Wine, dine, woof! NYC Hotel Loves You (and Fido)
Story by Ed Salvato; images courtesy Jumeirah Essex House
The Jumeirah Essex House, a storied Art Deco hotel property with the distinctive red neon sign on the roof located in the heart of Manhattan, unveiled a trio of services sure to delight gay and lesbian travelers, especially those with a dog in tow. The hotel's first-in-the-industry Canine Turndown Service has garnered a lot of media attention, which is not surprising considering the amenities are nicer than what many hotels offer their human guests!
Poodle or pit bull, your "baby" will receive attentive service from the staff, as well as a host of goodies, including a Wagwear dog bed or "Tee Pee Hound Lounge"; matching Wagwear food and water bowls and placemat; homemade dog treats created by the hotel's executive pastry chef(!); a gift bag complete with a plush Jumeirah Essex House logoed fleece blanket handcrafted by the hotel's seamstress, and more.
The hotel is located on Central Park South, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, right across the street from the world's most beautiful urban oasis. Taking full advantage of their location, the hotel's concierges will pack up a picnic basket and blanket and steer you to the perfect spot in the park for your meal, whether an iconic location or one of the park's many lesser-known corners. If pooch makes three, the hotel will tailor a dog-friendly outing and even loan Rover a stylish collar and leash to look chic in the nation's fashion capital.
At the end of the day, entrust Rover to one of the hotel's recommended sitters and enjoy dinner at South Gate, their fine-dining restaurant. This little gem of a restaurant on the hotel's ground floor boasts floor-to-ceiling windows of Central Park. It also boasts a nifty gadget I got to play with on a recent visit. The iPad Wine Tablet features a continuously updated inventory of the hotel's wines (so if something sells out, the iPad knows) along with tasting notes to help you navigate through the hotel's extensive wine list. It's just fun to play with, too. South Gate is the first restaurant in NYC to offer this device. (Below: Two customers play with iPad Wine Tablet.)