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Monday, February 11, 2019

The Langham Fifth Avenue Hotel Review

I have decided to go with a new format for the hotel reviews on the site. If there is anything that interests you that I am not covering here, please feel free to email me. I love staying in hotels, it is a perfect getaway and way to relax. There are so many hotels in NYC, last count was 494, so it is a difficult decision to choose one for your stay. I hope my reviews help you make a great choice for your base in New York City! 

Classification : Five Star
Room Category : Premier Room
Month of Stay :  September 2018

Trip Advisor Ranking 21 of 494 (as of 2/09/19)
Trivago Rating  9.3 out of 10 (as of 2/09/19)
2017 Conde Nast Reader’s Choice award for best hotel in New York City

Overall Value: $414 - $1016 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)

What kind of history goes with this hotel? This lovely hotel is housed in a modern, 60-story glass tower that was built from the ground up for the hotel's opening in 2010. It has for sure changed the architecture of the surrounding area of midtown.

When you arrived, how was the lobby and customer service? The lobby is  not very large, but a nice area to wait for friends or take a break before you head back to your room. The customer service was top notch and what one would expect from a 5 star hotel. I advised them I would be in at 11am and the room was ready at 10:45am which was perfect. They offer a hotel car to take you within 20 blocks from the hotel, a very nice feature. The lobby had nice selections of fruit water and snacks available throughout the day, a nice treat when heading back to your room from exploring the city.

How fantastic or not so fantastic was the room? The large rooms start at 400 square feet, and all have king beds and the same top-notch amenities, including iPod docks, Nespresso coffeemakers, 52-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, DVD players. I felt the simple decor was just wonderful, and the room was quite a fabulous size for myself or if I would be staying with someone else. Italian walnut wood paneling and bare beige walls, it almost felt like I was staying in an apartment in the city.

The cleanliness of the hotel and room itself ? Very clean hotel in all areas as well as the room.

Were you able to have sweet dreams with the comfy bed? I had no problem catching some sleep with the luxurious Swedish Duxiana beds (in configurations of twin, double, and king beds) are made with Pratesi linens. It was a very comfy rest from walking around the city all day!

The All-Important bathroom subject?  I am obsessed with a good hotel bathroom. In many hotels in NYC, the bathroom can be of the tiniest size. This hotel has spacious marble bathrooms with a  separate soaking tub and showers with rain showerheads. For me being short, it was a careful step up in the shower/tub combo in my room, but very luxurious. 

What kind of shower treats awaited you? Coffee maker in the room? Chuan Body + Soul which is their spa provided the toiletries for the bathroom and they were very high quality. Yes, coffee maker named Nespresso is provided for your use in the room.

Did room service blow your mind or was just okay? I ordered breakfast and found the service to be wonderful. I love a good room service when staying at a nice hotel. It was very hot the days I visited, so nice to just order in breakfast and enjoy my air conditioning!

Everyone wants to know, is Wi-Fi included? Yes- free Wi-Fi

Is Fido allowed come with you? Pets are allowed on request and charges may apply. I saw no animals staying at the hotel during my stay.

Location is key, how does this hotel measure? The location is fantastic, 5th Avenue and East 36th Street, being able to say I stayed on 5th Avenue is a nice perk too. You are within close walking distance of Bryant Park, Flatrion District, Empire State Building, next door is my favorite Maison Kayser, one street over is another of my faves The Morgan Library and Museum, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal. Lots of shopping within the area is at your fingertips. This location is for sure a great choice when choosing your base in the city.

What was the best part of staying here? I hate to be so silly, but the PENS! They have the most gorgeous pens, and I had 3 of them in my room. I found the refills so they will be used for quite a long time! They sell many Langham pink items in their lobby which make great gifts for friends, family or to treat yourself.

Would you change anything? Not a thing in fact I am very excited to say again.


Is this hotel worth it and why? This is one of the most expensive hotels I have stayed in and I must say, worth every penny. This is my first rating of a 10 for all the hotels I have stayed in New York City. The location, top notch customer service, gorgeous room and bathroom, yummy room service, clean as a whistle, PENS, Chef Michael White's restaurant Ai Fiori all make up a 5 star hotel.

