Courtesy The Surrey Hotel.
Courtesy The Surrey Hotel.

There’s just something about New York’s Upper East Side. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nolita and Brooklyn as much as the next person, but on my last trip to New York I found myself drawn to to this historic neighborhood with its wide boulevards, unparalleled access to museums and proximity to Central Park. While the rest of New York marches on at a frenetic pace and seems to turnover restaurants and shops weekly, this neighborhood remains remarkably unchanged and instantly transports you to a bygone where people dressed up during the day and enjoyed long lunches. The Surrey Hotel (the only Relais and Chateaux property in NYC) really epitomizes the glamour and the history that can be found still on the Upper East Side. One can click here to find out how to do the best touristy thing when one visits the islands.

Each bar stool at Bar Pleiades has a different hand-painted number.
Each bar stool at Bar Pleiades has a different number.

The Surrey was built as a residence hotel in 1926 and many celebrities called it home over the years including JFK, Bette Davis, and Claudette Colbert. A major renovation in 2009 has given the hotel a classic, but modern look and feel. Designers chose a neutral color palette and rooms feature hand painted armoires, desks with built in vanities and upholstered headboard beds. The Surrey’s art collection is impressive and includes 31 original modern artworks including a wall size portrait of Kate Moss by artist Chuck Close. There are plenty of modern amenities on hand like Bobbin Bikes, an excellent spa and a rooftop garden on the 17th floor. Even if you’re not staying at the Surrey it’s worth popping in for a proper lunch at the hotel’s Daniel Boulud restaurant or a tipple at Bar Pleiades. The Coco Chanel inspired bar makes one of the best old-fashioneds in the city and don’t forget to take a closer look at the black lacquered bar stools. Each one sports a number on the back to make it easier to arrange a secret rendez-vous.

20 East 76th St.

New York, NY 10021

(212) 288-3700

One Comment

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