Tag: York

Baccarat Hotel In New York Debuts New Limited-Edition Champagne

It’s time to pop the corks! In a meeting of great minds that began in October 2019, Matthieu Yamoum,  the Wine Director at Baccarat  Hotel  New York (It’s a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond) and Piper-Heidsieck’s Chief Winemaker, Emilien Boutillat, have come together to create an exceptional new champagne for the world to enjoy. It’s called “Essential” by Matthieu Yamoum.  Right now, this chic new champagne is available exclusively by the glass at Baccarat Hotel New York, as well as at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Gabriel Kreuther. (Mr. Kreuther is also the hotel’s Culinary Director.) The hotel re-opened on October 5thand at the moment is only offering in-room dining for breakfast service.

Just a brief background on this beautiful jewel box of a hotel: Each of the Baccarat Hotel’s 114 guest rooms and suites feels like a private pied-à-terre. Room categories start with the generous Classic King and ascend to the Baccarat Suite, the hotel’s “pièce de résistance.” All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting areas, and custom jacquard linens by Mascioni. Hidden from the sleeping area by handpainted French doors, white marble bathrooms boast glass-enclosed showers with oversized shower heads and exclusive amenities created for the hotel by famous Parisian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. Oo la la! 

The Bar, where, bien sur,  you are quite likely to drink champagne, is  just off the opulent Grand Salon. It is an epic space featuring barrel-vaulted ceilings, a 60-foot bar and an outdoor terrace overlooking the MoMA. The hotel also features a 55-foot indoor pool, an elite fitness training facility, and the first Spa de La Mer in the United States.

I recently conducted an exclusive interview for Forbes.com with Mr. Yamoum, about his new champagne served at the Baccarat Hotel, and this is what he had to say.

Are you drinking champagne right now?

Not right now, but that’s not a bad idea. I have to pick up my kids. (Laughs.)

What inspired you to create this champagne?

Piper-Heidsieck, who I have a close relationship with for the hotel, they approached me telling me that they had a program where I could create my own champagne. Making it 100% to my taste. About two years ago it came up. They offered me to create a “Baccarat Hotel” champagne but they told me that they wanted my name on the bottle. Who would say no to that? I accepted right away. The champagne process is very complicated, but the champagne that I made was harvested in 2014 and cellared in 2015 – for four years the champagne was sleeping and aging inside the bottle. When you remove the sediment you lose some liquid but the empty space is where

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Jho Low’s Beverly Hills Hotel Sold to New York Lodging Investor

A low-profile New York City-based hotel investor is the mystery buyer of the Beverly Hills hotel that the U.S. government sold in August, after seizing it from the fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low.

EOS Investors LLC, a three-year old firm that owns and manages about 20 hotels, won the bidding process and on Thursday completed its purchase of the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel, according to the firm and the auction’s broker. A sales representative had said previously that the winning bid for the hotel was $100 million, but he didn’t disclose the buyer’s identity.

The sale marked the last of Mr. Low’s major properties to be auctioned by federal authorities, who allege he bought the hotel and other assets with money embezzled from a Malaysian government fund. U.S. and other authorities have previously sold Mr. Low’s private jet, luxury yacht, and his stake in the Park Lane Hotel overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park, among other possessions.

The L’Ermitage, an all-suite hotel located near the city’s posh Rodeo Drive, has attracted numerous entertainment moguls, foreign jet-setters, and movie stars over the years like Elizabeth Taylor and Laurence Olivier.

Fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low acquired the hotel for $46 million in 2010 and spent about $37 million on renovations.


Stuart Ramson/Associated Press

It also drew widespread interest from a crowd of potential buyers, said Matthew Bordwin, principal at Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC, the firm that ran the sales process. There were about 800 potential buyers who expressed interest from all over the world—“from every continent but Antarctica,” Mr. Bordwin said—and 50 bids for the hotel.

In the end, none would top EOS’s offer. That price was the so-called stalking-horse bid, established to set a floor as the lowest price to complete a sale but one that also proved to be the high bid.

A number of factors prevented an even richer bid, including the brutal hotel environment during Covid and the travel restrictions that could have kept potential foreign buyers away, say people familiar with the process. The U.S. luxury segment has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the collapse of business travel: Revenue per available room in September fell 55% from a year ago, compared with only a 21% decline for economy class hotels, hotel data firm STR said.

Some also believed the price for the 116-room property was too steep at nearly the rate of $860,000 per room. But EOS President Jonathan Wang said the property represented a rare opportunity to enter the coveted Beverly Hills market and would prove to be a good long-term investment.

“Our plan is to bring back more luxury elements and make it a top destination in the market,” he said.

As for the previous owner, Mr. Wang added, “it adds some mystery to the hotel.”

