Tag Archives: hotel

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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Gramercy Park Hotel, New York – if it’s good enough for Jessica Alba…

The Gramercy Park Hotel, New York

The Gramercy Park Hotel, New York

Stylish, cool, opulent, lavish; just a few words to describe the super-trendy Gramercy Park Hotel, located on Lexington Avenue in the Gramercy District of New York.

So no surprise to find that two of the hottest (in every sense) US celebs Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel spotted hanging out there in the hotel’s 18th floor private roof club and garden over the weekend. Also no surprise that I didn’t make it on to the invite list to the private celebrity soiree whilst I was fortunate enough to be staying at the hotel to celebrate my Dad’s 60th that same weekend.
When you walk into the lobby of the hotel, the Ian Schrager design, synonymous with hotels like the Royalton, Morgans, Delano and Mondrian, hits you immediately. Dark and moody, lit with a huge chandelier hanging down as the centrepiece, Louis XV chairs sit beneath works by Cy Twombly and Damien Hirst amongst other notable artists.

The hotel staff are friendly and the news that my parents and I are to be upgraded to a deluxe double suite in recognition of our family celebration is music to our ears. As we make our way to our respective rooms, we realise the lifts only work if you insert your room card before pressing your floor button. Operating this in a light that was described by a fellow lift passenger as ‘unnecessarily dark’ is somewhat difficult, a difficulty that is significantly heightened after a few cocktails in the bar later on.

Kingsized bedding at the Gramercy Park Hotel
Kingsized bedding at the Gramercy Park Hotel

The rooms are luxurious with distinctive burgundy rugs laid on mahogany flooring and velvet drapery on show, together with a mixture of interesting art pieces and photographs scattered around. The bed is huge (note: I am only 5 ft 6” so it may be average to most) and is without doubt one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. My room was street facing and it has to be said that you do occasionally catch the sound of a car horn once in a while, a sound that you grow accustomed to, given the number of taxis that drive around the city.

One of the Gramercy Park's many bars
One of the Gramercy Park’s many bars

As a guest you can enjoy drinks at any of the hotels three bars; the Rose and Jade bars downstairs, as well as the private Roof Club and Garden. Being one of the more popular spots for cocktails and private parties, reservations are an absolute must at weekends and drinks are at the higher price end (approx $18 -$20 for a spirit and mixer). The Roof Terrace bar has a retractable roof, and guarantees great views of Manhattan whilst you enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or just cocktails.

We were lucky to enjoy great weather so decided to take advantage of the sunshine in the private Gramercy Park over the road, available to local residents and hotel guests. The park has only ever been opened to the general public on 9/11 so this really is a great place to come and relax in a rather unique location. The hotel concierge is the only person with a key so he escorts you through and locks the gate. Don’t forget to take a mobile phone with you to ring the hotel unless you want to spend the evening sleeping on a park bench.

So that’s the Gramercy Park Hotel in a nutshell. A great hotel by all accounts, and with a lovely cake brought to my parents’ room to celebrate the birthday, we couldn’t have asked for more. Well, perhaps for me to have got stuck in a dark lift with one of the Jessicas…

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The Big Sleep Cardiff – being John Malkovich

The Big Sleep in Cardiff - owned by John Malkovich

The Big Sleep in Cardiff - owned by John Malkovich

As befitting a hotel owned by nutbag actor John Malkovich, The Big Sleep is both ridiculously cool and a little bit schizophrenic. Set in a slightly barbaric 60s office block, the harsh exterior gives way to a refreshingly unique interior, full of crazy orange walls and photos of John M himself.

Each room is unique in design and the one I stayed in had an incredible view of the city from on high. The hotel is slap bang in the centre of Cardiff and is also handy for the gleaming, aspirational waterfront of Cardiff Bay. If you’re out to impress that kooky girl or boy you met at the arthouse cinema, then this is the place to stay in the Diff.

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Malmaison Manchester – Northern Rock and roll

Malmaison ManchesterIf you’ve got a bit of cash to spare and you want to hang out in Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter, then the Malmaison is for you. Just seconds from Piccadilly Station, the Malmaison straddles a beautiful Victorian building and an achingly modern extension which nicely sums up the hotel.

Traditional service in a minimalist contemporary design. Cool but comfy rooms, well equipped spa and an excellent restaurant and bar, stocked with lots of quality single malts (if I remember rightly). And all of that just a totter and a stumble away from Manchester’s hottest bars.

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Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica – the hotel in a plane

The plane in a hotel

The plane in a hotel


If you really want to live the high life, stay in this crazy hotel in the Costa Rican rainforest. The Hotel Costa Verde is based in an 1965 Boeing 727. The plane used to fly around the world on South Africa Air and now serves as a two bedroom suite on the edge of the rainforest overlooking the beach and the ocean. Sounds like a dream to us here at Gekko HQ. We want to find someone who has stayed here, so if you’ve heard of anyone taking residence in an old plane, let us know. If you know of any other crazy hotels around the world, tell us!

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