We completed our annual late summer NYC sojourn with a four night stay here, after first gracing the Standard High Line. This was my 4th stay at the Pen, including last year's stay, which was inadvertently extended by Hurricane Irene, and during which the front desk was not up to task. Happily, this visit was redemption, and then some, for the hotel, as this stay was nearly flawless.
The entire visit, in fact, was the friendliest I've ever encountered in NYC. Not only were all the people you expect/hope to be friendly (hotel staff, store staff, restaurant staff) friendly, but also unexpected folks like airport TSA staff, drivers, staff at tourist sites like the 9/11 Memorial, and especially the NYC woman running to catch the subway who thanked us when we stepped aside. It was as if the city's oxygen had been supplemented with nitrous oxide.
Our stay began with the taxi driver asking to drop us off across the street from the hotel, us schlepping the luggage to the entrance whereupon the doorman scrambled to help and apologized profusely for the taxi driver's action. Up to the jewel-box reception area we went, scene of last year's misdemeanors. This time, we were greeted by Marie Anne, poised, professional and courteous to a fault, with a lilting French accent. We had booked the Manhattan Retreat package, of which she knew all the nuances--30% off spa treatments, a hotel credit, daily continental breakfast (or $90), late check-out. She escorted us to the elevator.
The room was an L-shaped Junior Executive one bedroom Suite featuring a living room and bedroom separated by a dressing foyer with closet and luggage bench, and the large bathroom (about the same size as in Grande Luxe rooms). With the addition of a kitchen, the suite would have been a charming and large Manhattan pied-a-terre. The windows faced west and south with city views including the MOMA sculpture garden and Rockefeller Center/Top of the Rock. We could almost see the Hudson River. There was a large "Welcome Back" fruit plate on the coffee table. Since last year, the hotel has combined and modernized the TV and DVD remotes into one unit. Alas, I still couldn't get the photo memory card reader to work.
Besides the breakfasts we had in-room, we did not try any of the hotel's restaurants or lounges this visit. I would like to try the Gotham Lounge afternoon tea someday. The restaurant Fives was not serving dinner for some reason. and we were a bit unimpressed with the rooftop Salon de Ning last year (go to the Sun Terrace for the best views).
The Peninsula ESPA Spa remains the hotel's crowning achievement, rated the #1 US hotel spa by Conde Nast Traveler magazine in 2012. The facility has 3 levels--1) reception area, treatment rooms, men's and women's locker rooms and relaxation rooms, saunas, steam rooms, 2) Sun Terrace, a beautifully decorated wrap around space with chaises and dining tables, 3) pool and fitness center with yoga studio. I had been notified by email about the pool's closure for maintenance. Spurred on by the discount included with our package, I splurged on a Men's Retreat Package, which included a Deep Tissue Experience (foot bath, body brushing, massage), Men's Facial, and, unexpectedly, a bento box spa lunch, taken on the Sun Terrace with a view of 5th Ave. and Central Park. Such pampering helped lessen the small amount of guilt felt by whiling away half a day in a zen retreat instead of exploring all the city has to offer.
Nearby restaurants we tried included The Modern Bar Room at MOMA (we had tried the Dining Room last year), and La Bonne Soupe, a casual restaurant serving French bistro food just west of the hotel on 55th, run by French expats. The more upscale Benoit, another French bistro a few doors down with the cache of being part of uberchef Alain Ducasse's culinary empire, was closed for remodeling. Also nearby and new since last year is the largest Uniqlo branch in the US; a Soho branch has been open a few years. Think of this clothing store as a Gap in its heyday, only larger and Japanese-owned.
When checking out, we were graced again with the services of Marie Anne. Knowing from past stays how some details of package inclusions can be missed, I had requested a copy of the folio the night before, and Marie Anne took great care in making the necessary adjustments, a far superior experience compared to last year's exit. There was a small misstep upon leaving the hotel, when a sudden rain and late arriving car service left the doormen and valets scrambling about without offering an umbrella, despite the security man's request for one. Still, it will be hard to top this latest NYC visit, but I will continue to try, annually if not sooner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Known for its world-renowned service and attention to detail, The Peninsula New York is the prestigious recipient of the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Awards. This magnificently restored 23-story, 1905 landmark building is ideally located, just steps away from world-class shopping, museums and the magic of Broadway. ACCOMMODATION: Each of the 185 spacious guestrooms and 54 suites at The Peninsula New York meet The Peninsula Hotels standards for luxury, guest comfort and technology. Rooms are designed for maximum comfort, with a good night's rest virtually guaranteed. Each room exudes a sense of tranquility and modernity with crisp bed linens, luxurious goose down duvets, flat screen televisions, marble bathrooms with special mood lighting and signature Peninsula bathtub televisions. For the ultimate convenience, bedside electronic control panels regulate temperature, lighting and entertainment systems. WELLNESS: The Peninsula Spa is a rooftop oasis providing an ideal retreat from the demands of the city. This sanctuary of seclusion and peace offers relaxing body treatments and sublime skin care in an environment of sheer aesthetic bliss. The Spa features a luxurious range of heat experiences including a steam room, sauna, ice fountain and "experience" shower, men's and women's private relaxation lounges and an Asian Tea Lounge. The Private Spa Suite is the ultimate personal spa experience for couples, friends or family wishing to retreat in total privacy. A glass-enclosed pool, wraparound outdoor sun terrace and cutting edge fitness center with daily group fitness classes completes the wellness experience. DINING: The Peninsula New York's dining venues combine the comfort of tradition with modern elegance for guests to experience sophisticated dining at any time of the day. The signature restaurant Clement presents an energetic approach to regionally-sourced cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Bar at Clement offers thoughtful cocktails, wines by the glass and a light menu. After a day of exploring the vibrant heart of the city, the timeless Gotham Lounge is a welcome setting to rejuvenate over Afternoon Tea, or for an unforgettable end to a New York City day, toast from the spectacular rooftop bar and terrace, Salon de Ning, while gazing over panoramic views of the shimmering Manhattan skyline. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Peninsula New York Hotel New York City
- Peninsula New York City
- New York City Peninsula
- Peninsula Hotel New York