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Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple: An Insider’s Guide to NYC Walking Tours

Among New York City’s many charms the fact that you can explore the city easily by foot, visiting world-renowned attractions, acclaimed museums and standout dining destinations. Strolling the streets that surround Hotel Belleclaire is a great way to unearth overlooked neighborhood favorites, and taking your travels further afield allows you to discover under-the-radar areas. Hotel Belleclaire is located in the heart of the Upper West Side, one of the city’s most walkable areas. Central Park, Riverside Park, Midtown and Columbia University all provide ample scenery and activities to keep you entertained for a morning, afternoon, or an entire day.

NYC Walking Tours:

Central Park Reservoir Loop

From Hotel Belleclaire, walk east on 77th Street. When you reach Columbus Avenue, look to the left to see the American Museum of National History, one of the world’s most famous museums. When you reach Central Park West, turn around and take in the rows of stately apartment buildings across from the park. These buildings – most erected in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – are part of the Central Park West Historic District, and display some of the city’s finest Neo-Renaissance architecture. Enter the park and take one of the winding paths north to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The 1.5-mile loop around the Reservoir is one of the most picturesque paths in New York City, providing stellar views of the city’s skyscrapers over the placid water.

Hudson River Greenway

If you’re seeking a break from the claustrophobia of the concrete jungle, walk west on 77th Street to Riverside Park. Just two blocks from Hotel Belleclaire, this verdant strip of greenery and trees borders the Hudson River and provides a great place to find a cool breeze. Walk across the park to the riverfront and head north along the Hudson River Greenway. This popular biking, jogging and walking trail provides peerless views of New Jersey, and extends north to Riverbank State Park, which extends into the Hudson and provides a variety of athletic and arts experiences. 

Broadway Lights

The city’s most famous thoroughfare, Broadway bisects the island of Manhattan, making its way through many of NYC’s notable neighborhoods on its way from Inwood Hill to Battery Park. Hotel Belleclaire is located at the corner of 77th and Broadway, making it easy to turn the corner from the front door to start this walking route. Head downtown on Broadway, taking time to admire the early-20th century architecture of the Upper West Side. Broadway doesn’t run parallel to the rest of NYC’s avenues, meaning it crosses each avenue to create one of the city’s famed squares. Here are some of the unique intersections you’ll pass through during your walk:

  • Lincoln Square (at 65th Street)
  • Columbus Circle (at 59th Street)
  • Times Square (45th Street)
  • Herald Square (34th Street)
  • Madison Square (23rd Street)
  • Union Square (14th Street) 

Columbia University

The densely populated, skyscraper-filled island of Manhattan is the last place you’d think to find an expansive, beautiful college campus. But just a few miles north of Hotel Belleclaire sits Columbia University, an Ivy League institution and a six-block respite from the concrete and steel of the city. Walk up Broadway from Hotel Belleclaire and take in the essence of the Upper West Side. It’s one of Manhattan’s most diverse neighborhoods, featuring cuisine of all kinds and residents of all origins. When you reach 116th Street, enter Columbia’s gates and take the tree-lined walk east to the open lawn. The Beaux-Arts buildings that line the green courtyards were built near the turn of the 20th century – the most famous structure is the Low Memorial Library, an 1895 building that is listed as a National Historic Landmark.  

 

Take the first step on your tour of NYC by making reservations at Hotel Belleclaire today.

Get more inside info on the Upper West Side by reading our convenient New York City travel guide

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York City 2012 – 2013

It’s official; I am attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week events!!! What is Fashion Week, you ask?  Well it’s only the flashiest-glitz-and-glamoriest time of year when designers from across the globe gather for runway shows at Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center and host elite after parties with celebrity guests; all conveniently located near the Hotel Belleclaire (name dropping of course, LOL). 

IT’S A FASHION FRENZY FOR THE MASSES!

New York City fashion week events are by invitation only, and I was lucky enough to score tickets from fashion week designers; one of many loyal Hotel Belleclaire guests!  

