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

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map