Luxury

The Checklist: Hotels to Stay in Before You Die

by Ondine Cohane

FOUR SEASONS, New York City

Of all the must-do cities in the world, New York is especially blessed with superb and stylish hotels in phenomenal locations, including the Mandarin Oriental on Columbus Circle, the Mercer in Soho, and the Carlyle on the Upper East Side. But in this city of giants, the Four Seasons tops them all for its ability to channel the sense of vigor and privilege that pervades Manhattan. The West 57th Street address is sublime: You're surrounded by the corridors of world power, as well as the designer emporiums that line Madison and Fifth avenues. The concierge is legendary for fielding last-minute requests (just try getting into Per Se at the last minute on your own), and a huge and efficient database keeps repeat guests' fancies on file. And with the arrival of L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon a couple of years ago (if you haven't tried his mashed potatoes, you haven't lived), the property draws foodies who usually keep south of 14th Street. At 600 square feet, even standard rooms are larger than most New York apartments, and they come with views over the skyline that create the sense of an aerie above the city. To get the full effect, ask for a Parkview Tower room with an unobstructed vista of Central Park. Or book the newly unveiled penthouse, a 4,300-square-foot palace that cost $50 million to complete and has fulfilled I.M. Pei's original design for the building. With 23-foot-high windows and a 360-degree view of the city, plus the use of a personal trainer, butler, and Rolls-Royce, it's taken the iconic New York experience and considerably upped the ante. And at $30,000 a night, it's one of the most expensive pads in the world.

Four Seasons New York
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free)
Tel: 212 758 5700
Doubles from $995

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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