Thanks to my Dream Team hair and makeup stylists at Dramatics NYC (West 74 Street & Amsterdam, www.dramaticsnyc.com), I will be primped and prepped by the very best!  Now, all this fashion fever got me thinking; what can we do for our guests during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week?  Hmm… How about share our TOP stylists with our guests?  All Hotel Belleclaire guests will be pampered with FREE on-site makeup and blow dry sessions throughout Mercedes Benz Fashion Week September 2012!  All week.  All free.  All for you.  Feeling fabulous yet? 

Stay at the Hotel Belleclaire September 6-13, and you’ll receive a VIP Pass to our Social Scene Room, where Dramatics Dream Team Stylists will get you ready for a night out on the town!  No extra charge, really. It’s our fashionable gift to you.  Oh and what’s a fashion event without freebies– upon arrival, guests will receive Lumene Swag Bags, exclusive retail offers, comedy tickets and more!   Spoiled yet? =)  Tell us when to stop…

Brooks Brothers (West 86 Street & Broadway) will be in on the action; demonstrating the famous Windsor Knot and bowtie– they’re making a SERIOUS fashion comeback!

So, I’ll be hobnobbing with designers and sharing insider party pics with you on Hotel Belleclaire’s facebook page and tweeting LIVE from the runway.  It’s a hard job, but somebody’s ‘gotta do it’. =D

Makeup: check.  Hair: check (Cher is my fave stylist @ Dramatics xoxo).  Now one age old question remains: what am I going to wear?!!  Anyone have Vera Wang’s number? =D

xo
Adisa

This Fall fashion trend ends soon; BOOK our fashion package NOW.

Current Trends I’m Loving (easing into fall with cream, camel, & tons of texture):  

Fall Wardrobe MUST-HAVE:  I’ll be looking for this during the FNO party at Elie Tahari’s ($100 off $400 event on September 6, 2012)

LOVING Crown Jewel Colors for a Fashion Forward Attitude:

  

A special thanks to the Dramatics NYC for sponsoring a fabulous guest event.  We love you!

 

 

 

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Play Ball in New York City

Hotel Belleclaire is located in a city where baseball fans reign supreme. New York City is blessed with two major league teams, the American League’s New York Yankees and the National League’s New York Mets, and two minor league teams, the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones, so baseball fans can get their fix in almost every borough.

New York had been a baseball town from the get-go, with dozens of teams circulating through the city in the mid-to-late portion of the 19th century. After a series of league shake-ups, takeovers, mergers, and break-ups, New York was left with the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants) and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Though both teams left NYC for the West Coast, their rivalry remains, having lasted for more than a century.

The New York Yankees got their start as the Baltimore Orioles (then a separate entity from today’s Orioles), finally moving to the Big Apple in 1903 (the year Hotel Belleclaire opened!) as the Highlanders. Since creating roots in New York, the Yankees franchise has given way to superstar names such as Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Robinson Cano. The Yankees have won a leading 27 World Series with 40 playoff appearances – the most in all of baseball. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny the Yankees’ prowess.

Among the biggest players in Yankee history is Babe Ruth, a frequent guest of Hotel Belleclaire. One of the most famous stories in Yankee lore is the “Curse of the Bambino.” This so-called curse is said to have started after the Boston Red Sox sold Ruth in the 1919-1920 offseason to the New York Yankees. Red Sox then-owner Harry Frazee used the profits from the sale of The Bambino, as Ruth is called, to finance a brand new musical. Prior to this sale, the Red Sox had won five of the first fifteen World Series, while the Yankees remained titleless. In the 84 years following Ruth’s move to New York, the Yankees played in 39 World Series, winning 26 of them—a number twice as much as any other team in Major League Baseball to date. During those same 84 years, the Red Sox played in only four World Series, losing all. A key touchstone in Boston/New York baseball rivalry, talk of the curse dissipated when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.

New York City is a metropolis of sports history, and Hotel Belleclaire is the best place to see it all. Visit our Upper West Side hotel this fall to watch the pennant races heat up, cool down, and get sent right out of the park.

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DEFINE YOUR NYC SUMMER IN CENTRAL PARK

Being so close to one of the world’s most famous parks has plenty of perks. If you missed such exciting events like the New York Philharmonic Concert in the Park or the Shakespeare in the Park production of “As You Like It,” fear not – there is plenty more happening in Central Park this summer during your New York adventures.

