New York State has more than its fair share of outstanding hotels, many of which were built during the early 20th-century on Long Island’s Gold Coast – or as rustic retreats amid the green hills and crystal lakes of the Adirondacks. At the best five-star hotels in New York State, you’ll find that elegance, comfort and outstanding service are still as important as they ever were – now bookable on Culture Trip.
Located somewhere between Manhattan and heaven, the 60-story limestone tower of the Langham is waiting to welcome you. The 234 residential-style guest rooms and suites are the epitome of elegance. The Empire State Penthouse Suites – with decor by Roche Bobois – offer bespoke furnishings with the latest in lush fabrics and sculptural design, elevating the space into gallery territory. Rosewood floors lead to a kitchen filled with Miele appliances and the marble bath has a deep soaker tub – and an HDTV in the mirror so you can keep up with the latest news. Al Fiori, Chef Michael White’s Michelin-starred restaurant is downstairs for those allergic to cooking.
Times may have changed, but the Plaza remains New York’s most iconic hotel. Enter the lobby and be greeted by the scent of fresh flowers – before making your way to the Palm Court for high tea under the glowing stained glass ceiling. Enjoy the personalized services that await you in the impeccable Vanderbilt, Pulitzer and Carnegie Legacy Suites – each one hints at the Jazz Age, with gilded accents, marble baths, or a mix of contemporary and fin de siècle furnishings. To top it off, a butler will be at your service, along with a personal concierge to make your visit to New York memorable.
Only 36mi (58km) from New York City stands the second-largest private residence ever built in America. Oheka Castle was fashioned after a French chateau with formal gardens, reflecting pools, fountains and walkways designed by the Olmsted brothers – the landscape architects who built Central Park. The 32 guestrooms have undergone a $40 million restoration, returning the hotel to its former glory, with the Olmstead Suite holding pride of place. Replete with period antiques, including a four-poster bed, the suite offers expansive views of the garden from two balconies, a formal living room in French Provincial style with deep-cushioned sofas and a marble bath surrounded by floral landscape murals. Tours of the mansion can be arranged with a luncheon in the formal dining room or al fresco on the terrace.
Where the sky meets the blue Atlantic, you’ll find Gurney’s – a classic luxury oceanside experience. A village unto itself, the 158 rooms, suites and beachfront cottages offer exclusive access to over 2,000ft (609m) of white sand dotted with private cabanas. Bring the whole family together in a three-bedroom, three-bath cottage with a kitchenette, a sunken living room and a wood-burning fireplace for those cool nights by the shore. Gather for a home-cooked meal – or visit Scarpetta’s, one of five fine dining establishments on the property.
The wonderful, whimsical Whitby will delight you with its modern British aesthetic curated by Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels. The 86 guest rooms and suites are each as unique and personal as a fingerprint, with colorful soft furnishings and playful artwork. The Whitby Suite – a penthouse offering two bedrooms and two terraces with outstanding views of the city – is furnished in crisp white and Delft blue, along with a host of extra perks. Enjoy complimentary transfers to local airports, a bottle of chilled champagne on arrival, breakfast in bed and a private movie night in the hotel’s 130-seat screening room.
An outpost of the Great Camps of the Gilded Age, antiques and antlers meet in four historic cabins on Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. Just 11 adult-only guest rooms are manned around the clock by attentive staff – meet or retreat, it’s your choice. Experience fine dining in the Great Hall – or arrange for a private picnic by the lake in summer or a barbecue in the snow in winter. Enjoy a stay in the former private master bedroom of the Rockefellers with a canopy bed overhead, a river-rock wood-burning fireplace and a clawfoot tub. Take your private path to the lake and stop for a swing in a hammock that’s waiting just for you.
An homage to makers, craftspeople and cultural creatives, the Maker has produced 11 art and antique-filled rooms in three historic buildings that are as unique as the personalities they honor. The Architect brings Streamline Moderne to the fore with a mesmerizing dark palette – while the Writer has shelves of books curated by the Strand bookstore and the Artist is an art-nouveau dreamscape of stained glass, carved wood and antique rugs.
A favorite with guests any time of the year, Mirror Lake Inn is at its most spectacular in the fall – when the trees around Lake Placid become a crazy quilt of gold, red and brown. Take in the view of the lake and the high Adirondack Mountains from the Placid Suites – snuggle up under a comfy throw beside the fieldstone fireplace under the vaulted ceiling. Visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum nearby, take a complimentary boat or watercraft around the lake, or go fly fishing in summer. In the winter, retrace the steps of the 1980 winter Olympians on skis or skates for some golden nostalgia.
A former 19th-century colonial mansion, a modern studio and four cottages hold 16 rooms and six suites, all imbued with contemporary sophistication in shades of grey and cream. Cottage suites offer views of the extensively landscaped grounds – with separate living rooms, private dining areas, or full second baths. Linens are by Frette, robes by Chadsworth & Haig and bath amenities by Farmaesthetics. Dine on-site at Jean-Georges or take a house car to one of several superb restaurants in the Hamptons.
You’ll never forget where you are at the Mandarin Oriental. The whirling rush of traffic below in Columbus Circle, Central Park, the leafy heart of NYC, or the shining Hudson River is always in sight through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Central Park View Suite is a romantic aerie for two with corner windows overlooking the park, a living room and dining room and a separate powder room. The Oriental Suite is the height of luxury – with silk-lined walls, a separate study and a media room containing a rare music and art collection. Dinner for six appears from the full-sized chef’s kitchen, or visit MO Lounge on the 35th floor for fine dining with Asian flair and more memorable views from one of the city’s premier properties.
For more options, discover our guide to the best inns and bed and breakfasts in the Adirondacks and book now on Culture Trip.