Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria NY

Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria NY by www.carlosmeliablog.comBull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria NY  |  New York, United States  |  Last night invited by my dear friend Michael Romei, Chef Concierge at the Waldorf Tower and General Secretary of UICH Les Clefs d’Or, along with our other friend Alejandro, we shared and enjoyed a lovely evening at one of the most iconic restaurants of New York, the Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse. VIP treatment right from the start, when we were informed that we were seating at the Waldorf Astoria’s General Managers table, and the excellent service, efficient and professional, but yet friendly and relaxed. We even had the joy to have Celso Moreira, Concierge and Manager on Duty, to stop by and have a little chat with us. There is so much history and myth in these two rooms, that makes the whole gourmet experience even more enjoyable and rich. Every week, when the three of us are in New York, we get together to try a new restaurant and share week with each other. Continue reading Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria NY

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour  | New York, United States | If there is something that always intrigues and interests me about iconic landmarks and destinations, is to dig deep into their apparent facade and learn about the myths and legends behind them. You saw my recent post on Buenos Aires, from my visit last week, and now New York. Invited to join this exclusive group of luxury concierges of Manhattan, by my friend Michael Romei, I took part of this exclusive behind the scenes 3hs tours of Grand Central Terminal and Beyond. The tour was conducted to detail and perfection, by Docent-in-Chief Daniel Brucker, who not only is an erudite in the subject, but also is known and referred as “The Keeper of Grand Central’s Secrets”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually. The first tip to learn about Grand Central, is that it is a “Terminal” and not a Station. Grand Central is the point the end and the beginning of the rail line into and out of New York City. Our tour guide, made strong emphasis on this, and demanded respect alluding Grand Central Terminal, is the biggest train terminal in the world.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com
From there on, we immersed into a behind the scenes and secrets tour, which took over 3 hours. I must say it felt like just one. We started with a brief introduction. while seating at the stunning and breathtaking Vanderbilt Hall. This room is very important, and you will be able to read the plaque placed there. The Grand Central was the first building in the United States to be saved under the Landmark Act by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In 1975, when Grand Central was threatened with demolition, Jacqueline Onassis lent her support to the preservation cause.
Photo Sep 23, 10 41 07 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 36 31 AM (1)Facts: Grand Central Terminal is the biggest terminal in the world. New York’s biggest basement. The entire population of San Francisco passes by and uses the GCT everyday (750K people). 700 trains daily.  44 platforms with 67 tracks. 99% punctuality. 80% Lost and Found rate. 1200 passengers per train formation.

Photo Sep 23, 10 19 29 AMDid you know that all the Train Schedules displayed on the boards, are wrong ? Well technically they are wrong, but on purpose. All train departures are scheduled to leave a minute before they do. This is to allow the massive crowds to move safely and organized.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comHave you ever tried the Whispering Gallery? There is a section of the Terminal on the lower concourse, next to the Oyster Bar and Restaurant. The acoustics of the low ceramic arches, covered of Guastavino tiles, can cause a whisper to sound like a shout. I looks like I am confessing, but no. This is how it works. Stand at opposite corners with a friend. Let your friend whisper something, facing the wall. You will hear it loud and clear on the other opposite corner, you were right next to them.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com

The Grand Central Terminal Clock, is a stunning true jewel. Urban legends say, it is worth between 10 to  20 million dollars. Each of the four clock faces is made from opalescent glass; the story that the faces are made of opal and that both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have estimated the value
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe ceiling over the Main Concourse, one of Grand Central Terminal’s most famous features, displays a massive celestial piece of art. This remained covered for many many years, with grime and dirt, result of millions of cigarettes smoked by waiting commuters. However, if you look carefully, you will notice the great mistake made by the artist. The zodiac on the ceiling is depicted backwards. The Vanderbilt, never recognized this mistake, claiming the painting was made as if God would be looking from the skies.  Also if you look carefully, next to Pisces you will find a hole in the ceiling. This hole was pierced by a Redstone rocket, which was place on display at the Main Concourse to show Americans and the world the supremacy over the Soviet Union and the Sputnik Satellite.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comBut this was just the beginning of our behind the Scenes and Secrets for Grand Central Terminal. Till this point, we had seen same as any other regular visitor. But of histrionic guide, had a few more surprises of us, which are only accessible to a few. First we went down to New York City deepest and largest basement. There we saw and learnt about the very soul and power of this iconic station.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comWe explored the tunnels under GCT, with rock formation that date 600 million years. Did you know that the Grand Central Terminal and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, are linked by a secret train platform and track “Track 61” ? which allowed VIPs to enter the hotel in a more private manner, and was always fueled and ready for the use of presidents. Even Andy Warhol was popular for throwing parties in this train, called “The Underground Party”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comThis simple tiny red button, is the one responsible for shutting off the ENTIRE power of Grand Central Station, in case of an emergency.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comFrom there we move to the higher floors of the Terminal, where we visited the “Situation Room” and the “Headquarters of Operations”.
Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comBut I must say, that the most exciting part of our tour was reaching the highest point of the building, and seeing Grand Central Station at full splendor, from the city windows of the ceiling. What I called “the eye in the sky of Grand Central Station”. Little windows located right on top the 100 years sing.

Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Grand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.comWhat an amazing way to explore Grand Central Terminal, and learn more about such an iconic building, which in many ways has transformed the life of Americans and most closely New Yorkers. After over 3 hours walking along, up and down, was time for lunch. For this which better option than walking to the lower level and enjoying some great fresh dishes at the OYSTER Bar & Restaurant (I strongly recommend the Manhattan Clam Chowder, and the Tuna Steak, with a chilled Chimay Belgian beer). Hope you enjoyed my report. I do not want to say much, not to spoil your own experience. Once again BIG THANK YOU to Michael Romei, Les Clefs d’Or organization and Metro-North Railroad. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Photo Sep 23, 10 46 55 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 49 34 AMPhoto Sep 23, 10 47 17 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 49 27 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 19 36 AM (1) Photo Sep 23, 10 11 29 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 16 46 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 16 54 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 31 57 AM Photo Sep 23, 10 31 57 AM (1) Photo Sep 23, 10 11 26 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 13 24 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 49 39 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 36 31 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 41 27 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 37 58 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 39 43 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 38 46 AM Photo Sep 23, 11 42 34 AM Photo Sep 23, 12 58 08 PMGrand Central Terminal behind the scenes tour by www.carlosmeliablog.com Photo Sep 23, 12 57 23 PM Photo Sep 23, 12 55 29 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 11 11 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 10 11 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 08 19 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 01 50 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 30 37 PM Photo Sep 23, 1 48 54 PM (1) Photo Sep 23, 1 48 12 PM Photo Sep 23, 2 21 22 PM (*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Check our schedule bespoke groups, escapes and retreats at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

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Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d’Or

Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.comMalbec & Tango with Les Clefs d’Or  | New York, United States | Another fabulous evening at Malbec House and Tango House. This time hosting the top New York Luxury Hotel Concierges by Les Clefs d’Or UICH. Produced by Carlos Melia. Attended by: Gramercy Park Hotel, Ritz Carlton Central Park South, Waldorf Towers, The Peninsula, Kitano Hotel, Mandarin Oriental, The Plaza New York, Four Seasons NewYork and St Regis. (photos by Raita Saiwan and David Moreno). Special Thanks to Michael Romei – General Secretary UICH Les Clefs d’Or International. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com Malbec & Tango with Les Clefs d'Or by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Alvear Palace Hotel

Alvear Palace Hotel by www.carlosmeliablog.comAlvear Palace Hotel | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Without a doubt the Grande Dame of Buenos Aires, an icon of sophistication, luxury and exclusiveness, which will transport you to the old times of this thriving destination, full of European influences and heritage. The Alvear Palace Hotel is situated in the most elegant neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, La Recoleta. Originally built as a luxury hotel to accommodate the increasing amount of European visitors arriving in Buenos Aires at the time, The Alvear Palace was transformed in 1932 into a model of the highest expression of refinement.  Continue reading Alvear Palace Hotel

Luxury Lifestyle Social Media & Blogging

Luxury Lifestyle Social Media & Blogging  |  Carlos Melia  |  As the day goes by (and it is only 9,30AM) … I ask myself… Is Fashion Social Media my new thing.? Certainly is check OUT Rubin Singer Blog and LIKE us on Facebook and Twitter. Luxury Travel, Fashion and Health & Beauty  by Carlos Melia sounds like a great match.
Rubin Singer Blog, Les Clefs d’Or Blog, Haute Experiences Blog, First in Service Travel (coming soon) and CarlosMeliaBlog are a few of the companies and brands I represent and do the Social Media & Blogging for. Do not hesitate to contact me. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

