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Luxury Hotels In New York

Luxury Hotels In New York

Old Jan 18, 12, 1:23 pm
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Luxury Hotels In New York

I usually plan a trip for our anniversary and my birthday first half of September. This year - I don't have any "must go" place in mind - so I'm simply exploring big cities with lots of attractions - excellent dining - etc. Am running into booking problems with some (like Toronto has its International Film Festival that week). And - in New York - although the UN General Assembly doesn't start until 9/15 - and I can leave on 9/14 - some hotels (like the MO) are blocking out rooms for UN people a day or two in advance (although perhaps my travel agent can do something about that).

Before I decide to return to the Four Seasons - I wonder what people think of some other hotels in New York? Note that I need a smoking room - and some of the hotels that came up on my list of "smoking allowed" hotels were the St. Regis (have stayed there before - didn't like it) - The Carlyle - The Mark - The Mercer - The Peninsula - The Pierre (haven't stayed there since it was renovated) - and the Lowell. Would prefer to be in mid-town - but am somewhat flexible.

And - if anyone knows - how much of a zoo is it in New York a day or two before the UN circus comes to town? Robyn

P.S. I want to make this a pretty easy trip - so - right now - I am only looking into north America.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 1:40 pm
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We were in NYC during the UN circus in 2011. It wasn't a big deal. Our drive from the airport took a bit longer, and we noticed security vans an personnel around some of the luxury hotels as we walked.

Anita
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Old Jan 18, 12, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
I usually plan a trip for our anniversary and my birthday first half of September. This year - I don't have any "must go" place in mind - so I'm simply exploring big cities with lots of attractions - excellent dining - etc. Am running into booking problems with some (like Toronto has its International Film Festival that week). And - in New York - although the UN General Assembly doesn't start until 9/15 - and I can leave on 9/14 - some hotels (like the MO) are blocking out rooms for UN people a day or two in advance (although perhaps my travel agent can do something about that).

Before I decide to return to the Four Seasons - I wonder what people think of some other hotels in New York? Note that I need a smoking room - and some of the hotels that came up on my list of "smoking allowed" hotels were the St. Regis (have stayed there before - didn't like it) - The Carlyle - The Mark - The Mercer - The Peninsula - The Pierre (haven't stayed there since it was renovated) - and the Lowell. Would prefer to be in mid-town - but am somewhat flexible.

And - if anyone knows - how much of a zoo is it in New York a day or two before the UN circus comes to town? Robyn

P.S. I want to make this a pretty easy trip - so - right now - I am only looking into north America.
Since you're really just looking for an easy trip to a good city, i'll throw out Chicago as an alternative. Much cheaper, often better, hotels with most of the comparable culture, food, and activity of New York.

Having said that, the newly renovated Pierre has gotten good reviews and the location is about as central as possible. I've stayed at the Plaza Athenee on 64th before and thought it was lovely. I believe they have smoking rooms as well, and many of the suites have balconies. I also love the Trump, though it might not be to your taste.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 2:05 pm
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The Mercer in Soho is in a considerably different location than the others you are considering on the upper east side or Midtown. That block of Soho is a shopping mecca for tourists especially on the weekend. I have stayed at the Mercer, and though it has a groovy restaurant downstairs and very friendly staff, the noise insulation between the streetfront shops and the hotel rooms above them was a problem for me. If you want to be in that area of NYC, you should consider the Crosby St instead. The rooms are small but very well designed with huge windows.

Of the uptown ones you mention, I prefer the Mark even though the lobby gives me vertigo. I also have friends that rave about the Surrey which is nearby but I have not stayed there.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 2:31 pm
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I love The Carlyle and have stayed there frequently. But next time I am in NYC I plan to try the Lowell or the Surrey. Perhaps the Carlyle and the Surrey are too far uptown for you, though?
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Old Jan 18, 12, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by akp View Post
We were in NYC during the UN circus in 2011. It wasn't a big deal. Our drive from the airport took a bit longer, and we noticed security vans an personnel around some of the luxury hotels as we walked.

Anita
Yes - sometimes these things are overblown. We were in Berlin at the RC (2006 or so?) when the G5-10-15-20-whatever was in town. No problem at all. A heck of a lot better than the traffic on Miami Beach during the Miami Beach boat show!

FWIW - we happened to be in Manhattan on 9/11 (day after our 30th anniversary) - and I reckon I will never see the kind of security in a luxury hotel that I saw then. Robyn
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by nba1017 View Post
Since you're really just looking for an easy trip to a good city, i'll throw out Chicago as an alternative. Much cheaper, often better, hotels with most of the comparable culture, food, and activity of New York.

Having said that, the newly renovated Pierre has gotten good reviews and the location is about as central as possible. I've stayed at the Plaza Athenee on 64th before and thought it was lovely. I believe they have smoking rooms as well, and many of the suites have balconies. I also love the Trump, though it might not be to your taste.
Agree with you about Chicago. We've taken multiple trips there - and enjoy the city a whole lot. Could be a possible for this trip.

