We stayed for 7 nights at the Surrey Hotel late October 2011. It was our first time at this hotel, which was chosen after reading reviews on tripadvisor and looking at the hotel website and other reviews. I have stayed in many NYC hotels over the last few years, but none higher than 57th and so was looking for a different experience in a new neighborhood - ie the upper east side. It was our second honeymoon and so received a welcome upgrade to a suite on the 5th floor, together with champagne on arrival - which was a really great touch. The room had no view, but no complaints as the size and style was first class. It was situated near the airconditioning plant, but the noise was almost imperceptible.
Overall, I can't say enough about why you would choose this hotel over so many others in the city, but here are some:
1/ LOCATION - The location is great - the lexington subway line is close, as are some great museums and galleries. It may not seem as convenient as other better known hotels further downtown, but the extra minute or so seems like nothing when you walk into the serene sophistication of this neighborhood. It is an instant passport into a world away from the predictable noise of the touristy buzz of the usual areas. Priceless.
2/ STYLE - From the lobby, to the bar, to the rooms, this hotel has style in spades where so many lack it in substance. The beds are duxiana, the amenities are Jo Malone, the interiors are all outstanding. The Relais & Chateaux badge is well deserved and those in the know, act on their knowledge. We did not have to be in the lift or lobby very long, before seeing a number of very well known faces, who appeared to be very comfortable in the understated environment.
3/ VALUE - We stayed at the Intercontinental the week before (and East Hampton in between). We paid no more per night for those experiences, but felt like we had stepped through the curtains into first class at the Surrey. This is hard to describe, but there is an ambience and understanding in this hotel (and area) which pervades the space - you would pay for this, but the point is that if you do it right, you need not pay any more. Priceless.
4/ OPTIONS - Although the area does not shout options, in terms of dining and food, they are here to be found. For a start, the inroom dining is Cafe Boulud food - where you have to book in advance to get a table - it is michelin star food and worth staying just for that. Similarly, the bar snacks in Bar Pleiades is also Boulud originated - the risotto snack is to die for and incredibly well priced. If you are after a light dinner snack - this a great place with super sophisticated ambience. The Whitney Museum is just around the corner - downstairs is a cafe which has a fantastic all day breakfast, really good coffee (I am a coffee nut), really simple and great cafe food and a funky museum atmosphere. We went there daily. Next street up is the Mark Hotel - which has another super sophisticated bar - the locals go there - and the Mark restaurant - which has some quite brilliant food.
5/ BRICKBATS Every hotel has them, but fortunately they are few at the Surrey. The only major one is the guest service when using the phone from the room. (Face to face service was brilliant.) We made around 5 calls over 7 days - asking for dinner reservations, an ironing board, asking if a parcel had been delivered etc. Either they are understaffed on this area, or they prioritised their service in a way that relegated those who weren't face to face with them. It often took several calls to spur a response. This was a small blot on an otherwise perfect page, but once you lose the trust of guests in that area it has the potential to undermine the whole experience. I see from other reviewers that similar experiences to ours have occurred, so I would encourage the management to invest some time here.
As I said above, this is a genuinely outstanding hotel in a city full of competition, and so has few peers. A 7 day stay usually reveals I would stay here again, without hesitation and would look forward to it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Exceptional moments at The Surrey extend well beyond your accommodations. Whether you prefer entertaining in the garden, indulging in a relaxing massage at Cornelia Spa or dining at your favorite table at Café Boulud, personality and personal preferences inform our service from the moment you make your reservation. Upon booking a suite at The Surrey, guests will receive the Complimentary Suite Program which includes complimentary wireless Internet, daily international newspaper, shoe shine, and a Surrey welcome amenity. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Surrey Hotel New York City
- Surrey Hotel New York City
- Surrey Suite Hotel
- Surrey New York City