Top New Hotel Tech Features

Around the holidays, our thoughts can’t help but turn to tech, and in the world of hotels, preprogrammed in-room iPods are so 2009. These hotels have taken technology to a whole new level—so your new iPad will feel right at home during your 2012 travels.

Some notable innovations in hospitality always occur at boutique properties—they’re small and nimble enough to institute new programs and changes quickly. That means new features like the new silent doorbells at Seattle’s Hotel 1000, which scan your room with an infrared beam to determine if there’s anyone inside before housekeeping tries to enter, or Aloft Hotels’ RFID-embedded loyalty cards, which allow guests in New York City and Dallas to skip the check-in desk and go directly to their assigned room, emailed to them when they make their reservation.

Of course, large hotels have the benefit of big budgets, so it’s no surprise that they’ve dipped into the technology pool as well. The Plaza in New York has jumped on the iPad bandwagon, issued to every room with an app that lets you interact with the concierge and room service and manage your flight information and boarding passes right from your room, while 390 Courtyard by Marriot locations have opted for central GoBoards in the hotel that can send driving directions and hotel info directly to your phone.

There’s more developments like these coming every day, and the advantage is clear: enhanced customer service means happier customers, as long as there’s a human being for tech support when you need one.

The Weekend: Ridiculous Parties, Bands, & the Return of Brunch

The weekend started in my brain a couple days ago. Watching Cash Cab reruns in my apartment was all I could do to keep from checking out completely. But now it’s Friday, which usually marks the beginning of my aimlessly wandering around town in an alcohol-induced stupor, just happy my fingers aren’t hovering over a keyboard. (Or, I may remain in my apartment in the fetal position, clutching the remote control, paranoid that my computer is staring at me.) Assuming all goes well, I’ll be joining society to participate in the following weekend goings-ons, perhaps a little too enthusiastically (yay guest model DJs at Spice Market!). Otherwise, see you all on Monday, none the wiser, but probably caught up on Mad Men.

LOL I mean, really New York promoters? Really?

Guest Model DJ Nights at Spice Market The title says it all, doesn’t it? Though Jean-Georges’s interpretation of Asian street cuisine might just make you forget that the invite actually says this: “Music & beauty: every show featuring special guest model DJs in the downstairs lounge.” Modelizers rejoice. When: Friday, 9:00PM- 1:00AM. Location: Spice Market, 403 West 13th St.

Halloween Hotness: Cocktails & VIP Costume Fitting for NYC Bloggers NYC bloggers are invited to come sip on spooky cocktails while getting a personal Halloween costume fitting from the style experts. Tee-hee. When: Friday, 6:00PM- 9:00PM. Location: Screaming Mimi’s, 382 Lafayette Street.

RAD Have something to talk about at the water cooler on Monday morning.

Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village Walking Tour Get in the Halloween spirit! When: Saturday, 9:30PM. Location: Tour starts at Fire Patrol Station No. 2, 84 West Third Street, one block south of Washington Square Park between Thompson and Sullivan Streets in Manhattan.

Edible Garden Exhibition Celebrity Chef weekend at the New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Garden exhibition with Mario Batali, Todd English, and others. If Batali tells me to eat my garden, I will eat my garden. When: Saturday, 12PM-6PM. Location:New York Botanical Garden.

SLOPPY DRUNKS Brunch wars begin, and lead to a night of serious debauchery.

Day & Night Brunch at the Plaza Hotel Team Day & Night bring the party to the uptown set. When: Saturday 12:00 – 6:00pm. Location: Plaza Hotel.

Brunch @Lavo Lavo brings the high end Vegas/NY service schtick north of to 58th street, entering the lucrative and crowded brunch fray. When: Saturday 12:00PM-6:00PM. Location: Lavo.

…and just across the street…

Tao’s 10th Anniversary Party Somehow, something old enough starts to become cool again, at least that’s what I’m thinking. DJ Ross One will spin next to that giant Buddha statue. When: Saturday, 9PM. Location: Tao.

MUSIC Get low.

Los Campesinos!, Byrds of Paradise, Johnny Foreigner. When: 8:00 PM $20. Location:Music Hall of Williamsburg.

King Khan & The Shrines, Gentleman Jesse & His Men, Golden Triangle When: Friday 7:00 PM $15. Location: Santos Party House .

Small Black, Phonetag, We Are All Romans When: Friday 9:00 PM $8. Location: Shea Stadium.

Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino Versus Japan When: Friday 6:00 PM $20. Location: Webster Hall.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Willy Mason When: Saturday 8:30 PM $20. Location: Bowery Ballroom.

Apache Beat, MINKS, Von Haze, Wise Blood When: Saturday 11:00 PM $5. Location: Cameo Gallery, 93 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The Heavy, Mayer Hawthorne, and the County, Childish Gambino When: Sunday 7:00 PM $20. Location: Bowery Ballroom.

Shocker: Eccentric Rich Guy Moves into The Plaza

Wealthy old people. They’re everywhere in New York, especially at The Plaza. So it should come as no surprise that wealthy older person Steve Wynn has moved into the Plaza Hotel. The Vegas resort mogul, who’s credited with revamping Vegas and making it an exciting town where everyone can blow money, catch an STD, and eat at a celeb chef outpost, closed yesterday on a four-bedroom duplex condominium in the famed building for around $23 million. Just how big is the pad?

The penthouse apartment is a whopping 5,613 square feet, making it one of the biggest in the building. Wynn bought the apartment furnished—it has custom-built Italian furniture by Giorgetti that was brought in a couple years ago when architect Gal Nauer, daughter of an Israeli billionaire (only rich people in this story!), spent six months giving the interior a total overhaul. The 20th-floor apartment has nine rooms, a private elevator, a 24-foot-long terrace facing Central Park for sundown Belve martinis, and, we’re guessing, plenty of wall space. Wonder if Wynn will decorate it with the priceless Picasso his elbow put a hole through a few years back.