The 10 Best Hotels You Can Live In
From white-glove elevator operators to gourmet room service, here’s how the other half lives—as permanent residents— in New York City’s top hotels
One of the joys of travel is the hotel perks—3am room service, a smiling concierge, never having to make your own bed. Now imagine this as part of your daily routine. In New York City, many top-tier hotels offer full-time residences, from the impeccable park-vista condos of the Plaza to the old-money penthouse at the Pierre, where white-glove elevator operators whisk you up to your front door. Naturally, this kind of pampered existence doesn’t come cheap—hotel apartments start in the millions—but in New York City, there’s rarely a lack of interested buyers. Here’s our roundup of the top ten hotels you can call home.
As the hotel’s most precocious resident once said, “I absolutely love the Plaza!” Eloise, the star of Kay Thompson’s books from the 1950s, famously lived on the “tippy-top” floor of the Plaza. You can too. The Plaza Pied a Terre Hotel Condominiums—as they’re officially called—encompass a series of plush suites and residences. Many command stunning views of Central Park and are done up in a Louis XV style, from carved writing desks to club chairs and marble bathrooms with gold-plated fixtures. Living here, not only can you claim one of the most famous addresses in NYC, but you’ll also get showered with Plaza perks, like the premiere Les Clefs d’Or concierge service, daily housekeeping and valet parking. All the Plaza Hotel amenities are just an elevator ride away, including tea and scones at the Palm Court, a honey-and-wine wrap at the Caudalíe Vinoterhapie Spa and the raw oyster bar at the Todd English Food Hall. You’ll no doubt find plenty of opportunities to utter Eloise’s favorite line: “Charge it please!” 768 Fifth Ave., 212-588-8000, theplazany.com
The W Hotels are known for being more hip than haute, with their playful aesthetic and trendy lounges. The same applies to their apartments. The Residences at W New York Downtown offer high-style units on the upper floors, with sweeping views of NYC. Living here gives you the best of two worlds: Hotel amenities like the large, modern fitness center and the signature Whatever/Whenever 24-hour concierge, which according to the hotel is “Whatever you want. Whenever you want it (as long as it’s legal).” But also lots of private perks, including the residents-only entrance at 123 Washington, a rooftop terrace with views of the Statue of Liberty and an “amenities floor” with a café, outdoor terrace and spa treatment rooms and sauna. It’s no wonder that Knicks basketball star Jeremy Lin chose to rent a swank pad here last year. 123 Washington St., 212-385-1100
The Mark Hotel
A room-service meal by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten delivered to your dining room? Yes, please. The Upper East Side lifestyle seeps into every corner of this sophisticated hotel, situated in a landmark 1927 building, which has become a favorite hideaway for celebrities. The three- to five-room Mark Hotel Residences were designed by Jacques Grange, whose clients have included Yves St. Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. The white-oak floors have a dark finish, while bathrooms feature marble floors and soaking tubs. And, of course, residents benefit from all the five-star hotel perks, including 24-hour concierge service, the Frederic Fekkai salon and yes, the on-site restaurant the Mark, helmed by chef Vongerichten. 25 East 77th St., 212-772-1600, themarkhotel.com
Few hotels conjure up New York City’s grand old days like the Pierre. The hotel opened in 1930 and soon became the city’s society hangout, with a lavish restaurant where the champagne flowed freely and elevator doormen wore white gloves. More than 80 years later, the Pierre still has the elevator doormen in white gloves—some of them have been here for decades —but it has also been fully modernized, thanks to a $100 million renovation completed in 2009. The Pierre apartments and residences are opulent affairs, many with spot-on views of Central Park—in the winter, you can even see the skaters twirling on the ice-skating rink. The perks are legendary, including the Taj Royal Attaché, a concierge service modeled on the palaces of India, which puts a concierge, butler and waiter team at your disposal for tasks like prepping your room with newspapers and flowers, packing and unpacking, and preparing your Taj Royal Bath. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, valet parking and access to the house car—a jaguar. The rest of the hotel is equally posh, from the Art Deco black-and-white-tiled lobby to the hushed ballrooms and swirling tromp l’oeil murals. The queen of all NYC hotel residences is easily the penthouse, which spans the 41st, 42nd and 43rd floors, has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, four terraces, a private elevator, gym and sauna and 360-degree views. The asking price is $120 million, with monthly maintenance costs of $47,000. Yes, that’s just for maintenance: we did the math—that’s like buying a new Mercedes every month. 2 East 61st St., 212-838-8000
