East Coast Contessas’ Alexandra Booze & Karen Hopkins Visit the Library Hotel Collection
Alexandra & Karen are the very lovely founders of East Coast Contessas who recently visited two of our beautiful boutique hotel in New York the Library Hotel and Hotel Elysee and shared their stories on their blog:
Join us as we chat with these incredible women and discover their Tips For Travelers!
Library Hotel Collection: Please tell us about yourself and how your travel writing began.
East Coast Contessas: East Coast Contessas is a food, travel, and lifestyle publication and blog that was founded in May 2015. Both of us traveled a significant amount for our 9-5 jobs and had worked in the public relations or hospitality industries, and quickly realized it was something we also enjoyed doing in our free-time. So we thought, why not make a business out of it? Since launching our website, www.eastcoastcontessas.com, we have partnered with more than 200 restaurants, hotels, tourism groups, and consumer brands from around the world. On average, we welcome more than 15,000 unique visitors to our site monthly. We’re lucky enough to include The Hotel Collection among these partnerships, and have also established a number of exciting new collaborations for 2017!
LHC: Now that you are professional travel influencers, how often do you travel?
ECC: We’ve been working with other travel businesses and tourism groups since July 2016. To maintain our partnerships and create new and engaging content for our social media platforms and website, we strive to plan bi-monthly trips. We may not travel internationally this frequently, but we are always open to collaborating with domestic tourism groups for press trips, hotels groups that are interested in promotion and photography, and consumer brands that target adults age 21-45 who harbor constant wanderlust and love for great food.
LHC: Which of the Library Hotel Collection properties have you experienced so far?
ECC: We stayed at the Library Hotel and Hotel Elysee in the summer of 2016. What made our stay at each truly remarkable was not only the friendly and knowledgeable staff, but the signature yet unique décor at each Hotel Collection property. From the inquisitive interior design of the Library Hotel, to the classic elegance of Hotel Elysee, we always felt at home. Additionally, we’re excited to announce that we will be collaborating with Aria Hotel Prague during our upcoming trip to Europe in a couple months, so we’re very excited to see what’s in store for us there!
LHC: What will you remember most about your stay?
ECC: For us, it was waking up in a giant fluffy robe, grabbing a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal at the full complimentary breakfast, and heading up to the rooftop of the Library Hotel to watch the morning unfold while overlooking the New York Public Library. The endless complimentary champagne and cheese receptions every night were also an added bonus that we typically don’t find at other properties we stay at, so it was certainly a treat that will keep us coming back!
LHC: Was there anything in our city that surprised you?
ECC: How nice New Yorkers are! Given the city’s harsh reputation, we expected the city to be much more “cut throat” than what we experienced. No one refused to help us with directions, and people openly offered to take our pictures (on the rare occasion that we take touristy photos). We were also pleasantly surprised by the level of culture encountered simply by walking the streets. From the theater district, to the street food vendors, to the mural art on the buildings throughout the boroughs, the fact that visitors can turn a corner and hear ten different languages at once makes New York one of those rare culturally diverse American cities.
LHC: Did you experience any favorite restaurants during your stay? What was your favorite local dish?
ECC: As food bloggers, we’re so thankful that we get the opportunity to experience some of the most sought after dishes at some of the most popular restaurants in New York. While each of the restaurants we have partnered with serve up some of the best grub on the east coast, there are a few that consistently stand out in our minds as favorites:
Buns Bar – an up and coming casual restaurant located in the Chelsea neighborhood that offers up the most unique and over-the-top “crazy” milkshakes. Perfect for kids (or adults) of any age! Owner Luke Pascal also makes a mean “Doughburger” (cheeseburger sandwiched between a glazed doughnut). Bring your camera for this one!
Patrizia’s of Brooklyn – One of the most authentic Italian family-style restaurants we’ve found in the New York to date. This traditional Neapolitan restaurant serves unique menu items like a star shaped stuffed-crust margarita pizza and a Nutella dessert pizza dusted with powered sugar and stuffed with mascarpone cheese (also shaped like a star).
The Butcher’s Daughter – A personable vegetarian restaurant that’s known for its delicious and healthy brunch options (think fresh avocado toast and poached eggs). They also offer a brand of slightly alcoholic fermented organic tea called Kombrewcha whom we were also lucky enough to partner with last year!
LHC: What would you recommend to travelers that they must pack for a trip to our city?
ECC: Multiple cameras! We always come equipped with our iPhone 7’s, our DSLR cameras (we use a Canon Rebel T5 and a Sony A6000) and a Polaroid (this is simply for the fun factor). Visitors that come to the Big Apple will quickly fall in love – every direction taken and every nook and cranny explored presents a new opportunity to take beautiful photos and create lasting memories. They should also remember to bring comfy – but cute! – shoes as all of this exploring and walking will certainly be exciting but also a bit exhausting.
LHC: What’s next on your Travel Bucket List?
ECC: A backpacking trip through Europe! We will first head to Prague, Czech Republic, then to Vienna, Austria, and finally end our adventure in Budapest, Hungary at the end of March. For us, the most exciting thing about this trip is that it will mostly be a sponsored press trip for East Coast Contessas, which provides us with the opportunity to work with a number of international brands. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be highlighting these partners (including The Library Hotel Collection!) on social media and our website, www.eastcoastcontessas.com.
Fellow foodies and adventurers can follow along with us on social media via Instagram (@eastcoastcontessas), Twitter (Handle: eccontessas), and Facebook. So stayed tuned!