Category Archives: Hotels we love

Top 10 Hotel Bars in New York City

1. Gansevoort rooftop
Fantastic rooftop bar in Manhattan, just moments from NYC’s main attractions, which is perfect for a sunny summer afternoon but avoid the Meat Packing Bridge and Tunnel crowd at the weekends.
See the Gansevoort rooftop.

2. The Library Hotel
Great bar for evening drinks or afternoon coffee. Take a look at the Library.

3. Gramercy Park
Great downstairs bar and up on the rooftop too. Find out more about the Gramercy Park hotel.

4. Soho Grand
Great for indie muso celeb spotting. Check out the Soho Grand.

5. The Peninsular rooftop
Great views of the city and Central Park from this rooftop bar. Check out the Pen here.

6. The Hudson
Indoors and outdoors – great daytime or evening, gets very busy later. See The Hudson hotel.

7. The Royalton
Really cool hotel bar in Midtown Manhattan between Times Square and the Rockefeller Center. Great cocktails and you can hang out with the wannabe beautiful people – my mate Tony loved the place! Click here for details of the Royalton.

8. The Bowery
A little old skool on the decor but great cocktails. The Bowery hotel.

9. The Mercer
Great for drinks and food, upstairs or down in the basement! See The Mercer.

10. The Rivington
I love the restaurant here and the bar is a lively place to enjoy after dinner. Take a look at The Rivington.

There are three new additions to New York that I have yet to visit –

The Standard New York in the Meat Packing District.
The Andaz on Wall Street.
The Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo.

I’d welcome any comments from people who have been to any of these!

For a Gekko’s other hotspots in NYC, see my New York Address Book.

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The best hotel bars in London

Hotel bars are brilliant for many reasons. The late opening hours, the cosmopolitan crowds and the fact that they retain a feeling of exclusivity even if anyone can walk in for a drink. And if you really can’t get home, you can always try getting a room at the hotel at the end of the night. Here’s Gekko’s top five London hotel bars.

Artesian at The Langham, West End
For a bit of old-school glamour, you can’t beat The Langham. One of London’s finest grand hotels, this Victorian pile has just been refurbished to the tune of £50 million. The chic east-meets-west interiors and pagoda bar make things as urbane as they get this close to Oxford Circus, and with rum the spirit of choice, there’s plenty of classy daiquiris and hurricanes to be enjoyed.
Find out more about The Langham

Bar 190 at The Gore, Knightsbridge
Bar 190 blends opulence with tradition to dramatic effect. It was famously the setting for the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet film, and a certain Medieval bacchanalia remains with mahogany panelling, formal oil paintings and intimate lighting set against a neon-lit bar. At the back of the room, a jewel-studded ‘Cinderella Carriage’ holds a VIP table for six. The tapas menu is also fabulous.
Find out more about The Gore

The Long Bar at The Sanderson, West End
A bar that lives up to its name and, in keeping with the rest of this achingly hip hotel, is a designer’s dream. Full of media types and moneymen of an evening, the DJ pumps out nightly beats whilst the cool crowd lap up the special cocktails. Martinis are the real star here with some inventive combinations. Check out the ‘Sanderson Predicts’ nights to hear the best live new music in the perfect setting.
Find out more about The Sanderson

The Connaught Bar, Mayfair
Ferociously chic and immaculately turned out, the prices might be dizzying but so is the experience. The Cubist-style design fits perfectly with the bespoke martinis from the seriously professional mixologists. Completing the picture are fashionable titbits from stellar chef Hélène Darroze: sashimi of scallops & truffle vinaigrette anyone?
Find out more about The Connaught

Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel
An original stained-glass window is now the only survivor of this room’s Balmoral baronial past. It is now a slick noughties lounge named after 1960s photographer Terence Donovan which attracts stylists and fashion editors like barflies to superior Cognac. The bar displays many of Donovan’s best works which pleasingly complements the monochramtic design. The cocktail list is addictive as is the feeling that you are drinking with the in-the-know crowd.
Find out more about Brown’s Hotel

