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The Carlyle, Upper East Side

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
New York City, New York, United States, North America
35 E. 76th Street
Upper East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 744 1600's insider take:

The most pedigreed of the Upper East Side hotels, this grande dame opened originally as a residential hotel in 1930, with composer Richard Rodgers as its first occupant. Over the years, every president and practically every celebrity and world leader has checked in behind its white-glove wall of discretion (so leakproof that only many years later did word come out about JFK's trysts with Marilyn Monroe here). Café Carlyle, longtime home to the late Bobby Short, still draws a stellar lineup of cabaret talent (including Woody Allen and his band on the Mondays he's in town), while Bemelmans Bar, one of Manhattan's swankiest boîtes, is enlivened by Loston Harris, a suave, talented pianist and singer. The 122 rooms, however, are a mixed bag: As designed by late society decorators Mark Hampton and Dorothy Draper in Empire and Louis XVI fashion, they're a little stiff and old fashioned, but renovations are underway (the hotel was taken over by the Rosewood group in 2000). The 59 additional suites are not to be sniffed at, with their grand pianos and even grander views of Central Park. Even if playing Chopsticks is the extent of your skill, opt for one of these.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 89.0
  • Design: 87.4
  • Food: 89.0
  • Location: 90.2
  • Rooms: 87.3
  • Service: 91.2
This "gorgeous Art Deco staple," one block from Central Park and near the Whitney Museum of American Art, has "immaculate and comfortable" rooms—Louis-XVI decor, color schemes such as Chinese red and celadon, English carpets, porcelain lamps, and a "great marble bath with upscale amenities." The seasonally driven menu at the restaurant includes Hudson Valley foie gras. Bemelmans Bar's ceiling is covered in 24-karat gold leaf. Staff are "pleasant enough yet have a little attitude, but, hey, the place is a landmark, a bit of Old New York."

(188 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Spa

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