Mr. Low was an adviser to a Malaysian government investment fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB. The U.S. government alleged he stole from the fund, and he agreed last year to forfeit more than

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upstate new york secret library airbnb

As the effects of the global pandemic continue, cities across the world are contending with closed attractions, a dearth of things to do, re-imagined culinary offerings and the overall shrinking of tourist-related activities. 

As a result, it’s clear a different sort of holiday is on the rise – one that will offer the same draws as a pre-Covid-19 trip (relaxation and different surroundings) alongside proper social distancing measures and virus-related precautions. Will far-flung rental homes, middle-of-nowhere cottages and unusual houses far from a city centre solve the problems escalated by Covid-19 within the travel industry? If the popularity of a secret library in upstate New York serves as proof, the answer is yes.

The Hemmelig Rom, located in the Hudson Valley about 90 miles from Manhattan, is the creation of Jason Koxvold, a Norwegian-British photographer and creative director. Quite literally a black box in the middle of the forest, it is a simple yet stylish one-room library, measuring 110-square-feet, that is heated by a wood-burning stove and a small electric heater. Inside the cabin-like space, guests will find a desk and an armchair alongside 1,500 books. The destination’s name translates to “secret room” in Norwegian. 

“From a conceptual standpoint, when I first built it, I had this idea that guests would be invited to write a note anonymously and leave it in any of the books,” explains Koxvold. “I don’t know if that’s happened, I haven’t really been looking, but I like this idea that you have a black cabin in the woods that almost disappears into the landscape.”

You won’t get bored at Hemmelig Rom – there are more than 1,500 books

© Jason Koxvold 2016/Jason Koxvold

• 10 cool Catskills and Hudson Valley hotels

Although it has Wi-Fi and electricity, the library doesn’t have running water and it isn’t connected to a bathroom or a kitchen, which is why Koxvold has decided to rent it out only as part of the larger Lidar West property it sits on. The entire home—rentable on Airbnb unless occupied by Koxvold and his family—has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

As for the kinds of books you’ll find in the peaceful enclave, expect a variety of genres. Most of the tomes are Koxvold’s own but those closer to the ceiling are a random batch that he bought from someone cleaning out his own library. “Those became kind of the filler,” he says. “But down at human height, all the books are mine.” A voracious reader himself, Koxvold mentions Peter Heller’s post-apocalyptic fiction novel The Dog Stars as one of his favourite recent reads. Quite fitting, indeed.

“I bought this property back in 2012,” reminisces the 42-year-old Koxvold. “It was nearly two-and-a-half acres and it was completely wild forest.” After building the 1,400-square-foot main structure, Koxvold was left with extra lumber that he decided to cut down into eight-by-eight inch logs. After a rather busy visit by his extended family during which he was forced to sleep in the basement, Koxvold decided

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New York considering ditching state travel advisory quarantine list

ALBANY — The state of New York is studying whether the current policy of requiring certain out-of-state travelers to quarantine for two weeks could be replaced with a different approach, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a Wednesday briefing at the state Capitol.

“Is there a better, smarter way to handle a quarantine?” Cuomo said. “None of this has been done before, so we have to figure it out as it goes.”

Experts have told the state it should “have a plan to use testing to determine in a short period of time if you are infected or you’re not,” Cuomo said, rather than the current policy of requiring travelers to quarantine for two weeks.

“Better than time, you should use testing. They have rapid tests that are very quick,” Cuomo said of what experts have told him. “It’s smarter to use testing than it is to just set timelines.”

There are 43 states on New York’s travel advisory list, Cuomo said. States are automatically added when infection rates reach a certain threshold over a seven-day, rolling average. The infection rates of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are high enough this week that they could be added to the list, although they have not been added, as Cuomo said it would be too damaging to New York’s economy and difficult to enforce.

The current 14-day quarantine policy for travelers, which is largely a voluntary system, is imperfect, Cuomo acknowledged. Stopping travelers from flowing into the state on roads and highways is “impossible, impracticable and highly disruptive.” It also has a negative effect on businesses, he said, as people traveling to New York for a business meeting don’t want to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

Public health experts expect the increasingly colder temperatures to bring higher COVID-19 infection rates as more people move indoors for longer periods.

Cuomo also laid out his administration’s plan for dealing with COVID-19 clusters: viewing them as a series of concentric circles, where the innermost is the “red zone” of highest infection rate, moving outward to orange, then yellow. The red zones will have the most restrictions on activity, then the orange will have less, and so on. This is less disruptive to the economy than a uniform approach, he said.

Cuomo noted that technology and testing advancements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed public health strategies to evolve. Originally, whole regions of the country shut down completely to slow down the spread of the virus, then states. As testing and technology ramped up to identify and track the spread of the virus, Cuomo said, New York is able to offer more targeted restrictions on activity, even on a block-by-block basis, based on where the virus is spreading.

