With a romantic ambiance more reminiscent of a country retreat, Hotel Elysée in New York City gently seduces with a European flair and timeless charm that is unexpected, given its location in the heart of midtown Manhattan, and all the more welcome.
First-time guests can easily feel they have walked into an upscale bed-and-breakfast or even a private club, for the boutique hotel provides an oasis of serenity and elegance amid the bustle of the Big Apple.
Hotel Elysée is enviably tucked into East 54th Street midway between Park and Madison Avenues, a neighborhood desired for its proximity to exclusive retail, fine restaurants, cultural attractions (such as the Museum of Modern Art ), corporate headquarters and the iconic Central Park.
Hotel Elysée’s attention to detail, gracious manner and many complimentary amenities have been hallmarks since its opening in the 1920s. Swiss-born Max Haering conceived the hotel, named for a famous French restaurant of that era, to provide “discreet and uncompromising” personalized service to the carriage trade.
The tradition is still in full force today.
The 103 well-appointed guest rooms include such complimentary amenities as Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, high-speed wireless Internet access, bottles of water and Belgian chocolate bars.
The second floor club room, overlooking East 54th Street, is the hotel’s standout feature. Tastefully decorated in warm red and gold with multiple comfortable seating areas (the adjacent library has a computer station and piano), the club room is the hotel’s gathering and lounging space. Guests may enjoy a daily deluxe complimentary continental breakfast here. The sumptuous buffet offers a variety of breads, bagels, muffins and other pastries, along with hot and cold cereals, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit and assorted beverages. Throughout the day complimentary cookies, coffee, tea and whole fruit are available. Come 5:00 p.m., complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres are served.
Hotel Elysée has long held an allure for the literary crowd. Among the luminaries who have enjoyed its hospitality are playwright Tennessee Williams (he died in one of the suites), and authors James Michener, Leon Uris, Mary McCarthy, Sidney Sheldon and James Clavell.
Over the years the hotel has hosted baseball’s Joe DiMaggio, prima ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn and actors Marlon Brando, Helen Hayes, Ava Gardner, Sidney Poitier and James Caan. The property also has been a setting in movies and TV shows, including Sex and the City and Mad Men. Politicians and heads of state have slept here.
Adding to the Hotel Elysée’s cachet is the adjacent Monkey Bar, a legendary nightspot and popular restaurant. As its name implies, the Monkey Bar’s décor features wrap-around, hand-painted murals of monkey caricatures.
Hotel Elysée’s acclaim is far reaching, having been named one of the Top 500 World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure. Further, the hotel is a consistent recipient of a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdivsor.
For signature service and classic style, Hotel Elysée promises a memorable stay in New York City.
When you go
Hotel Elysée is located at 60 East 54th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in New York City. It is a member of the prestigious Library Hotel Collection. Phone 212-753-1066; fax 212-980-9278; elyseehotel.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for other articles by Mary Gilbert. You also can read her travel stories on her blog, The Roads Traveled, at theroadstraveled.com.