Archive for December, 2012

Renovating New York’s Finest Hotels

December 14, 2012 in Tourism | Comments (0)

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Hotel Belleclaire New Lounge

It is fascinating to look at renovations that hotels have undertaken and the surprising finds that they’ve made along the way.

The Hotel Belleclaire, owned by Shimmie Horn, for instance, spent much of 2012 renovating their lobby. In the midst of these renovations, they discovered incredibly high ceilings that are over 17 feet high. They are framed in intricate, ornate crown molding and have mosaic-tiled floors.

They also recently discovered a 40 foot skylight that also dates back 100 years. As they describe on their website for the Hotel Belleclaire with Shimmie Horn, “What originally began as a lobby redesign has emerged into a restoration and enhancement project.  After extensive research on Emery Roth’s original design elements; we have decided that the traditional details will be refashioned using historical references and modern techniques.”

Another example of hotels that have made dramatic renovations is the Westin New York Grand Central. They showed their renovations on October 12th, after investing $75 million into their renovation project. All of the 774 guest rooms received complete makeovers and the 12,000 square foot meeting space did as well. There is now a 3000 square foot fitness studio to rival some of the best in New York.

These are a few of the many examples of hotels in the New York area that are getting dramatic face-lifts. Certainly guests will benefit from these investments for years to come.

Visit the Feds and See the Vault

December 3, 2012 in Culture and History,Museums,Tourism | Comments (0)

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Have you ever thought of visiting New York’s branch of the Federal Reserve Bank? It is completely free and well worth the effort of joining a guided tour in order to see the high-security vault. Behind that impregnable door lies over 10, 000 tons of gold reserves, safely stowed 80 feet underground. For those on the tour only a small percentage of that mass of precious metal will be on view. To book your free tour, which is the only way to get a glimpse of the vault, you will need to reserve about 6 weeks in advance of your planned visit. The tour can accommodate up to 25 visitors, takes about 45 minutes, and begins several times during the day between 11:15am and 3:00pm. A visit can be reserved as far as 90 days in advance.

New York Federal Reserve Bank Vault

Self-guided visits are also possible and also need to be booked ahead on-line, and do not include a visit to the vault, but does enable you to see the Museum of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which has an interesting display of the history of money. Self-guided tours are usually available with only one day’s notice.