Staying at Hotel Belleclaire puts you near it all:

  • Shakespeare in the Park is currently staging its second production of the summer, “Into the Woods.” The classic musical from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine runs through August 25, with shows on most days at 8 p.m. There will be no shows on July 22 and 26 or August 12 and 16.
  • Film buffs will appreciate the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, running the week of August 21-25. Each night features a different film. In order: “Do the Right Thing” (with special guest, Oscar nominee Danny Aiello kicking off the festival), “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Animal House,” and on the final night, a viewer’s choice between “Clerks” and “Coming to America” (voting takes places at the end of July).  Gates open at 6:30 each evening, with an 8 p.m. start time; enter at 72nd Street and bring your own picnic food!
  • Every Friday this summer, the Good Morning American Concert Series features a chart-topping artist. Gates open at 6 a.m. when the park itself opens, with shows starting at 7 a.m. and lasting through the GMA taping til 9 a.m. Enter at 72nd Street off of Fifth Avenue and head to Rumsey Playfield.Upcoming acts include No Doubt (July 27), Ne-Yo (August 3), OneRepublic (August 10), Neon Trees (August 17), The Wanted (August 24), and Backstreet Boys (August 31). 
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Hotel Belleclaire: Timeless Elegance

On our last lobby redesign blog post, we shared the latest discoveries; a 40 foot skylight, 18 foot high ceilings, hand-laid mosaic tile, and intricate wood details—all dating back over 100 years.

There is so much history that once contributed to the Hotel Belleclaire’s reputation as the “flashiest hotel in New York City”.  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.

In 1903, the entrance to our hotel was first positioned on Broadway and the lobby consisted of several formal dining rooms, a Flemish café, and a Palm Garden.  Today, guests enter through our 77th Street entrance, which was originally the Palm Garden area—set beneath the skylight.  Although the entrance will remain on 77th Street; the 40 foot skylight is prominent in the design and will allow for natural lighting, just as it did in 1903. The ornately carved wooden doors inside the lobby (remaining true to its 1903 location) will help recreate the historic and elegant ambience of the Hotel Belleclaire.  The mosaic-tiled floor will be completely restored, and carefully selected furnishings will decorate the expansive space. 

It was among the first hotels to offer in-room telephone service—a luxury in 1903, to present-day complimentary high speed wireless—Hotel Belleclaire continues to set higher standards for comfort, convenience, and style.  The legend and the legacy remain, as the treasured New York City keepsake is redesigned for the twenty first century.   

Espresso wood panels

New Lobby Design August 2012

Expansive skylight

Expansive Space Set Beneath a Skylight

Fully restored mosaic tile

Fully Restored Mosaic Tile

Lavish Seating

Lavish Seating Throughout the Lobby

Custom Lighting to Enhance the 40 foot Skylight

Bar and Lounge Seating

Rich Espresso Fabric

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A Sweet Stop on Valentine’s Day

We are hosting a Sweet Stop:  complimentary gourmet dessert pastires & more for our guests!

When:  February 14, 2012 – Valentine’s Day    /   Time:  3:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

Location:  Hotel Belleclaire (250 West 77 Street, New York, NY 10024)

Fall in love with gourmet goodies:  red velvet whoopie pies, snicker doodles, cupcakes, and tasty

nutella macarellas!  Coffee, cappuccinos, tea, & expertly crafted espressos will be served. 

Sweetery Baked Goods

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Lounging Around + Goodies for Guests!

We are delighted to have you with us during our enhancement project; a momentous occasion in the history of the Hotel Belleclaire.  The lobby enhancement began on January 30, 2012, and will encompass 15 weeks.  During your stay, we invite you to our guest lounge—room 116, to enjoy complimentary: 

  • Refreshments:  coffee, tea, bottled water
  • Snacks:  granola bars, cookies, crackers
  • Daily Newspapers (Monday-Friday):  New York Post, USA Today
  • Flyte Pass:  verify your flight status and print boarding pass
  • Computer Access:  internet, print, copy, fax

In sharing this experience as our guest during our lobby redesign, you are as much a part of our history, as you are part of our future.

We thank you for staying at the Hotel Belleclaire

Memories that will last a lifetime.