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What’s hot in London this March

Ron Arad Retrospective at the Barbican Centre, London: Until 16 May
Ron Arad is one of the most influential designers of this generation. Arad moved to London in the early 1970s to study at London’s Architectural Association, and has established a reputation over three decades for challenging, daredevil work. Arad has produced everything from carbon fibre armchairs to polyurethane bottle racks. His beautiful furniture can connect to Bluetooth, send and receive SMS messages from iPhones and other smartphones. The exhibition runs at the Barbican until Sunday, May 16th.
Find out more here.

Click here to see recommended hotels near the Barbican

The Loft by Nuno Mendes: Throughout March
Nuno Mendes, a chef trained at El Bulli, last year invited people into his Dalston flat for a 10-course meal that he called his “personal test kitchen.” Mendes wanted to use it as a testbed for his experimental brand of cooking. He’s invited Swedish chef Ola Rudin, with his molecular cuisine to join him, and it can cater 16 at a time. Definitely worth a visit if you are in London. The cost is £100 per person, and you can find out more at http://www.nunomendes.co.uk/loft.html.

Click to see recommended hotels near Dalston

Dave Matthews at The O2: 6 March
Dave Matthews will continue his European tour on 6 March at the state of the art O2 Arena. Dave Matthews has inspired millions and has continued to deliver superior performances and bring people from all over the world together with his musical abilities. The Dave Matthews Band is one of the greatest American Jam Band’s of all time. This show is going to sell out quickly so be sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss it. Buy tickets here.

Click to see recommended hotels near The O2

Soap at The Riverside Studios: 5 March – 25 April
From the same creator of La Clique, Markus Pabst, Soap finally hits London after a ten month run in Berlin. A mix of circus and cabaret, the show takes place in a bathroom setting where eight peculiar characters perform a mix of dance, burlesque, comedy, gravity-defying moves and precise aerial acrobatics, using a bathtub, showers and water to create mesmerising visual effects. Find out more here

Changing Media Summit: 18 March
The Changing Media Summit returns to London bringing you another packed one-day fix of all things digital media and providing you with access to speakers, content and networking you simply can’t get anywhere else. Confirmed speakers include, Michael Wolff, the founder of Newser.com and author of Rupert Murdoch biography The Man Who Owns the News and Austin Heap, executive director of the Censorship Research Centre and Twitter activist during the Iranian elections. Find out more here

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Lady Gaga’s hotel hotspots

Outrageous, extravagant, loopy. Just some of the words used to describe Lady Gaga in the past few months and whether you like her or not, you certainly can’t ignore her. After winning three Brit Awards on Tuesday, she is the hottest celeb in London right now (she’s been staying at the fancy May Fair Hotel), and if you want to sample a bit of Planet Gaga, try one of her favourite hotel hotspots…

1. The May Fair, London
The hotel where the Lady has been staying during her Brits visit to London. A swanky five-star in the West End which has just had a £70 million refurb, Gaga is no doubt in thrall to the contemporary-style interiors from some of the world’s best design houses, including Fendi and Baccarat.
Check out The May Fair, London – from £143 a night
Find hotels similar to The May Fair

2. Andaz Liverpool Street, London
A smart, funky hotel, Gaga stayed here last year whilst filming a reality doc which will be screened later this year. Although its home is the glorious Victorian building which used to be The Great Eastern Hotel, the five-star Andaz was rennovated by Sir Terence Conran in the early Noughties and it shows. Sleek and modern interiors make an interesting contrast to the hotel’s history, particularly the stunning Masonic Temple, said to be a haunt of local badboy Jack The Ripper. We’re sure Gaga would approve of the Gothic undertones.
Check out the Andaz Liverpool Street, London – from £121 a night
Find hotels similar to the Andaz Liverpool Street

3. Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh
Alive with colourful Missoni designs, this designer hotel on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was home to Gaga when she played Scotland’s T In The Park last summer. It has free Wi-Fi, a stylish cucina and bar and luxurious rooms with a free minibar and a movie library.
Check out the Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh – from £120 a night

4. La Tremoille, Paris
La Tremoille was originally a private mansion built in 1883 and was fully renovated in 2002. Ideally located and quietly concealed in the haute couture and luxury shops district, only a stones throw from the Champs Elysees, it’s a perfect retreat for a star who likes a fancy dress.
Check out La Tremoille, Paris – from £285 a night
Find hotels similar to La Tremoille

5. Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
This four-star hotel is just moments from the excitement of the Vegas Strip and is a favourite of George Clooney as well as Gaga. Offering a 24-hour casino, a variety of restaurants and a relaxing spa, guests can enjoy stunning views of the city in the hotel’s Moon nightclub, which boasts a retractable roof.
Check out the Palms Casino Resort, Vegas
Find hotels similar to the Palms Casino Resort

See all of Lady Gagas hotel hotspots here.

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The world’s most romantic spots

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked the Gekko community to tell us the most romantic spot they had ever been to. We had a great response with some brilliant suggestions, from tropical beaches in Thailand to a tiny hamlet in West Wales and even the Gatwick Express! We’re assured by the person that suggested it that they proposed on the Gatwick Express and they are not an overly passionate trainspotter.

The most romantic spots, in order of votes they received, are:

1. Loch Lomond, Scotland, United Kingdom
“Loch Lomond – very chilly but the weather was clear and sunny, just the sort of stunning setting to be huddled close to my partner!” Ewan McPherson
4* The Lodge On Loch Lomond Hotel – from £89 a night
Find a hotel you’ll love in Glasgow

2. Venice, Italy
“Lost yet comforted by the sound of water, we stumbled upon a dead end street in Venice, over looking the Grand Canal. It had the most intimate feel, yet we were so close to the hustle and bustle.” Katherine Chu
Find a hotel you’ll love in Venice

3. Lake Como, Italy
“Lake Como in Italy is the most romantic place I have ever visited. My husband and I went there to celebrate our 25th wedding annniversary. Everywhere you go, there are fabulous views of mountains, lake and gorgeous little towns and villages. It is so breathtakingly beautiful, that I nearly cried when I opened the curtains in the morning. The best place to stay is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, the prettiest of all the little towns.” Debbie Vowles
5* Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Lake Como
Find a hotel you’ll love in Bellago, Lake Como

4. Phuket, Thailand
“I went to Phuket and the Evason Spa Resort and got their island for a night for my girlfriend’s birthday whilst there. It’s a very chilled out place anyway with a beautiful infinity pool.” Stephen Leonard
Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa – from £124 a night
Find a hotel you’ll love in Phuket

5. Istanbul, Turkey
“My most romantic spot was in Istanbul in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace sipping tea, overlooking the sea and watching all the boats go by.” Loud Daisy
Find a hotel you’ll love in Istanbul

Let us know your most romantic spot below.

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Wimbledon 2009: The Places to Stay

As Wimbledon fever hits the UK, you may well want to be a part of the action. Watching Wimbledon from courtside is the thing to do this summer, yet it can be a huge hassle for people. Tourists flood into London, filling up the buses and trains and making it a tricky to journey for anyone not living in London. So to treat yourself, why don’t you find a hotel to stay in for the tournament this year?

Did you know that you can be living in the heart of central London and be no more than 30 minutes away from Wimbledon Station? Hotels close to Wimbledon sell out early, and those that don’t will be sure to raise their prices in anticipation. Therefore, it’s a smart move to stay slightly further away from the courts this year. We’ve selected a handful of the top hotels to stay in London whilst still being in easy reach of Wimbledon. From these hotels you can be sitting in the sunshine, sipping on a glass of Pimms and watching the tennis within 30 minutes of stepping out of your hotel door (Wimbledon queues excluded…).

