More than a pretty face: The Peninsula New York
New York, New York. The Big Apple. The Empire State. The city that never sleeps. Gotham. Father Knickerbocker (so named after the type of trousers worn by early Dutch settlers).
New York has many nicknames, probably because so many people flock to the city on a regular basis. Last year saw almost 63-million tourists traipse up and down its streets, making it the most visited location in the Northern Hemisphere. And what do tourists need most? Selfies, judging by the #ilovenyc hashtag. But after that, it’s a comfortable place to stay.
New York is saturated with hotels, and that’s not counting the likes of Airbnb and smaller flat-sharing services that call the city home. There’s a plethora of places to lay your weary head, from posh boutique-style offerings to thousand-room hotel behemoths. There’s even something called a ‘Yotel’ which is staffed by a giant 18-metre baggage handling robot.
But gimmicks aside, there are still only a handful of hotels that live up to the five-star hype and manage to provide world-class service in a city that can, at times, be better known for its brashness than hospitality (the city of brotherly love it certainly ain’t). One such hotel that aims to do all that (and more) is The Peninsula New York, which is betting its international reputation, stellar location and almost 30-year history in the city will have travelers eager to come back for more.
The Peninsula New York – what’s it like?
The Peninsula New York started off as the Gotham Hotel way back in 1905 (it closed just three years later due to bankruptcy). Over the years it has been many things, including the headquarters of a life insurance company and the Hotel Maxim’s de Paris, but in 1988 it was acquired by Hong Kong’s Peninsula Group who set about returning the historic old building to its former glory. Today (on the eve of its 30th anniversary) it’s a thoroughly modern hotel in a distinctly old-world shell.
The building itself revels in neo-classic elegance, complete with a grand two-story foyer with crystal chandelier. However, sat alongside these design nods to the hotel’s heritage is world-class contemporary art; you don’t often find an original Andy Warhol next to a 1920s-era vase filled with seasonal flowers, but you do here.
The rooms are some of the biggest in the city, which is something of note in a city that can be claustrophobically busy at times. Walk-in showers and soaking tubs come as standard, and larger rooms boast grand sofas and plush executive desks. Room design is tasteful but neutral, and you can control just about everything with a flick of a switch on your bedside console.
The Peninsula New York – is there anything to do?
The hotel boasts a few class-leading dining options, but the most impressive – certainly in the eyes of visitors to the city – is Salon de Ning, located on the 23rd floor. It’s one of the city’s poshest (and priciest) rooftop bars, giving you terrific views of Fifth Avenue (including Trump Tower), and the cityscape beyond.
Elsewhere, Gotham Lounge is home to a stellar cocktail bar and old-world Americana cuisine, and is usually quietly busy well into the early hours of the morning. Clement – which hosts breakfast – is a beautiful Yabu Pusheberg-designed space which is far more than your traditional all-day dining establishment.
There’s a world-class spa on the property, which specializes in a variety of restorative treatments, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre, sprawling sun terrace and glass-enclosed indoor pool.
The Peninsula New York – where is it?
As far as central shopping locations go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more convenient spot than The Peninsula New York. It’s smack-dab in the middle of Fifth Avenue, a stone’s throw away from Tiffany’s, a three-minute stroll away from the Museum of Modern Art and a block away from New York City Center. You can get to the corner of Central Park in five minutes, and there’s easy access to six subway lines.