“That is the best you can do in this situation,” he said. “You see an ember land in dry grass, you ring an alarm, everybody run, stamp out the ember.”

As the governor has recently cast doubts on the efficacy of any vaccine produced during the administration

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New York, New Jersey, Connecticut discourage nonessential travel as COVID-19 cases rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Tuesday urged residents to limit nonessential travel between the states but stopped short of imposing quarantine requirements for people crossing those borders, even as local coronavirus cases rose.

New York, which faced one of the most rampant outbreaks in the world earlier this year, now requires people arriving from 38 states and two U.S. territories where cases are rising to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel room.

Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the state’s criteria for the quarantine requirements, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed with his neighboring counterparts that adding them to the quarantine list would be impractical.

In a joint statement later on Tuesday, Cuomo joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, all Democrats, in saying the three states “depend on each other when it comes to commerce, education, and health care.”

“We’re urging all of our residents to avoid unnecessary or non-essential travel between states at this time, but will not subject residents of our states to a quarantine if coming from a neighboring state,” the statement said.

Cuomo said he also wanted to discourage nonessential travel from Pennsylvania.

The rate of positive coronavirus tests was above 3% in New Jersey, state health officials said on Monday. In Connecticut, the positivity rate was 1.7%, Lamont said on Monday. Pennsylvania’s was 4.3%, said Governor Tom Wolf.

New York’s positivity rate was 1.3% on Tuesday, one of the lowest in the nation, but health officials have raised concerns about some “hot spots” in parts of New York City and counties north of the metropolis.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sam Holmes)

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New York governor discourages nonessential travel from New Jersey, Connecticut

FILE PHOTO: Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo speaks in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wanted to limit nonessential travel from New Jersey and Connecticut as the neighboring states see upticks in novel coronavirus cases and that he would announce new guidance on Wednesday.

“There’s no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut, there are just too many interchanges,” Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters on a conference call, noting the many people living in the states who commute to jobs in New York City.

He said he planned to speak with the governors of the two states later on Tuesday about “making it clear to the extent travel among the states or between the states is not essential it should be avoided.” He later said he also wanted to discourage nonessential travel from Pennsylvania.

The rate of positive coronavirus tests was above 3% in New Jersey, state health officials said on Monday. In Connecticut, the positivity rate was 1.7%, Governor Ned Lamont said on Monday. Pennsylvania’s was 4.3%, said Governor Tom Wolf.

New York’s positivity rate was 1.3% on Tuesday, one of the lowest in the nation, but health officials have raised concerns about some “hot spots” in parts of New York City and counties north of the metropolis.

New York, which faced one of the most rampant outbreaks in the world earlier this year, now requires people arriving from 38 states and two U.S. territories to quarantine for 14 days. Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the state’s criteria for the quarantine requirements, but Cuomo said on Tuesday he would not yet add them to the list.

“It would have a disastrous effect on the economy, and remember while we’re fighting this public health pandemic, we’re also fighting to open up the economy,” Cuomo said.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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Prominent New York hotel developer Chang’s businesses received millions in PPP loans

  • At least eight businesses owned by Sam Chang received between $2.8 million and just over $7 million in federal small business loans.
  • Though Chang owns many New York hotels, he does not manage them and would not have applied for the loans himself.
  • A spokesman told CNBC in a statement that the loans were intended, in part, to help retain employees.

a view of a city: View of skyline and commercial real estate in New York City.

© Provided by CNBC
View of skyline and commercial real estate in New York City.

Companies controlled by one of New York’s most prominent hotel developers received millions of dollars in loans from a government program intended to support small businesses as the coronavirus hammered the economy.


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At least eight businesses owned by Sam Chang received between $2.8 million and just over $7 million in federal small business loans, according to a list of transactions made public this summer. The amount and the way in which the funds were distributed to Chang’s businesses had yet to be reported.

More than 660,000 businesses were approved for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is run by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. Loans went to companies both small and large while the coronavirus swept through the country. Congress and the Trump administration continue to negotiate over more stimulus funds. The Senate plans to vote on a separate GOP backed coronavirus bill on Wednesday.

Chang founded the McSam Hotel Group, which is known for buying and developing hotel properties that offer affordable accommodations. Some of those properties include hotels in and around Times Square, such as the Hampton Inn, Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn.

Chang once said he was worth $200 million in cash, according to a New York Times report from 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that he was planning to retire.

Though Chang owns many New York hotels, he does not manage them and would not have applied for the loans himself. The commercial real estate and hotel industries suffered major losses after the pandemic hit the U.S.

McSam spokesman Sam Goldstein told CNBC in a statement that the loans were intended, in part, to help retain employees.