In the mood for a Bellini nightcap? At the Sherry-Netherland, it’s just a matter of pressing the lobby button on the elevator. The iconic Fifth Avenue hotel, which is crowned by a Gothic minaret, is home to the famous Harry Cipriani restaurant just off the lobby. The sumptuous apartments have gleaming marble bathrooms and gorgeous Central Park views. There’s also the hotel’s entrance itself—a genteel lobby modeled after the Vatican library. Five-star hotel perks include daily housekeeping and turndown service, 24-hour concierge, valet parking, limousine service and access to a high-end hairstylist and barber. Best of all, if you’d like to enjoy that Bellini in the privacy of your room, just pick up the phone. Room service is courtesy of Harry Cipriani. 781 Fifth Ave., 212-355-2800, sherrynetherland.com
This Upper East Side classic is all about pedigree. Every American president since Truman has paid a visit to the Carlyle, along with European royalty and Hollywood elite like Audrey Hepburn. White-gloved porters run the elevators, and the hotel’s old-money aesthetic is evident throughout, from the dark-wood antique furnishings to the framed art and baby grand pianos. The fifty-plus luxury apartments come at a hefty price tag but offer the very best of amenities, including designer bath products, twice-daily housekeeping, valet parking and preferred pricing on Sense Spa treatments. For many residents, though, the real draw is the chance to live amidst history. The restored Cafe Carlyle, a supper club-cabaret, has headlined everyone from Eartha Kitt to Woody Allen, while the famous Bemelmans Bar—named after children’s book author Ludwig Bemelmans—offers leather banquettes, a mood-setting piano player and a mural of Madeleine, the charming heroine of Belmelmans’ books. 35 East 76th St., 212-744-1600
Some seasons are better than others in New York City. If you live here during the idyllic spring and fall—and flee the sweltering summers and bone-chill winters—the Lombardy is choice. At this elegant Midtown co-op hotel you can purchase a condo to reside in when you’re in town and then rent it out for a pretty sum when you’re away. The elegant Lombardy has history: It was built in 1926 and owned by William Randolph Hearst, and since then has housed stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Richard Rodgers. The handsome apartments, from studios to two-bedrooms, come with all the hotel amenities, including daily maid service, a fitness center, valet parking and full-service concierge. 111 East 56th St., 212-753-8600
Whether it was the museum-worthy art, the access to the only private park in Manhattan, or the celebrity-magnet bars, the 23 apartments at 50 Gramercy Park North at the Gramercy Hotel were quickly snapped up when they went on the market. Helmed by hotelier Ian Schrager, each apartment is individually designed by architect John Pawson and features views of Gramercy Park, to which each owner is given a hallowed key. The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak floors and in many cases wood-burning fireplaces. The custom-designed kitchens are lined with Varenna cabinetry, while the bathrooms have deep tubs and travertine sinks. And then there are the hotel perks. The hotel is intended to function as the “private clubhouse” for resident owners, while Gramercy Park is “their backyard.” A special service department for residents can assist with everything from pet-sitting to babysitting to catering and shopping for groceries. Residents also receive guaranteed entrance to the hotel’s Rose and rooftop bars as well as priority status at the Maialano restaurant. Which could be reason alone to live here—have you tried the pork at Maialino? 2 Lexington Ave., 212-475-8500, 50gramercyparknorth.com
This gleaming downtown glass tower offers double cachet: SoHo address, Trump building. The luxury condos on the upper floors offer serious views—via large picture windows—of the NYC skyline from a downtown perspective. The condos, which range in size from large suites and studios to a penthouse, are done up in stylish furnishings and marble bathrooms. Residents enjoy all the hotel perks, including valet parking, the Trump Attaché concierge service, daily housekeeping and access to the Spa at Trump. They can also use the seventh-floor outdoor Bar d’Eau, where one can toast the skyline of Manhattan with a cocktail of the same name. 246 Spring St., 212-965-0008
The Ritz-Carlton Residences
It says a lot about a hotel chain when its name has become an adjective for “upscale.” The Ritz-Carlton offers residences in its hotels around the world, including in NYC at Battery Park and Central Park and further afield in Westchester. The Ritz-Carlton Residences motto? Live Here, Always. The highlight of the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which rises over the south end of Battery Park, is undoubtedly the splendid views of the Statue of Liberty and the breezy harbor, all the way to the Verrazano Bridge. The condos, which have Brazilian cherry floors and Carrera marble bathrooms, benefit from all the Ritz-Carlton Hotel amenities, including valet parking, room service, housekeeping, 24-hour concierge, spa, fitness center and sun deck. 2 West St., 212-344-0800, ritzcarlton.com
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