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Les Clefs d’Or recommends CarlosMeliaBlog.com

Les Clefs d’Or recommends CarlosMeliaBlog.com  |  Carlos Melia  |   Today I have fulfilled one of my life/professional achievements. Maybe many of you will not understand what this means to me and the scope of this recommendation letter, but to receive this note and recognition by one of the most relevant, influential and professional associations in the world of luxury travel, means a huge step forward into my career, a recognition to years of work, the tolerance and acceptance to the LGBT segment, and my duty as a travel agent, luxury travel curator and blogger/reporter. Les Clefs d’Or represents what luxury and service is and should always be, an international network of premium concierges around the globe whom legitimize and certify the status and ratings of luxury hotels. Thank you Mrs. Virginia Casale – President UICH, Les Clefs d’Or Worldwide, I am humble and honored by your words and recognition. Always a pleasure and learning experience to work with Les Clefs d’Or Concierges. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

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PRINT Restaurant at INK48 by Kimpton Hotels

PRINT Restaurant at INK48 by Kimpton Hotels  |  New York, United States  |  Last night along with my dear friend Michael Romei, we stay in my neighborhood – Hell’s Kitchen, and we tried an option that has been there for a long time, but have never tried before. PRINT Restaurant at INK48 by Kimpton Hotels. PRINT is one of New York City’s premiere farm-to-table dining experiences. Executive Chef Charles Rodriguez and Executive Pastry Chef Geoff Koo create dishes that are inspired from products grown in the region. PRINT’s full-time forager carefully procures ingredients that are brought in daily so guests can enjoy the best flavors that the season has to offer.
If you follow me, you know I HATE communal tables. But no worries this is not the only option. We had our own private table close to the windows. But if you are up for socializing or with a big group, this could easily be an option.
Nice bar The Dens adjacent  the lobby of the hotel and the restaurant, for either a pre or post drink. Specialty cocktails are handcrafted and complemented by our light fare menu.
We both went for a two course dinner over a nice glass of Cabernet, FYI I am still on my strict diet (you can follow this at Health & Beauty). The total cost of dinner each was USD 60. First Course: Six Wellfleet Oysters on the half shell, champagne mignonette.
Main Course: Pan roasted Fluke, cauliflower puree, brussel sprouts, leeks, sauteed mushrooms, jalapeño, citrus sauce. Quite a great experience and surprise. Looking forward to come back and try the Sunday Brunch. More info @ www.printrestaurant.com. Bon Appetit.!!!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

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Le Voltaire a classic of Paris

Le Voltaire Restaurant a classic of Paris  |  Paris, France  |  Last night over a pouring rain Paris, I came for dinner to a classic and institution of Paris and the French Cuisine, Le Voltaire. Yes we made it there, after booking our table with over a month in advance. two small, cozy and lovely rooms with approximately 10 tables each. A very intimate space, full of tradition, style and fantastic homemade style food. Located on 27 Quay Voltaire, across the Seine from the Louvre Museum.  Continue reading Le Voltaire a classic of Paris

Le Boeuf à La Mode Restaurant Versailles

Le Boeuf à La Mode Restaurant Versailles  |  Versailles, France  |  Dinner time at Versailles. Great choice suggested by my Les Clefs d’Or Concierge at the Trianon Palace. Such a lovely small trendy and chic French Bistro in the heart of the market of Versailles. Very quiet, two floors and indoors/outdoors seating. I would risk to say the best local dinner experience in Versailles.  Continue reading Le Boeuf à La Mode Restaurant Versailles

Four Seasons Buenos Aires Check IN

Four Seasons Buenos Aires Check IN  |  Buenos Aires, Argentina  |   Nested in the exclusive neighborhood of Recoleta, over the beginning of 9 de Julio Avenue, surrounded by early century French-style mansions, embassies and international prime stores, Four Seasons Buenos Aires welcomes you with their consistent and remarkable trademark service for which they are well known worldwide. Without a doubt and to my best understanding, Four Seasons Buenos Aires, is one of the Top 03 luxury hotels in the city, differentiating itself by their bespoke customer service, location, professional staff, Les Clefs d’Or concierges, the 20th-century French-style Mansion Palacio Alzaga Unzue and by being the only of this Top 03 luxury properties to offer a year-round outdoor pool. Continue reading Four Seasons Buenos Aires Check IN