I have been to New York City several times in my life, initially as a young boy in the late 1950’s, visiting my Grandparents in Bronxville, a charming suburb of NYC. I also visited the Big Apple in the mid ‘70’s while touring in College Choir, and most recently this past year for a 4-day Theater splurge with my wife, this being her first visit. After inquiring with several well-travelled NYC aficionados’, and exploring the suggestions of Trip Advisor, I settled (not to be interpreted as ‘compromised’) with The Hotel Elysee, on 60 East and 54th Street, between Madison and Park Avenue. While not in the ‘dead center’ of the City, the Elysee was in my estimate very central – and close to those areas we wanted to explore.
The Hotel itself would best be described as quaint, luxurious, and certainly among the smaller and finer boutique establishments in the City. It is also not without historical value as the choice of many literary types, inclusive of playwright Tennessee Williams - (the dude actually died at the Elysee in the ‘Sunset Suite’!), writers Sidney Sheldon, James Michener, Mario Puzo, Hollywood stars including Marlon Brando, ‘Tarzan’ Johnny Weissmuller, Ava Gardner, Sidney Poitier, James Caan, opera star Maria Callas, and a host of other important characters who most Trip Advisor readers are sadly too young to even recognize.
Built in 1926 when City visitors travelled by horse drawn carriages, the Elysee seemingly breathes of a classic charm of years gone by. The ‘old fashioned’ but artsy architecture of the Elysee is warm and unique, the staff is very accommodating, friendly, and very professional, and the room suite we stayed in was wonderful. We stayed on the 5th floor, with a window view on to 54th, with Park Avenue about 200 feet walk to the East of the Hotel entrance. Our room was very quiet, and beautifully appointed; the king-sized bed was marvelously comfortable, and the bathroom was modernly styled and extremely clean. There is also the very special Great Depression era piano bar just off the hotel lobby called the ‘Monkey Bar’, a spot we found to be absolutely charming for that late night ‘final final’ cocktail after dinner and the theater.
Late afternoons are special for the complimentary wine & hors d'oeuvres reception in the Clubroom, where the Hotel also provides complementary fresh coffee, tea, fruit and cookies throughout the day. This is also a warm and comfortable place to relax with a good book if you’re so inclined. A full breakfast spread is also served each morning in the Clubroom.
What makes the Elysee a truly special spot is its location… minutes walk from Central Park, the upscale Gold Coast shopping district of Park Avenue, Rockefeller Square, the Theater District, and Midtown. We even made the early morning trek to the Today Show studios, arriving around 6:00am and lined up for the 6:55am ‘rush’ to the front lines where we met the Today Show regulars about an hour later. We even stood next to ‘Lennie’, the ever present Today Show regular who is a star in himself. A few suggestions if you’re inclined to take in this early morning silliness… 1) go early, grab a coffee on the way, but know there are NOT bathrooms once you’re there in the crowd; 2) you will have your bags or purses checked before you are allowed to enter the ‘inner’ fenced sanctum; and 3) once you are ‘there’, you will spend another hour waiting, but once Matt, Al, and the rest of the regulars come out, they actually greet everyone personally – Al’s the most gregariously friendly of them all.
New York City is a place to explore, and the Elysee is the perfect – and reasonably priced – spot to venture from. We will be back!
- Also Known As:
- Elysee Hotel New York City
- Elysee Hotel New York
- Elysee New York City
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the Hotel Elysée, you will find the warmth and charm of a countryside inn right here in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Like some of the most distinctive bed and breakfasts in the world, the Hotel Elysée offers its guests so much more than is ever expected from a luxury hotel – all included in the nightly rate. At Hotel Elysee, guests are welcome to unwind in the clubroom with complimentary refreshments serviced throughout the day, including the Library Hotel Collection’s signature Continental Breakfast Buffet each morning, wine and cheese receptions each evening from 5PM-8PM, and coffee, tea, cookies and fresh fruits are served all day. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and bottled water is provided upon check-in. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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