The Baglioni Hotel

If you’re a fan of the top Italian player Andreas Seppi, then the Baglioni is sure to attract with its beautiful Italian décor. The hotel is in the perfect location for a spot of the best shopping, cultural highlights, the Royal Park Gardens and of course, Wimbledon.

The Baglioni Hotel

The Metropolitan Hotel

The Metropolitan London: Impressive with its modern design interiors and fantastic location of being situated in the heart of London on the exclusive Park Lane. Its adopted Asian-inspired themes offer holistic treatments, therapies and massages which will be much sought after when you return from a long and hot day sitting in the stands.

The Metropolitan Hotel

Knightsbridge Hotel

The only hotel that offers great value for money in one of the most expensive areas in London. The Knightsbridge is ideal if you want more than just tennis, as it is closely located to some of the best shopping to be found in London. Its convenient and upmarket location makes it a great get-away for the Wimbledon adventure, yet still close enough to get to the courts in the morning.

The Knightsbridge Hotel

So there you have it, three great places to stay during Wimbledon this year. For more ideal places to stay, find your London hotel matches on Gekko for the right hotel at the right budget for you.

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The Daily Telegraph’s favourite luxury hotels

The Grove in Hertfordshire

The Grove in Hertfordshire

The Daily Telegraph’s Ultratravel 100 Awards, voted for by the Telegraph’s readers, have been announced, celebrating the very cream of luxury hotels. Of course, the award winners were all hotels that Gekko heartily recommends…

Best Spa Hotel: The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire

A country house (minus the normally requisite Jane Austen kitsch) that’s only 30 minutes from London with a truly stunning spa? There can’t be many better rural retreats than The Grove, set in the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. So whether you want to pamper yourself in mosaic pools or simply stay in your indulgent suite and order room service, if you need to get away from it, get yourself a room asap.

Find out more about The Grove

Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town

Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town


Best Hotel in Africa: The Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town

George from Gekko HQ stayed at spectacular Mount Nelson and wants to go back…

“They say it’s the best hotel in Africa. Who can argue? It would be difficult to imagine something better. Staff who just can’t do enough for you (including sending a driver out to check if the jazz club we wanted to go to was still there), the best of facilities, and a wonderful setting under Table Mountain. We can’t wait to go back.”

Check rates at the Mount Nelson, Cape Town

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Burj Al Arab, Dubai


Best Hotel in the Middle East: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

You thought Vegas was a bit OTT? You ain’t seen nothing yet. The world’s only SEVEN star (yes, that’s SEVEN star) hotel is the stuff of pure fantasy, from the startling architecture to the Versace bedspreads and private cinemas. The staff take service to a new level and are used to waiting on actual royalty so they’re perfectly placed to make you feel like a king, queen or sheikh. And that’s before we get to the restaurant where you can either eat in the clouds, or in a coral encrusted enclave in the Arabian Gulf. A pimped up Bond dream all round.

Check rates at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Raffles Singapore

Raffles Singapore


Best Hotel in Asia: Raffles Singapore

Home of the famous Singapore Sling cocktail, Raffles is still a byword for luxury, albeit a hangover from the days of colonial excess. With elegant suites and an amazing 19 distinctive restaurants and bars, this is one hotel where you will never go hungry or thirsty. There’s also a world famous spa and its own shopping mall, theatre and museum, not to mention the lush exotic gardens.

Check rates at Raffles in Singapore

Four Seasons George V, Paris

Four Seasons George V, Paris


Best City Hotel: Four Seasons George V Paris

Just a few steps from the Champs-Elysees, the Four Seasons is one of the most elegant hotels in the world with many rooms boasting private terraces looking over the city. Very formal but with service to match the Le Cinq restaurant offers some of the finest French cuisine in town. If you fancy staying where celebs and royalty like to romance, then this place is for you.

Check rates at the Four Seasons George V Paris

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