Follow-up: New York City's The Jane hotel

By JD Rinne
October 3, 2012
Courtesy The Jane

We've written before about The Jane, a New York City hotel offering ship-cabin-style rooms for solo travelers, starting at $99 a night.

There are also 30 double rooms, called the Captain's Cabins, available at the hotel. At 250 square feet, the Captain's Cabins are suited for double occupancy and offer private bathrooms (the 50-square-foot regular rooms share a communal bathroom down the hall on each floor). The Captain's Cabins came online for booking about a month ago.

The Jane is located in the far West Village—also known as the Meatpacking District, characterized by its hopping clubs and nightlife. Currently, there's a special offer going on through the end of February: Regular cabins start at $79, and the Captain's Cabins start at $209 a night. Usually, the Captain's Cabins start at $250 a night and go up to $300. So you can save more than 15 percent for bookings in February.

Of course, it's snowing like mad here (and getting dark at 3:30 p.m.), so you can see why rates are reduced. But New York City in the snow has its own romantic charm.

See our full review of The Jane here.

For more on New York City, check out our city page, and leave your comments, questions, and suggestions.

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San Francisco: Decoding shabu shabu

We regularly respond to comments and questions posted on our city pages. Reader sarahm asked about shabu shabu, so we looked into it. Shabu shabu restaurants have been popping up in San Francisco. Shabu shabu is the Japanese version of Chinese hot pot, where diners cook thin slices of raw meat and vegetables in a communal pot of boiling water at the table. Think of it as fondue but without the oil. The most traditional version of shabu shabu just uses beef, but restaurants in the area have started to include other meats like chicken, pork, and fish, and substituting boiling water with flavored broth like miso or ginger chicken. The rare, razor thin beef is a carnivore's dream, and the interactive tableside cooking makes it a hit for big groups and families. Especially on a cold foggy day, shabu shabu can hit the spot. We did some research, and online reviewers' favorite San Francisco shabu shabu places include the Shabu House (5158 Geary Blvd, 415/ 933-8600), Mums Home of Shabu Shabu, (inside Hotel Tomo, 1800 Sutter St, 415/ 931-6986), and Shabusen Restaurant (1726 Buchanan St, 415/ 440-0466). Many shabu shabu restaurants offer all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink specials (Shabu House is one; $33.95 per person between 5 and 6 p.m.) Fair warning: Some Chinese restaurants advertising shabu shabu are actually making traditional Chinese hot pot, which is served with soy and hoisin sauce and dumplings, and tends to be spicier than Japanese shabu shabu. It's delicious in it's own way, but if you're looking for authentic shabu shabu, stick to the places above. For the uninitiated, the shabu shabu process can be a little intimidating. Here's a how-to guide to eating it: The meat and vegetables are served on a large platter—you'll see thinly sliced meat, vegetables like mushrooms and napa cabbage, individual bowls of white rice, and of course, the boiling pot (usually water, but sometimes something else). 1. Using your chopsticks, swish the slice of meat or piece of vegetable back and forth in the boiling soup several times. (The dish gets it name from the swishing sound: Shabu shabu translates into "swish, swish.") A few seconds is enough. Be careful not to overcook the meat. 2. Dip the meat or veg in one of the sauces, usually a ponzu sauce or a goma sesame seed sauce, and eat! 3. When foam appears in the water, skim it off with a spoon. 4. Once all the meat and vegetables have been eaten, pour the leftover broth on the remaining rice, and eat it last.


Finding the romantic side of Rome

It's not hard! Chocolate truffles, a leisurely hilltop stroll, and an intimate meal are key ingredients for Valentine's Day in Rome, the hometown of martyr San Valentino. Couples who work up an appetite browsing museums and archaeological sites—offering 2-for-1 admission on Valentine's—can break for an afternoon treat of fine handmade chocolates. La Bottega del Cioccolato does a lovely rich and bitter ultra-dark chocolate as well as legendary marrons glacés, chestnuts candied in syrup. The small red shop has glass displays of unwrapped chocolates (dark and milk, only) and glass containers with pieces individually wrapped in colored foil (via Leonina 82). Said, an 80-year-old chocolatier with a café and restaurant, makes decadent truffles and thick, creamy hot chocolate that you can savor indoors—or take to go (per portare via). Chocolates are sold by weight; expect to pay around €7.50-10 for a box with 8-10 pieces (via Tiburtina 135). There's no shortage of paths and lookout points for a hand-in-hand stroll. The Janiculum Hill above Trastevere is home to the Villa Pamphilj, a vast public park dotted with fountains, botanical gardens, and 17th-century pavilions. After wandering the grounds, leave through the Porta San Pancrazio exit, and make for the vantage points dotted along the winding Via Garibaldi and leafy Passegiatata del Gianicolo. The Capitoline Hill is a more central option. Climb the hill from the via dei Fori Imperiali, following the snaky path up to the viewing deck for sweeping views over the Forum. Pause in Michelangelo's Piazza del Campidoglio, with three elegant 16th-century buildings, and then follow the path to the left of the Palazzo dei Conservatori and climb the stairs to the Café Capitolino, the Capitoline Museum café with a terrace overlooking the domes, towers, and rooftops of the city. It's a perfect spot to steal a kiss or to linger over an aperitivo before dinner. Make a restaurant reservation as soon as possible if you'll be in Rome for Valentine's Day. Hedonists should consider Cantina Lucifero, an intimate family-run wine bar and restaurant specializing in luscious, melt-in-your-mouth steak tartare and in fondue. Bubbling cauldrons of cheese are served tableside with cubes of bread and iron skewers. Polish off a meal with chocolate fondue with fresh fruit (via del Pellegrino 53; about €20 per person, plus wine). La Campana sticks to seasonal Roman fare, such as tender roasted meats, tagliolini with anchovies and pecorino, and pasta with artichokes (vicolo della Campana, 18; about €30 per person, plus wine). For something lighter, find a cozy table in the wood-paneled wine bar Giulio Passami L'Olio, where you can share cured meats and cheeses over a bottle of wine (via di Montegiordano 28; about €15, plus wine). And if you feel it just isn't Valentine's without a bouquet, swing by the flower vendors at Campo de' Fiori or Piazza Madonna dei Monti. Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday, Rome's traditional day of rest, so do your shopping early to avoid coming up empty handed! Read more recommendations—and ask trip-planning questions—on our Rome city page.


Rome: 5 best February values

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