Will look into the Plaza Athenee and the "new" Pierre. Have stayed at the Trump before - and now it is 100% non-smoking (think all Trump properties - at least in North America - even the one in Las Vegas - are non-smoking now - including the one in Chicago). Our last trip to Chicago - we stayed at the Four Seasons Four Seasons (I'm pretty sure I did a review of that hotel here). Robyn
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:14 pm
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For me, it's the timeless classic St. Regis. If you have Starwood status, it's even better, but even without status a suite at the St. Regis is the classy way to go.

Last edited by stimpy; Jan 18, 12 at 4:24 pm
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by gastropub76 View Post
The Mercer in Soho is in a considerably different location than the others you are considering on the upper east side or Midtown. That block of Soho is a shopping mecca for tourists especially on the weekend. I have stayed at the Mercer, and though it has a groovy restaurant downstairs and very friendly staff, the noise insulation between the streetfront shops and the hotel rooms above them was a problem for me. If you want to be in that area of NYC, you should consider the Crosby St instead. The rooms are small but very well designed with huge windows.

Of the uptown ones you mention, I prefer the Mark even though the lobby gives me vertigo. I also have friends that rave about the Surrey which is nearby but I have not stayed there.
I think I'd rather be mid-town or so than downtown. If for no other reason than a lot of the downtown hotels are young and trendy - and we aren't. I like to be pampered when I travel (this trip especially since it will celebrate my "graduation" into Medicare ). I always appreciate a place with good massages. FWIW - the best I've had in the last couple of years was at the FS Atlanta. My masseuse - well I think she could have played on the defensive line for the Atlanta Falcons (very big - strong hands) . Robyn
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Baghoarder View Post
I love The Carlyle and have stayed there frequently. But next time I am in NYC I plan to try the Lowell or the Surrey. Perhaps the Carlyle and the Surrey are too far uptown for you, though?
I've stayed at the Surrey - before it was renovated. Don't know if it allows smoking post-renovation. But I think it's a wonderful location. Close to the Met - the Whitney - the Frick - Museum of Natural History - the Guggenheim - Madison Avenue shopping - lots of good restaurants - etc. And Cafe Boulud (the hotel restaurant) is very very good (I always take my aunt who lives in NYC there for lunch when we go to Manhattan). If it doesn't allow smoking now (and wouldn't be for me) - I'd recommend non-smokers to look into it now post-renovation. Robyn
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Old Jan 18, 12, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
For me, it's the timeless classic St. Regis. If you have Starwood status, it's even better, but even without status a suite at the St. Regis is the classy way to go.
The St. Regis - or the St. Regis at the Essex House? We were in the St. Regis at the Essex House on 9/11. Were not very impressed with the physical property - but were very impressed by the hotel security reaction to that horrible day. They made us feel safe (as least as safe as possible) - and were 100% on top of things (lots of retired military work in security there). On 9/11 - a hotel experience that could have been became ^^. Robyn
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Old Jan 18, 12, 5:22 pm
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That week isn't too bad as long as you avoid the UN area and Park Avenue (especially around the Waldorf) and allow some extra time to get to the airport.
As far as hotels go, I stayed at the Pierre this past spring in a one-bedroom suite, with no view. The room was nice and very comfortable, and I got a pretty good deal through Amex FHR. I did not use the spa, but the gym was very nice. I would say the front desk was a little off, and since there are often events in the ballroom, the lobby can be busy in the evenings (pro or con, depending). I will say that the restaurant in the hotel was awful, but they are supposedly bringing in a new one, just not sure when.
I have also stayed at the Surrey. It was fine, nothing to write home about. I really like the RC CP, especially the lounge, but have not stayed there since 2006. Also, that time of the year is I think fashion week, so you may want to avoid the MO and Trump, since that is near Lincoln Center where a lot of shows are.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
And - if anyone knows - how much of a zoo is it in New York a day or two before the UN circus comes to town?
I was just at the Plaza (FS was booked) in late Sept'11, and NY was a circus. It was a 2 hour wait for cabs, streets were blocked everywhere. The OWS riffraff had choked everything off. The Plaza couldn't have done a worse job in my case. The employees were so busy that they were long past even apologizing for zero service. The bell staff was much more interested in untangling the gridlocked Rolls Royces in the front to help me with a cab to the airport. I had to cart my 85 lbs of luggage to the FS to get any help.

NY during UN: A total disaster. I wouldn't consider it. And DON'T GO TO THE Plaza when the UN is in session. They can't handle 100% occupancy.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 9:21 pm
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There is only one St. Regis. Essex House is a Jumeirah property. The two are geographically close by, but that is the only aspect in which they are similar. The St Regis blows the EH out in every other respect, other than the views of Central Park in some of the EH rooms.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by edrags View Post
There is only one St. Regis. Essex House is a Jumeirah property.
1931 opens
1932-1946 reconstruction finance corporation
1946-1969 sterling national bank and trust
1969-1985 Marriott Essex House
1985-1999 Essex House Hotel Nikko New York
1999-2006 Essex House, A Westin Hotel (501 rooms)
2000-2006 St Regis Essex House (104 rooms on 19th-39th floors )
2006-xxxx jumeirah essex house

there are also 184 condos
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