We stayed at the Peninsula for 4 nights at the end of July, on the way back to the UK after two weeks on the west coast. Everyone has a different opinion about New York and its hotels. Advice from friends didn’t help and even trip advisor is so contradictory, 1* to 5* in consecutive reviews! We decided that we wanted a hotel with a pool and near Central Park. LHW couldn’t fit the spec so we decided on the Peninsula because we love their sister hotels in Manila and Hong Kong, which are seriously good!
We booked into a Grande Deluxe Room at $625 via the Hotel website; we asked for a high floor in the hope of escaping traffic noise and where delighted to get room 2015, on the top floor. We never heard a sound. It was located on a corner, looking west down 55th Street towards the Hudson River and north with views of 5th Avenue and “a” Trump Tower (there are so many!) Check in was easy, the only hotel in 5 on our holiday where we were escorted to our room by a delightful receptionist (called Wing) who explained how to work all the gadgets from their fancy centre console. The room was very nice, and demonstrated how older hotels can be fully modernised to 21st Century standard with climate controls, flat panel TVs and free Wifi access in all the rooms. It was a good size and we fitted an extra bed for our daughter in without compromising the space. The extra bed was a “proper” one and not a foldaway or camp style bed! The bathroom was nice with views toward the Hudson and had a large sink area with separate bath, shower (with seat) and loo. Apparently the hotel started life around the turn of the century as the Gotham and the lobby and bars keep the Edwardian look and feel.
The Spa and Pool are on floors 21 to 23 and have been added onto the top of the original hotel. The pool offered excellent views around New York and was very child friendly with lots of attentive staff and complimentary tea, coffee and water. The changing rooms offer every available toiletry and hair accessory in a well staffed spa area, even down to sliced cucumber for your eyes! The hotel has 3 bars and one restaurant. We found the roof top bar very busy with “business people” on our only visit so we stayed downstairs for the rest of the time. We ate in “Fives”, their restaurant, on our first night ~ it was OK but lacked atmosphere and was almost empty then and on every other occasion we ever saw it. The adjoining Fives Bar overlooks 5th Avenue (hence the name!) and is very modern in style. You can eat there but it wasn’t overly comfortable. Our preference was for the Gotham Bar. It was more lounge style and you could get good snacks in it. It was never empty but equally never too crowded.
Away from the hotel we found a really good Italian restaurant just opposite the hotel on 55th Street called Il Corso, which was recommended by the ever so helpful concierge. It is only small but has tremendous character, good food and feels very “New York”. I was waiting for the Godfather to walk in at any moment (actually I’m not sure he wasn’t already sitting at the table next to us!) We also ate at Del Frisco’s Steak House on 6th Avenue but were not very impressed. It was big, modern, noisy, expensive and the steaks lacked flavour. On advice we didn’t go up the Empire State building but went to the Top of the Rock on the nearby Rockefeller Building. It was great, only 10 minutes walk from the Hotel, no queues and had a view of the Empire State Building (!) among others and you could stay as long as you like. We heard from others that the Empire State Building got very busy, and you were given a limited time. Another point is if you are up the Empire State Building, you can’t see the Empire State Building!!! There is an excellent "French style" restaurant on the edge of the square at the bottom called Brasserie Ruhlmann. The special Lobster bisque and seared tuna were superb. The concierge was pushing “Circle Line” boat trips to visit the Statue of Liberty but we ended up getting a $20 cab the end of Manhattan Island where could walk past the Twin Towers site and then down to Battery Park. We took a Yellow Taxi boat that went around the end of Manhattan and the back up past Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge, stopping for photo opportunities! It cost around $15 each and you could get off at the Brooklyn bridge area, as we did, where there is a shopping area and some other sightseeing opportunities. We also took the horse and Buggy round Central Park which is both traditional and a good way to see it, especially if you are pushed for time.
If you are going to New York, particularly with children, then we would recommend the Peninsula. It is in a good location, a fine mix of traditional and modern and with nice, friendly and attentive staff.
- 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