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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?