The Upper East Side’s proximity to iconic New York institutions makes the neighborhood a popular and convenient choice among visitors. These hotels are the best in the area.
The Upper East Side has drawn many famous figures into its distinguished embrace, lined with stately redbrick townhouses and offering a central spot in the city with quick access to the sprawling green of Central Park. Synonymous with luxury, it’s home to world-class museums, must-see landmarks, and Fifth Avenue shopping. Enjoy all the neighborhood has to offer with one of these luxurious stays.
The pinstripe floors, burnished silver walls and suede emerald ottomans found in The Mark exude an air of sleek sophistication that’s fitting of its Upper East Side setting. Luxury services include access to the personal shoppers of Bergdorf Goodman and high-end pampering in renowned hairdresser Frédéric Fekkai’s salon. In rooms you are further spoiled where you’ll find a box of superlative Ladurée macarons by your bedside; a sweet prelude to an evening unwinding in the marble deep-soaking tub and lounging on the deluxe Italian linens of your king- or queen-sized bed. Enviably placed in the heart of Madison Avenue, you are on the doorstep of distinguished art galleries such as Acquavella and among numerous designer shops like Burberry.
The lobby of Hôtel Plaza Athénée is a fairytale-like affair of vibrant purple bouquets, ornate black and gold statuettes and woodland murals. It sets the tone for the rest of your stay, which is enchantingly old-world and Parisian. Once you’ve admired the embroidered Italian duvets and 18th-century European artwork of your room, dine on pan-seared scallops under the cloud-covered ceiling of restaurant Arabelle or head to the soothing spa for a traditional Swiss treatment. You can also get a breath of fresh air strolling around the bucolic greenery of Central Park just minutes away.
The 91-year-old Lowell Hotel is as classic as luxury gets, tailored to the tastes of modern guests with an immaculate collection of sleek marble furnishings, celestial artwork and ornate coving. When you aren’t indulging in a spot of afternoon tea, within the mirrored walls of the Pembroke Room, you’ll be sinking into the plush sofas of the club lounge and getting lost in one of the many vintage books that line its shelves. The Michael Smith-designed rooms are an elegant combination of neutral tones, oriental vases and cashmere throws, while king-size beds and original wood-burning fireplaces (with scented firewood menus) are a luxurious addition to the suites.
Art lovers who want to be near the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile should get to know The Surrey. Situated close to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, this 92-year-old hotel has hosted famous people including Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert. It’s The Surrey’s permanent guests, however, that have made it the city’s only Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel: an on-site private collection features two works by Jenny Holzer, a video piece by William Kentridge, and a tapestry of Kate Moss by portrait artist Chuck Close, among others.
Since opening in 1907, The Plaza has been synonymous with luxury in New York City. The elegant hotel thanks fictional guests like Home Alone’s (1990) Kevin McCallister for its place in pop culture and owes its endurance to timeless amenities such as white glove butler service, hand-crafted white marble vanities, and the Palm Court’s iconic afternoon tea. Plush comfort is found in cream-coloured rooms with golden detailing – noble figures peer down from the walls onto wood-panelled closets, while the cavernous bathrooms are covered in mosaic tiling. The Guerlain Spa must be one of the most relaxing sanctuaries in the city, where treatments like their Imperial Relaxing Massage will drain any tension away.
The svelte Four Seasons New York is home to expansive suites and studio-style rooms, done up with the decadence you’d expect from this five-star brand. Pedestal beds are lit by soothing runway lighting, a curved 65-inch (165-centimeter) television provides immersive movie nights and oversized picture windows offer bewitching views of Manhattan. A Rolls-Royce is available to zip you between the sights of Manhattan, alongside a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a luxurious spa that offers personalized treatments. Dinner at The Garden is an otherworldly experience, where you can tuck into comforts like crispy chicken Milanese with sweet and sour slaw amidst the violet neon lights and African acacia trees of the garden.