Comfortable seating, two flat screen HDTV's, Ipod docking stations, and more!

Comfortable seating, two flat screen HDTV's, Ipod docking stations, and more!

Guests are welcomed through the main entrance- redesign is behind the scenes.

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Hidden Treasures Discovered at the Hotel Belleclaire!

If these walls could talk they would reveal tales of times forgotten, sacred secrets, and legends of many who passed through these doors.  A time of speak-easies and flappers—laughter, love, and legacy abound…

Since we began the lobby enhancement project, we have we uncovered high ceilings (over 17 feet) framed in intricate, ornate crown molding, mosaic-tiled floors, and original-wood doors dating back nearly 110 years; travelers far and wide were welcomed to bask in the open spaces of this historic hotel.

To our surprise, we have discovered a skylight in our lobby.  These revelations have only increased our desire to preserve the historic charm of the Hotel Belleclaire.  Now, midway into the redesign; we cannot help but wonder—what other treasures are hidden behind these walls?

Lobby Project- Set of doors 1903

Lobby Project- Set of doors 1903

lobby Project- Single door 1903

lobby Project- Single door 1903

Lobby Project- Mosaic Tile, over 100 years old!

Lobby Project- Skylight Discovered Above Wood Panels

Lobby Project- Skylight Discovered Above Wood Panels

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New Year’s Resolution #1: Lobby Redesign for Hotel Belleclaire!

In keeping with our New Year’s Resolution, the Hotel Belleclaire will begin a lobby redesign by the end of January 2012.   We have just received the color prints, and we’re sharing them with our guests (images below).  

Landmark.

Hungarian-born architect Emery Roth built the exquisite Hotel Belleclaire in1901-03.  The innovative steel-skeleton frame and expert masonry consisting of brick, terracotta, and limestone was praised among architects and travelers alike.  In designing the Belleclaire, Roth combined Beaux Arts principles with Art Nouveau-Secessionist style that is regarded today as a “fascinating stylistic anomaly” worthy of landmark status.

Enchanting.

The historic building brims with an enchanting history; musicians, artists, and celebrities such as Mark Twain (writer), Maxim Gorky (Russian Novelist), and Babe Ruth (baseball legend) frequented the Hotel Belleclaire. The landmark additionally made backdrop appearances on the silver-screen, for movies filmed on the Upper West Side.

The turn-of-the-century hotel has undergone renovations in previous years, and now as we begin 2012—we will achieve yet another milestone; the redesign of the hotel lobby and public space.  The original architectural details dating back over 100 years will be accentuated with modern furnishings, and rich wood paneling throughout the guest reception, and newly-introduced lounge seating areas. 

Sophisticated.

A carefully selected color palette emulates the sophistication of Emery Roth’s designs; rich earth tones complimented by white stone tiling.  As you seamlessly flow through the inviting lobby, seek out a beautifully crafted chaise lounge, and let your eyes explore the intimate space; comfortable seating wrapped in luxurious fabrics, refined wood paneling, and a refreshing service bar, positioned beneath a French-inspired chandelier with wrought iron detail—exuding an era of romance and old world charm.

Visionary.

Noted designer Silvia Zofio of SZ Projects  envisioned the hotel space through an architectural lens, and added just the right amount of urban extravagance; the enchanting history is captured in every textile, furnishing, and light fixture.   Hotel Belleclaire will continue to be recognized as one of Roth’s most distinguished buildings in New York City.

In sharing this experience as our guest during our lobby enhancement, you are as much a part of our history, as you are part of our future.

We thank you for staying at the Hotel Belleclaire

Memories that will last a lifetime

      

 

 

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Around The Town…

New, great eats on the Upper West Side, NYC (coming soon):


Serafina Restaurant: Serving cuisine from Northern Italy, each entree is created with a family recipe handed down from generations of cooks– adapted by Chef Vittorio Assaf and his team. They bring to us inspiring pasta dishes and invigorating risottos, using the finest and freshest (locally grown) ingredients and produce. Top off your feast with a deliciously crafted dessert; eye-pleasing and mouth-watering! Ask your server for the recommended wine with your dinner, or the connoisseur can select from an extensive wine list.

(more…)

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