Be a Star: Discovering NYC at Four Points by Sheraton
Location, location, location. You’re planning a trip to the city that doesn’t sleep, but every minute counts in New York City and who wants to spend his or her vacation stuck in gridlock traffic or trapped in a packed subway car?
True, not everything is within arm’s reach in the bustling Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood... but pretty damn close. And if you want to be at the epicenter of gay culture, there is no better place to set up digs than at the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown-Times Square.
Located at 326 West 40th Street, just blocks from where the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball rings in the New Year, the Four Points provides easy access to every and any kind of bling you might be looking for. Establish home base at this convenient and well-appointed 244-room property (which includes four suites) and you’ll have easy access to Broadway theater, world-class dining, shopping and nightlife. And you’ll appreciate the Four Points perks geared toward the savvy traveler.
Get to the (Four) Point
The Four Points is part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide - one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,169 properties worldwide. You’ll recognize brands like the St. Regis and Westin, but the Four Points is unique in its approach to the self-sufficient traveler. Inspired by classic vintage and industrial elements, the property has a modern and timeless appeal, creating a sophisticated space that’s both stylish and comfortable.
The Four Points’ smoke-free rooms and suites feature iPhone docking stations, in-room safes large enough to fit laptops and tablet devices, as well as an eco-friendly initiative that will award you 250 Starpoints as part of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program (SPG) or a $5 food and beverage credit if you forgo housekeeping services. Other in-room amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, bottled water and toll-free calls as well as hot coffee and tea in the lobby for a quick recharge before hitting the city streets.
The no-cost SPG program offers exclusive member benefits and reward options across all nine hotel brands, where you can not only earn free nights with no blackout dates, and also take advantage of seasonal promotions and Starwood’s new partnership with Delta, you can also earn SkyMiles and added hotel benefits.
Stay in Before Going Out
As eager as you may be to take Gotham by storm, allow yourself time to ascend to the Sky Room, one of the city’s highest rooftop lounges boasting 360-degree views. Featuring a retractable glass roof cover and five distinct spaces, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world without ever leaving the hotel. Summer Camp Sundays will return in 2014, a highly popular afternoon gay soiree hosted by promoter Michael Cohen.
For something a bit more low key, settle into the Gotham Bistro for a light bite or cocktail. With signature drinks like The Perfect Man (Jack Daniels, dry and sweet vermouth, honey), Winter in the South (Patrón, Disaronno, lime, ginger ale) and locally sourced craft beers, you may never want to leave.
Hell Never Felt So Cool
Venturing out into the surrounding neighborhood offers a fantastic slice of New York City life. Hell’s Kitchen (also known by less interesting names such as Midtown West and Clinton) has a sordid past. Once home to organized crime and gang violence (it was the setting for "West Side Story"), the neighborhood has seen a steady gentrification over the past 15 years and is now one of the city’s most desired neighborhoods for those wanting the convenience of shopping, live theater, nearby Hudson River and nightlife.
Independent retailers have popped up over the past several years, offering a diverse collection of shopping with a keen eye towards trending styles and the vibrant presence of the gay community.
For the ultimate eyewear, stop by Charlotte Jones, whose shop garners attention from international tourists looking for unique frames. Jones says, "Your glasses should fit your lifestyle. If you only have one pair, you should be able to wear them with a suit, business casual, or hanging out with your friends on the weekend. But I suggest two pairs of glasses minimum. You don’t have one pair of shoes!" You’ll find head-turning designs from the likes of Thom Browne, Gold and Wood, and Kala Eyewear.
Charlotte Jones Opticians
?676 9th Avenue
For internationally curated home goods, pay a visit to Domus, co-owned by partners Nicki Lindheimer and Luisa Cerutti. Each year the couple travels the globe, bringing back one-of-a-kind items from the far reaches of India, Asia and beyond. Forget the Times Square snow globe and invest in a treasure that will last a lifetime.
413 West 44th Street
If you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, Universal Gear is your one-stop-shop for casual urban clothes and an underwear selection that rivals Imelda Marcos’s shoes. You’ll find 2(x)ist, Andrew Christian, Alternative Apparel, G-Star and dozens of other brands as well as a good-looking sales staff that is more than happy to steer you in the right direction.
715 Ninth Avenue
Next page for where to eat and nightlife tips.
Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple
Hell’s Kitchen’s food scene has exploded over the past five years. You’ll find dozens of restaurants as you stroll up and down Ninth and Tenth Avenue, but if you’re looking for a few hidden gems, check out these new kids on the block:
The latest farm-to-table inspiration arrives on Tenth Avenue in the form of The Marshal where you can find innovative culinary interpretations like bourbon planked New Jersey Scallops, a whole roasted Love Farm chicken for two (what’s more romantic than that?) and wood oven braised beef short ribs.
628 Tenth Avenue
Avoid the cliché Thai traps on Ninth Avenue and try to snag a table at Danji, a Korean "tapas joint" that relies on farm-fresh ingredients, classic cooking techniques and antibiotic-free meats and sustainable seafoods. Highlights include spicy whilk salad with buckwheat noodles, kimchi trio and bulgogi beef sliders.
346 West 52nd Street
For intoxicating margaritas and authentic regional Mexican cuisine with a modern flair, head to the neighborhood’s namesake, Hell’s Kitchen. Here you’ll find Hell’s Hotti Margarita (made with chipotle pepper), guacamole with guajillo corn tortillas, huitlacoche tamales and achiote glazed baby back ribs.
679 Ninth Avenue
When the Sun Sets
With Broadway just a few short blocks from The Four Points, you can plan ahead or go for rush seats by visiting the TKTS Discount Ticket Booth in Times Square. One of the biggest shows of the season is "Kinky Boots," winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical and featuring music and lyrics by pop legend Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein.
Of course, after two and a half hours of Broadway magic, you’ll want to make some magic of your own, and with gay lounges, sports bars and dance clubs all within a 15-block radius, you won’t have to look far. For a conversational cocktail, check out Hardware Bar (697 Tenth Avenue), Therapy (348 West 52nd Street) or Posh (405 West 51st Street) for happy hour.
When you’re ready to hit the dance floor, Industry Bar will be packed with hot guys undulating to the latest hits, but for over-the-top dance madness, there are two can’t miss events that will make you want to take up permanent residence at the nearby Four Points:
Penthaus Fridays at the Copa Rooftop (760 Eighth Avenue) is an eclectic mix of hot guys, drag divas and anyone out and about who wants to see and be seen.
VIVA Saturdays at Stage 48 (605 West 48th Street) features three floors of dancing madness and lighting and sound equipment that rivals the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics.
Whatever your reason for coming to New York City - business, pleasure or a little bit of both - the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown-Times Square will put you in the middle of it all. Just plan for a few days of recuperation once you return home - you’ll gleefully need it.
Four Points by Sheraton Midtown-Times Square
326 West 40th Street