“The hospitality industry, as has been extensively documented, is among the hardest hit sectors of the economy due to the Covid-induced downturn, especially in New York City,” he told CNBC in an email.  “A number of these sites provided accommodations for health care professionals and others working for Covid-related purposes. The PPP loans enabled the hotels to retain much of their workforces for a longer period of time and to continue operating despite extraordinary drops in guests and revenue.”

Most of the loans went through obscure limited liability companies to single properties that Chang owns, records show. Meanwhile, McSam Hotel Group saw between $150,000 and $350,000, but the total went toward Chang’s corporate office, according to McSam’s spokesman.

The other federal loans went to seven other LLCs that do not bear his company name, such as the Grandsam Island LLC and the Brisam JFK LLC, the

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Dwayne Haskins returns to practice, Ron Rivera unsure if QB will travel to New York

Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins returned to practice Friday after missing the past two days with an illness, but coach Ron Rivera said he was unsure if the 23-year-old would travel with the team to New Jersey for Sunday’s against the New York Giants.

Haskins was a full participant in practice and was not listed as questionable or out. Rivera, though, didn’t commit to Haskins making the trip.

“We’ll see what happens and how he is [Saturday],” Rivera said. “He’s got a little bit of a stomach ailment and we’ll go from there.”

If Haskins makes the trip, he is likely to be inactive Sunday. Haskins was demoted last week from starter to third string, with Kyle Allen and Alex Smith ahead of him on the depth chart. Allen will start against the Giants.

Rivera said Haskins “looked good” in Friday’s practice.

“He went out and did the things that he was supposed to,” Rivera said. “It was good to see him out there. A bunch of his teammates came up and dapped him up to let him know they were glad to have him back. That’s what I was hoping for.” 

Washington, meanwhile, activated right guard Brandon Scherff off injured reserve Friday, paving the way for his return from a knee injury. To make room on the roster, Washington placed cornerback Greg Stroman (foot) on injured reserve.

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THE 10 BEST Hotels in New York City for 2020 (from $83)

Hotel Giraffe by Library Hotel Collection, Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection, and Library Hotel by Library Hotel Collection received great reviews from travelers looking for a romantic hotel in New York City. See the full list: Romantic Hotels in New York City.

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Top New York Hotels from $72 (FREE cancellation on select hotels)

Visiting New York

Travelers to New York give high marks for the popular theater scene, entertainment choices, and fascinating museums. Vibrant and scenic, this city attracts tourists with its art and architecture. Top sights in the city include Times Square, Broadway, and Bryant Park.

  • There are 2188 hotels and other accommodations in New York
  • The closest major airport is in New York, NY (LGA-LaGuardia), 6.1 mi (9.8 km) from the city center
  • The next closest is in Teterboro, NJ (TEB), 7.9 mi (12.7 km) away

Sightseeing and Staying in New York

Known for its theaters, museums, and art, the city’s cultural venues include Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, and Gershwin Theater. Attractions like Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, and Chelsea Piers are fun for kids of all ages. The city is notable for landmarks like Times Square, Top of the Rock, and Rockefeller Center.

In New York, you’ll find 2188 hotels and other lodging accommodations so you’ll have ample places to choose from for your holiday retreat. Here are top ones based on Expedia user reviews:

  • French Quarters NYC – Guests who stay at this 3-star hotel in Midtown can enjoy access to free breakfast and a restaurant, along with an in-room kitchenette. It’s a favorite with Expedia travelers for its breakfast and overall value.
  • Home NYC – Our customers like the central location and helpful staff at this guesthouse. This 3-star guesthouse in Harlem features free WiFi and laundry facilities.
  • The Sherry Netherland – Guests who stay at this 4.5-star hotel in Central Park South can enjoy access to a restaurant and a 24-hour fitness center, along with free WiFi. Expedia customers like its dining options and quiet location.

Other favorite sights in New York include Bryant Park, Macy’s, and Broadway Theatre. Popular places to see in the area include Newport Mall, 3.4 mi/5.5 km from the heart of the city, and Colgate Clock, which is 3.8 mi (6.1 km) away.

Getting Around New York

With so many choices for transportation, seeing New York is easy. You can walk to nearby metro stations including Times Sq. – 42 St. Station, 49th St. Station, and 42 St. – Bryant Pk. Station. If you want to journey outside of the area, hop aboard a train from New York W 32nd St. Station, New York Grand Central Terminal Station, or New York Penn Station.

Dressing for New York

  • Between January and March, you can expect average temperatures of 55°F during the day and 26°F at night
  • From April to June, the average during the day is 83°F, while the average at night is 40°F
  • July through September has daytime averages of 84°F with nighttime averages of 55°F
  • In October-December, you can expect daytime averages of 69°F and nighttime averages of 28°F
  • Average annual rainfall for New York is 49.96 inches
  • Usually July and August are the hottest months with an average of 83°F, whereas January and February are often coldest, averaging 28°F

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