The Best Hotels to Book on the Upper East Side, New York

The Upper East Side is synonymous with luxury in New York City
The Upper East Side is synonymous with luxury in New York City | © Radharc Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Judy Cogan
27 September 2021

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 – now bookable on Culture Trip.

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 Mark

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury
4.8/5 (587 Reviews)
The Mark
Courtesy of the Mark / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $1128 per night

The pinstripe floors, burnished silver walls and suede emerald ottomans found in the Mark exude an air of sleek sophistication that’s fitting for 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’re 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’re on the doorstep of distinguished art galleries, such as Acquavella and among numerous designer shops like Burberry.

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Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Hotel
4.4/5 (997 Reviews)
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Courtesy of Hôtel Plaza Athénée / Expedia

The lobby of Hôtel Plaza Athénée is a fairytale-like affair of vibrant purple bouquets, ornate black and gold statuettes and woodland murals. This 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’ll enjoy a breath of fresh air strolling around the bucolic greenery of Central Park, just minutes away.

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The Lowell Hotel

Hotel
4.7/5 (142 Reviews)
The Lowell Hotel
Courtesy of the Lowell Hotel / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $876 per night

The 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.

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The Surrey

Hotel
The Surrey
Courtesy of the Surrey / Expedia

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 glamorous hotel has hosted famous people including Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert. It’s the Surrey’s permanent guests, however, that has 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.

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  • The Plaza

    Spa Hotel, Luxury
    4.5/5 (976 Reviews)
    The Plaza Hotel
    Courtesy of the Plaza / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $818 per night

    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-colored rooms with golden detailing – noble figures peer down from the walls onto wood-paneled 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.

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    Four Seasons

    Hotel
    4.6/5 (88 Reviews)
    Four Seasons New York
    Courtesy of Four Seasons / Expedia

    The svelte Four Seasons in New York is home to expansive suites and studio-style rooms, finished with the decadence you’d expect from this five-star brand. Pedestal beds are lit by soothing runway lighting, a curved 65″ (165cm) 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 center 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 amid the violet neon lights and African acacia trees of the garden.

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    The Carlyle

    Hotel
    4.6/5 (612 Reviews)
    The Carlyle, Madison Avenue
    Courtesy of the Carlyle / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $977 per night

    An Upper East Side institution, this elegant art deco hotel opened in 1930 and sums up the spirit of New York City the moment you step onto the lobby’s black marble floor – expect a very warm welcome from the white-gloved staff. Unwind at the Carlyle Restaurant – popular with a glamorous local crowd – then head to Bemelmans Bar, full of live music and whimsical murals, for a martini. Rooms have killer views and bathrooms are stocked with Kiehl’s toiletries.

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    Loews Regency

    Hotel
    4.5/5 (928 Reviews)
    Loews Regency New York Hotel
    Courtesy of Loews Regency New York Hotel / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $643 per night
    On ritzy Park Avenue not far from Central Park, Loews Regency is in one of the swankiest zip codes in the city and it shows – this decades-old stalwart sparkles from top to bottom. Home of the Power Breakfast, the restaurant is where the New York elite meet each morning and the grand lobby connects to a chic U-shaped bar. The 379 rooms, 58 suites and six signature suites are all soundproofed and come with cozy beds dressed in Frette linens. The staff are true pros and getting around town is a breeze from here – eight subway lines are within a five-minute walk.
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    The Pierre

    Hotel, Luxury
    4.7/5 (972 Reviews)
    The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York
    Courtesy of the Pierre / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $660 per night

    This 41-story Taj hotel has a superb location in Lenox Hill with views of Central Park. The restaurant, Perrine, is helmed by chef Ashfer Biju who delivers an excellent seasonal menu. The couture boutiques of Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue – including Tiffany & Co, Gucci and Prada – are all on your doorstep. But you can book the house car to transport you around town if you prefer. Rooms are plush with impressive square footage, pillow menus, robes and Etro toiletries – if your mattress is too squishy, they’ll swap it for a firmer bed.

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    New York isn’t always a city that never sleeps – with spa hotels and luxury places to stay, now bookable on Culture Trip, you’ll be able to find calm in the city. Why not do things sustainably as well as take it slow with a wellness tour of New York, making sure to try the best of the city’s food scene.

    This is a rewrite of an article originally by Julia Goicochea with added contributions by Chloe Byrne.

    These recommendations were updated on September 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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