards. Emmy Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris, star of the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, returns to host The Tony Awards for the third time in four years. Among the plays, Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the novel, nabbed the lion’s share of nominations with nine in all. Mike Nichols’ tense revival of Death of a Salesman and the British import One Man, Two Guvnors (based on the 18th-century work The Servant of Two Masters) garnered seven each.

In one of the more intriguing categories—best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play—several stage and film heavyweights will contend with a relative greenhorn for the trophy. Death of a Salesman star Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as James Earl Jones (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man), Frank Langella (Man and Boy), and John Lithgow (The Columnist), have received nominations. But so has James Corden, the little known but fast-rising funnyman who shines in One Man, Two Guvnors. It will be interesting to see if the newcomer manages to prevail against four thespian warhorses.

The same trend holds true in the leading-actress category, where we find two breakout stars, Venus in Fur‘s Nina Arianda and End of the Rainbow‘s Tracie Bennett, competing against seasoned performers Cynthia Nixon, Stockard Channing and Linda Lavin.

Steve Kazee is up for leading actor in the musical Once, which seems to have beguiled the theatre establishment. This unabashedly low-tech adaptation of an indie-pop film about struggling musicians has surprisingly topped the list of Tony Award nominations with 11. Two musical productions, featuring familiar scores, also tied for second most nominations, 10 each: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, an adaption of the classic folk opera; and Nice Work If You Can Get, a nostalgic confection of Gershwin tunes.

Other name contenders include Peter‘s Christian Borle and Death of a Salesman‘s Andrew Garfield, both nominated for featured actor in a play.

66th annual Tony Awards, live at New York’s Beacon Theatre June 10 at 8 p.m.

2124 Broadway  New York, NY 10023 (212) 465-6500

Our Hotel Experts recommend:
The St.Regis Hotel New YorkThe Surrey, and The Pierre New York.

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Rodeo SignsShopping in L.A. means shopping in style, comfort and elegance. LA has the best boutiques and poshest shops in the known universe.  It is the mecca of high-end fashion, but also offers the cool and the hip with a hint of the eclectic.  We checked out Rodeo Drive, Robertson Boulevard, The Grove, and Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

Start with the Olympian Rodeo Drive. It boasts the world’s most exclusive shopping and star-studded sightseeing. Based in upscale Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive is a three-block district renowned globally for its high couture fashion and salons. Houses big-time designer names like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tiffany & Co. and Chanel. Its latest addition, Via Rodeo, provides quaintness with its wrought-iron lamps, cobblestones, fountains, balconies and facades of stone and marble.

Melrose Avenue. The younger, cutting-edge West Side cousin of the more affluent, Rodeo Drive. Yes, a place to shop and stroll and so forth, but above all, it’s place to see and be seen. Quirky and hip, a blend of pierced noses, tattoos, red Ferraris, and trendy boutiques with fluorescent storefronts, Melrose also boasts comedy clubs, night spots, nostalgia shops, and stores selling fine art, jewelry, antiques, and Disney memorabilia. Also home to some of L.A.’s hottest restaurants such as Chianti and Ago.

Robertson Boulevard. Melrose Avenue may be a funkier place to shop with cooler clothes and hipper vibe, and Rodeo Drive has all the big designer names, but Robertson Boulevard—the tiny stretch that includes the Ivy restaurant and boutiques like Kitson and Madison—is where you’ll likely spot someone famous. Have lunch at the Newsroom Cafe, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant where stars get their alfalfa and oats, and keep your camera handy.

The Grove. A complete shopping and entertainment experience, offering excellent shopping and dining, choreographed fountains, free live concerts in the park, and the historic Farmers Market.

Third Street Promenade. A lively public entertainment and shopping venue in the area of Downtown Santa Monica. Known for its weekly farmers’ markets, gourmet dining, fabulous shopping and eclectic street performers. Draws locals and tourists alike. Minutes from sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:
L’ErmitageLe Merigot, and Mondrian Los Angeles.


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Taste of ChicagoJuly 11-15, 2012

Not only is Taste of Chicago the Windy City’s biggest event, it has grown to be the world’s largest outdoor food fest, bar none. Getting its start as a modest food festival on the Fourth of July in 1980, the Taste of Chicago has evolved into something of a cultural phenomenon, and one that likely couldn’t have been engendered anywhere in the world but Chicago, with its particular and peculiar reverence for good food and good times.

Now in its 31st year, Taste of Chicago infuses the city with a holiday spirit, annually attracting more than 2.5 million visitors from all over the city, the U.S. and the world. No wonder it has been called “America’s City Picnic.” In that spirit, many other attractions with family appeal have been added to make the event even more inclusive and accommodating.

Grant Park will be party central for the festival. Decorated tents will surround the outside kitchens of more than 59 Chicago restaurants, including a daily upscale restaurant in the Gourmet Pavilion. No one leaves Taste of Chicago with an empty stomach. All concerts and events are free of charge, acts and times subject to change. Limited seating is available for the concerts at Petrillo Music Shell, on a first come, first serve basis. It opens 30 minutes before showtime, so arrive early. The Petrillo Music Shell’s “Jumbotron” makes sitting in the lawn a decent option—you’re allowed to bring chairs.

The five-day festival will be anchored with a performance by local superstar Jennifer Hudson on Wednesday, July 11. Indie-rock band Death Cab for Cutie performs on Thursday, July 12. Legendary Chaka Khan—with opener Raphael Saadiq—takes the stage on Saturday, July 14 and Dierks Bentley closes the festival on Sunday, July 15.

Grant Park—north/south between Monroe Avenue and Balbo Drive, east/west between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. Come one, come all.

Our Hotel Experts recommend:
The Trump International ChicagoPublic Chicago, and theWit Chicago

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