Midtown Manhattan is probably the last place you would expect to find a hotel that feels like a French countryside inn but instead of wondering if you’re lost, get swept away by the ambiance and service that hails from another time. A time when hotel staff knew you by name, when doors were opened with gracious smiles, when requests were met with speed and attention to detail was paramount. The Hotel Elysée is the perfect escape from the chaos and clamor of New York City for businessmen, movie mavens and well-heeled travelers alike.
Built in the 1920’s and renovated in 1993 as one of New York’s first boutique hotels, The Elysée has played host to many famous faces such as Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier and Joe DiMaggio, and it’s easy to see why they chose this classic spot to lay their heads. Decorated in a decidedly country-fashion, the decor may not be for everyone (read: 20 somethings into all black and white, this isnt for you) but it certainly creates a homey, welcoming feel to those that want to feel a personalized touch during their stay. Check in was friendly and flawless and I couldn’t help but do a happy dance after the door shut and the bellman left our bags because the room was ENORMOUS. If you’ve been to big cities like Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong, etc, you know that space comes at a premium so to have a room this large, I knew, was special. We had a gigantic suite that came complete with lounge area, a huge bathroom with a tub and shower, a kitchenette (I’m glad I opened what I thought was the coat closet door) and my personal favorite, a bedroom with a chandelier. Something about chandeliers in the bedroom just classes things up a notch!
Right from the start we noticed one of this hotel’s greatest strengths is it’s attention to detail and the petite perks.
*Early Check-in/Late Check-Out. This one was a big plus! Check-in is at 3 (usually 4 at other places) and check-out isn’t until 1:00.
*They don’t have a gym but instead of glossing that over and not mentioning it, they offer complimentary access to one of the high end local gyms around the corner.
*Slippers and robes (I don’t believe you’re a luxury property if you don’t have these)
*2 luggage racks…this always drives me crazy because you usually get one and then someone has to put their bag on the floor/in the closet. First time I’ve seen this!
*An extension cord on the side of the bed missing an outlet (because who doesn’t want their phone plugged in on their side of the bed these days?)
*A tourist map in-room, which in NYC, was a nice touch
*A list of complimentary items you can order to improve your stay such as mattress toppers, memory foam pillows, earplugs, etc. One of our only complaints during the stay was that the mattress was incredibly firm and the pillows a bit too soft but after night one, we called down and ordered a mattress topper, new pillows, and viola! Good as new.
Our favorite part about our stay was yet another fantastic perk this classic puts on. Everyday in the community room, they offer a complimentary breakfast with a pretty staggering array of cereals, bagels, pastries, fresh fruit and coffees (including a flavored coffee, another bonus!). Not only is this a great feature in a city that will cost you every step of the way but they also offer free tea, coffee and cookies all day. They’re good cookies too—Milanos!
Where you really get the extra bang for your buck is at night during the complimentary happy hour. My favorite perk for financial and personal reasons, they offer this awesome service daily from 5–8, making it one of the longest freebie happy hours we’ve ever seen. Also, they’re not serving up your typical cheddar, swiss and provolone cubes….these are real, good cheeses like stinky blues, creamy bries, and rich gouda, served up with artisan crackers and olives. Add in decent wines and prosecco and you can see why we came every night to enjoy a couple glasses before we headed out. There is a famous bar in the hotel, The Monkey Bar, but we weren’t too blown away by our experience—they were out of the first 3 things we asked for and when the drinks did come, they were $15 a piece for well vodka…I know this is New York but…ouch. We heard good things from people so maybe we just had a rare experience however, you still can’t go wrong with just going to the community room for a free cocktail and skipping the crowds.
Overall, Hotel Elysée is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a country-in-the-city experience full of great service, attention to detail, and a location that can’t be beat. We had a wonderful stay and look forward to joining the Elysee the next time we are in New York.
For reviews and to book a room, check out Hotel Elysee on Tripadvisor
FTC Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored links from The Phoenician. Opinions expressed herein belong to the author.