Overall Rating: 10

Hotel prices are at their lowest in the months of January and February; their highest September and October. Sunday nights are the lowest prices for hotel rooms, in most cases. My go to places for checking prices for hotels are TrivagoTrip and Travelzoo. Always remember to check the hotel's website itself, they are really trying to have you book direct and sometimes offer specials or a discount with AAA that is cheaper than the websites I mentioned above. I am also finding that if you book on your mobile device, you can save some money as well. I actually got a better rate via my mobile phone than using my AAA discount online direct during one of my stays. You should really do some research on your price for hotel a few different ways, and ALWAYS book a room that you can cancel, you never know what may happen in the future. You also want the ability to change hotels if you should find a better option closer to your date of arrival. 

Resort fees are something I am seeing at more New York hotels, about 82 of the over 400 hotels in New York City now charge. These fees can run you between $30 to $60 per night for your stay. They list services such as newspapers, in room coffee or WiFi for these fees, and if you book with a hotel that has this fee, you are obligated to pay it. When checking your prices, be sure to look for the small print if there is an additional resort fee and make your decision whether you want that additional charge. Some of the hotels in New York City that charge the fee are: Park Central Hotel $40.16, WestHouse New York $53.93, Avalon Hotel $22.95, Royalton Park Avenue $40.00, The James New York Soho $45.90, The James New York NoMad $38.11, The Warwick $25.00, The Benjamin $38.11, The Quin $21.78, Crowne Plaza Times Square $34.43, Hotel 48Lex $60.00, The Redbury New York $32.66, The Knickerbocker $34.43, The Viceroy Central Park $29.00. These prices are as of 03/25/18

Remember to take into account for your total cost the NYC Hotel tax of 14.75% plus Daily $2.00 per room occupancy fee.

Disclosure: This stay was paid for by me. I will always state at the end of each review whether my stay was paid for by myself or if I was hosted by the hotel. I will honestly tell you about my experience at this hotel, not being swayed in any way by complimentary services. I know you trust my opinion, & it is important to me to be as honest as possible.  All opinions are my own. Thank you so much.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sprinkles Cupcakes in NYC

If you did not know, cupcakes are still a pretty big deal in New York City. I personally love them. They are such a great little treat, you can have 2 different flavors to try with a friend and they make people happy! Sprinkles originally started in Beverly Hills, California by Candace Nelson. Candace is also a judge on the Food Network show, Cupcake Wars. I was very eager to check them out indeed.  

Since I am a HUGE fan of color, loved the decor of the place very much. There are small tables at this location, near Bloomingdales, to sit and enjoy your cuppies. Shopping and enjoying cupcakes are two of my favorite pastimes! 
Very clean design and makes you happy when you walk in.  
I love original flavors and the Chai Latte is one of them but I have yet to try that flavor.  
These looked pretty good, You can always tell Sprinkles from other cupcakes as they have the famous "dot" on the center of most of their cakes. I suggest not to eat the "dot" as not very tasty.  
New York Yankee cupcakes. Nothing more I need to say here.  
The Mets are also here with their own cupcake in chocolate flavor. Nice touch to add the New York Teams to the selection.  
Another New York City special, a black & white, for the famous cookie. They look pretty as well.  
Okay so I tried the Red Velvet. First I have to say, being for the environment, everything is presented to you environmentally safe. I just cannot eat with a wooden fork! It was quite terrible, I have to say, and therefore needed to eat this with my hands, somewhat messy of a time. It was pretty good. I didn't feel it was really too special, good moist cake, removed the "dot" and icing just right. 

Their flavor selection is based on each day. So you may not be able to get your favorite depending on the day you visit. I am not too thrilled with that idea, to be honest. The Chai Latte is only offered 1 day a week which makes it hard to finally try one.  
I brought a few home to get a second taste. Lemon, Banana Chocolate and Chocolate Marshmallow. The lemon could have tasted with more lemon, the banana chocolate was the best of these three, the chocolate marshmallow was not tasty at all.  
Loving that colorful window! I have to say, these are not my favorite with all the selections in New York City. I would never tell anyone not to try them however as you may feel different. They have a huge following in California and also sell mixes in Williams Sonoma. I do want to try the Chai Latte, just to see how it is, but if that wasn't available, I think I would just make my way to the door. 

