My personal Thank You to the management and staff of Kimpton’s Eventi Hotel and the Holiday Inn Manhattan
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy would have been a lot harder to deal with, had it not been for the kindness of the Holiday Inn Manhattan, and the haven that the area behind the Eventi’s food court turned into for a lot of New Yorkers.
While at least one hotel – across from the Holiday Inn – blocked their outdoor outlets, these 2 hotels were saviors to New Yorkers and visitors alike, who needed running electronic devices to maintain a lifeline to family, friends and managers.
The Holiday Inn doormen nodded it was OK to me each time I plugged in to one of the many outlets in the courtyard in front of the hotel. The first day after the electricity (and running water) went out, I tried various places, but the waits were long and the settings were uncomfortable. Once I found the Holiday Inn, with their multitude of outlets and no lines I never went back to the Post Office.
Day 2 of no electricity or running water – I decided it was time to check into a hotel if I could find an affordable one (the upcoming NY Marathon never occurred to me). Since it was still my birthday month, and I had 20% off birthday offer from Kimpton, I started there. Unfortunately their wifi and thus reservation system was down and the helpful woman at the front desk suggested I return the next day because she thought a group would be leaving early. After hearing $399 at another hotel, I decided that I’m not that much of a princess – and figured the power would be on any minute – so I never checked back.
Upon leaving the Eventi lobby, I noticed there was a coffee stand in the entrance to the hotel’s food court, which I used to frequent but thought was closed. Because of the way the food court is sort of tented-looking, it appeared the huge multi-level seating area in the back was gone, but it fact, it was still there. New, padded swivel boat chairs were installed, and there was a huge screen TV playing the news. It was the first I saw of what was going on in Staten Island, which made what we were experiencing minor.
But, there were outlets. Plenty of outlets and very few people. The next day, a lot more people arrived – all with power strips so there were always plenty of outlets.
As the days progressed, this area became a sanctuary for the Chelsea community. All of us were thrilled to have at least one hot meal a day – the options at the food court are just what you need when living with disaster. Wood fired pizzas; quality hamburgers or kobe beef hotdogs; and a fish shack with a lot of fried seafood. The oyster Po Boy wasn’t reminiscent of New Orleans, but it was laden with fried oysters. Plus, a Tiki bar with a choice of draft beers, exotic cocktails and wine served by the always friendly and smiling Esther. It will not take another disaster to get me back for the Mezcal watermelon juice cocktail.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I am a loyal Kimpton guest. In fact the much delayed next post here was supposed to be about my excellent stay at their newest hotel in DC – Donovan House. The treatment my neighbors and I received from the staff of the food court area has only served to increase that loyalty. Be warned Tripadvisor forum readers – I will be recommending the Eventi whenever you ask about hotels in the neighborhood – and Kimpton hotels wherever they exist.
While I can’t vouch for the rooms at the Holiday Inn on West 26th, I can tell you the staff is wonderful. While powering up there, I witnessed a lot of interaction between hotel guests and staff and there seemed to be a lot of camaraderie.
So, thank you again to everyone at the Eventi Hotel and Holiday Inn Manhattan. You are my personal heroes of the hurricane.
Article originally posted on November 5, 2012.