Arrival Experience: Guests step out of their taxi to find some of the city's friendliest doormen who do everything from providing restaurant recommendations to pushing the revolving door for guests. Once inside, the compact space is a surprise, but an elegant one topped with an Oriental rug and beautiful chandelier. Gilt-framed mirrors enlarge the space further, and the concierge desk tucked around the corner keep crowds from forming.
Dining: The hotel features one of the city's best kept hotel eatery secrets in its Penthouse restaurant. The top-floor dining area is surrounded by glass, which can be retracted in warmer months for al fresco enjoyment. A popular breakfast buffet is served here daily with views of the Chrysler building in the eyeline of most tables. Around sunset, the kitchen opens again with light tapas and small dish entrees that accompany a stylish bar menu providing the perfect prelude to a Broadway performance or night out on the town. A new restaurant was scheduled to open in mid-2013 named Downstairs. Its bottom floor location will provide street-level bistro dining to New Yorkers and guests providing a second option for meals at the hotel.
Accommodations: Two elevators rise two dozen floors to the spacious hallways that lead to some of the city's biggest rooms. With about 30 standard-size rooms (mostly in a separate tower with private elevator) and a majority of suite accommodations, this hotel could pass for a private residence building. All units are best labeled by letter: the As are situated on the corner with magnificent balconies and separate living rooms with kitchenettes and Fs that are exceptionally popular with repeat guests for their immense bathrooms with heated floors and bedrooms separated by living rooms and a foyer. All come with coffeemakers featuring Wolfgang Puck coffee, microwaves, safes, refrigerators stocking complimentary bottled water, flat-screen cable TVs, and spacious work desks with high speed Internet (for a fee). The furnishings blend palatial European style with contemporary utility. It can be seen in the sleigh beds that are magnificently topped with pillow mattresses and duvets thicker than most peoples' parkas and Frette linens demonstrating the hotel's enormous investment in classical comfort.
Conclusion: One of the biggest positives for repeat guests is the complimentary access to any New York Health & Racquet Club via a free pass from the front desk (if using the individual TV-equipped equipment in the hotel's own gym is not sufficient). A meeting room offers high-tech boardroom facilities for corporate groups. This hotel flies under the radar screen of most New York visitors, but it has a solid following with corporate travelers who appreciate the spacious digs and amenity-friendly facilities. Without a brand name, many overlook it. However, those that do stay here swear by its high-end accommodations and friendly service. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's wife Rosalyn makes this her home on most of her New York visits as do many repeat NYC regulars who appreciate its amenities.