Alright, so last night (Saturday, the Sabbath) I went with my special lady friend to the Hotel QT in midtown. Normally, nothing can get me to come into mid-town on a weekend (someone has to be seriously out of their fucking mind to think that I’m going to go near Times Square if I don’t have to) but I had heard about the pool bar, sauna and steam rooms, so I thought it might be worthwhile to check it out. In fact, it was great, if - and this is a big if - you go before 10:30pm.
After 10:30, this place experiences a huge shift in crowd (read: friendly, but distinctly and almost exclusively single gay men who remind me that I displace WAY too much water. There was also this group of girls who had clearly snorted a mountain of cocaine in the bathroom). If that’s what you’re looking for, then look no further than the Hotel QT at 10:30: I’ll see you there!
We met up at the Hotel QT (45th between 6th and 7th) at about 9:15. The bar/pool/sauna/steamroom is all on the ground floor, so you basically walk right into them off of the street. We each brought our own bathing suits (and thankfully the hotel provides towels). The place was mostly deserted and we were able to slip into the warm, but thankfully heavily chlorinated, pool (as for why “thankfully” . . . you don’t know where I’ve been). We started ordering drinks.
We chatted it up in the warm water for about 40 minutes and then headed over to the sauna and steam room. Both are only 10 feet from the pool, so there isn’t far to walk. We both found the sauna kinda’ blah (it wasn’t hot enough). But the steam room was a perfect scorch.
After about 40 minutes between the two rooms, the hotel started dialing up the volume, the place began to fill and get noisy, and we decided to get out of Dodge. But, let’s look at the positives, shall we: free swimming (if you don’t count drinking, which is leisurely and fun), free sauna, and free steam room. Yes and yes.
The tips for this one are pretty obvious.
TIP: They only take plastic at the bar that’s attached to the pool (yes, just like the stupid resort bar/pools in Cabo San Lucas where you saw Sammy Hagar) — but that’s really not a problem because soggy cash sucks.
TIP: If you’re disgusted by the sight of your own body and don’t actually have body-image issues (i.e. your body is, in fact, disturbing to others), you may consider skipping this one. Wearing a knee-length Mickey Mouse t-shirt says far more about you than you could ever say with words and sometimes it’s just better not to say that at all.TIP: Notice there is no “P” in our “ool.” Try to keep it that way.
TIP: Don’t get trashed at the bar. Puke in water isn’t cool. Puke in scalding steam is vile. And puke over hot coals really, really stinks.
What: Hotel QT
Where: 45th Between 6th and 7th; Take the BDFV to 47th and walk south on 6th Avenue to 45th. Take the 123NRQW to 42nd and walk up to 45th.
Good thing that Virgil’s BBQ is only a block away, between 6th and 7th on 44th. We stopped by there to get some dinner. Thankfully, by 10:30pm, everyone else had already had their dinner and were swimming and drinking, so we had a very delicous, not-too-crowded evening. I recommend getting the Hush Puppies as they’ll likely change your life.
What: Virgils BBQ
Where: 44th Between 6th and 7th; take the BDFV to 42nd and walk north on 6th Avenue to 44th. Take the 123NRQW to 42nd and walk up to 44th.
If you’re not into the BBQ idea (you can’t hold off of dinner for that long or you just want something more adventurous), there’s a fantastic little place on 46th between 6th and 7th that’s cheap and totally authentic: Kati Roll. It’s basically the Indian equivalent of a burrito, but smaller, much spicier and deliciously not decadent. This place is the real deal and it”ll show you know what’s good.
TIP: If you decide to go here, you can chat about the origins of the kati roll (Calcutta, India) and how it was supposedly created when the restaurant that first served them ran out of plates and had to serve the typical meal wrapped in paratha bread (which also reduced the number of plates needed by the restaurant by half — so it’s “Green” too).
What: Kati Roll
Where: 46th Between 6th and 7th; take the BDFV to 47th and walk south on 6th Avenue to 46th. Take the 123NRQW to 42nd and walk up to 46th.