Sprinkles Cupcakes New York - Upper East Side

Located in Midtown East, our iconic Manhattan bakery features its own Walk of Fame and a fa├žade adorned with Sprinkles trademark modern dots. Conveniently situated a few blocks from Central Park and surrounded by department stores and skyscrapers, on-the-go New Yorkers can get their sugar fix in a hurry!

780 lexington avenue
new york, new york 10065

between 60th & 61st streets
near bloomingdale's
4, 5, 6, N, Q, R subway lines to 59th street

monday - thursday 9 - 10   friday - saturday 9 - 11   sunday 10 - 8
closed on thanksgiving and christmas
closed at 5pm on christmas eve

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Monday, January 28, 2019

NY State Appellate Supreme Court

I have often mentioned to you my interest in architecture since visiting NYC so often. I find walking around magnificent buildings which have been built over 100 years ago peeks my interest. While I was walking around NoMad (north of Madison Square Park) I walked past this building a few times. I finally decided to take some photos and find out it's history. The New York State Appallate Division of the Supreme Court is housed here. It is really beautiful in person. Let's find out some history.  
The Courthouse in 1899, surrounded by brownstone residences.

Built from 1896-1899 by James Brown Lord (26 April 1859 — 1 June 1902) was an American architect, working in a Beaux-Arts idiom, with a practice in New York City. His Appellate Court House was his most prominent commission, noted at the time of his premature death, at the age of forty-three. He designed one of the first of the Carnegie libraries, the Yorkville Branch of the New York Public Library, at 222 East 79th Street. My most favorite architecture design is Beaux-Arts! 

The marble Beaux-Arts courthouse, in the style of an 18th-century English country house. It is considered to be an "outstanding" example of the City Beautiful movement. Some 25 percent of the cost was spent on sculpture, a huge sum at the time. At the time of its construction, the American Architect and Building News predicted that "the rest of the country will envy New York the possession of this building." In 1900, Charles DeKay wrote in The Independent that the courthouse "shines like an ivory casket among boxes of ordinary maple. To see this in person is really the ultimate treat.  
The exterior features sculptures in white marble on subjects related to law. Karl Bitter's Peace is the central grouping on the balustrade by Madison Square. Daniel Chester French's Justice is the central grouping on 25th Street. Justice is flanked by Power and Study, also by French. 
These photos were taken with my Samsung phone as I didn't bring my camera with me for the walk but I think it did a very good job of showing you the beauty of this building.  
The building was made a designated landmark in 1966.  
The interior of the courthouse was designated a New York City landmark in 1981, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The building was restored in 2000 by the architectural firm of Platt, Byard, Dovell, White.  

If you are in the area of this building in the NoMad district, be sure to pop over and see it up close and personal. It is a true gem of an architectural wonder! 
This is also located at the building which is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.  

Since we are in the throws of winter, thought I would show a lovely flower photo taken while walking around the city. I am so ready for Spring to get here! 

New York State Appellate Division of the Supreme Court 
27 Madison Avenue and East 25th Street 

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Christie's Asian Art Week 2018

As you know, I love popping in Christie's in Rockefeller Center pretty often. You can enter for free and you can view some amazing pieces of artwork. Their Asian Art Week was pretty fantastic and I really wanted to share some of the items with you. It amazes me how old these treasures are and that we still have them in the year 2019 to enjoy!  
The carving on this was just amazing!  

The price realized for this piece was $10,000 US Dollars  

How beautiful are these colors and design!  
This piece was just wonderful to view in person  

The price realized for this piece was $112,500 US Dollars 
Just took my breath away! So beautiful  

This piece is dated from 1400! Isn't that just totally amazing! Just think of all the places it must have been in over 600 years!  

This delightful piece was price realized at $225,000  

I really love these pieces and in person, they are even more fabulous, if you would believe. Chrisitie's is an auction house but really just like a museum with all the history you are allowed to view when visiting.  

Price realized is $60,000 US Dollars 
This piece was really something I looked at for quite a while  

This drawing made me smile  

 I could see this in my home with no problem!  

Ah, this happened to be on view as well - just a diamond necklace for your enjoyment!  

When you are done learning some history at Christie's, you can pop over to La Maison du Chocolat for some cocoa and chocolate. Life is really good, isn't it ? 

Christie's New York 
Rockefeller Center
Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm
We are often open for weekend views, although the hours vary by sale

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