Room Service: Carlyle Hotel, New York City

The great thing about visiting Manhattan is that there is always something new to aspire to: the coolest bar; the chicest shop; the latest restaurant and so on. Then there are the hotels

The great thing about visiting Manhattan is that there is always something new to aspire to: the coolest bar; the chicest shop; the latest restaurant and so on. Then there are the hotels: the triumvirate of luxury, style and service is what guarantees New York's finest a permanent ranking among the best in the world. The Carlyle is a prime example, and if you want to invoke jaw-grinding envy among your friends and rivals, this is the place to stay.

The great thing about visiting Manhattan is that there is always something new to aspire to: the coolest bar; the chicest shop; the latest restaurant and so on. Then there are the hotels: the triumvirate of luxury, style and service is what guarantees New York's finest a permanent ranking among the best in the world. The Carlyle is a prime example, and if you want to invoke jaw-grinding envy among your friends and rivals, this is the place to stay.

The hotel was completed in 1931 and offers its well-heeled guests enviable views of Central Park and proximity to Madison Avenue boutiques for a stylish Christmas shopping spree. The intimate foyer, recently restored, gleams with understated art deco elegance. It's uptown in every sense: from the tiny elevators, permanently staffed by white-gloved bellhops, to the local dog-walker who escorts a guest's Burberry-scarved wolfhound to the park every morning.

Location, location, location

Carlyle Hotel, Madison Avenue at 76th Street, New York, NY 10021 (reservations 001 212 744 1600; www.thecarlyle.com).

Time to international airport: John F Kennedy airport is 45 minutes by taxi. A $35 (£22) flat fare for this journey applies to all yellow cabs: add on a $3 (£2) toll to cross the river plus tip (six or seven dollars).

Are You Lying Comfortably?

It's a rare hotel room that can compete with the charms of SoHo, the Met and Central Park, but I experienced a fleeting desire to double-lock the door and simply wallow in luxury for the weekend. Guests in the 180 rooms and suites sleep on snow-white Frette linen, surrounded by antique boudoir chairs and sofas. Fine rugs grace the parquet flooring; original Audubon prints adorn the walls. Some rooms have terraces and grand pianos. From the higher floors, guests enjoy glorious views. Deluxe rooms and suites have a separate kitchenette with fridge, icebox and electric hob. An umbrella, CD and video players, fax machine, hairdryer and bathroom scale are also supplied.

Bathrooms aren't huge but are well-appointed, with bathtub and power shower. Deluxe towels, robes and slippers are supplied along with Kiehl's bath products.

Freebies: Fruit, Evian water and macaroons sweeten your arrival. During November and December, all guests receive a $100 (£60) voucher to spend at Ralph Lauren – reception staff should hand you a personal voucher at check in.

The best freebies are of the musical kind, in the hotel's historic (and very fashionable) Bemelman's Bar, and the Café Carlyle, where Woody Allen plays with a New Orleans jazz band every Monday. Woody's sax playing isn't the best you'll ever hear, but hey, this is the man who gave us Manhattan...

Keeping in touch: Multi-line phones, dedicated fax line, stereo TV and radio, voice mail, data port.

The Bottom Line

Standard rooms from $495 (£315); standard suites from $850 (£540). Tower Suite from $2,700 (£1,700) to $3,200 (£2,000) per night.

I'm not paying that: the Holiday Inn at 440 West 57th Street, New York City, NY 10019, charges from $129 (£80) per night (001 212 581 8100; www.sixcontinentshotels.com).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

    Guru Careers: Carpenter / Maintenance Operator

    £25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Coordinator

    £17600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum cares for one of the largest...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced PSV Coach & Minibus Drivers

    £12500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Drivers wanted for a family run...

    Day In a Page

    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

    Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
    Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

    Are you a 50-center?

    Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
    The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

    Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

    The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
    Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

    Hollywood's new diet trends

    Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
    6 best recipe files

    6 best recipe files

    Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
    Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Atwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works