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Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York - Review

Understated Luxury at the Grande Dame of New York

by Alain Gayot

Street view of the entrance of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York
Street view of the entrance of Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York

In a day and age when hotels strive to stand out with stylistic gimmicks, quirky design touches and trendier than thou attitudes, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée remains a classic. With each passing year, it simply continues to do what it has always done best—offer a generous measure of tasteful luxury to travelers who value quality of living over hipness

The entrance to the hotel, tucked beneath a charming awning on a quiet, tree-lined street, says it all. Given the opulent lobby, done in grand, European style with crystal, marble, wall murals, and Louis XVI furnishings, it makes a delightfully humble prelude. It is in this refuge that you’re seated at an 18th-century desk for a wonderfully civilized check-in.

We're not sure which to praise first, the setting or the service. The hotel’s traditional hospitality, with its Clef d’Or concierges (available 24 hours) and long-time staff (starting with the General Manager and moving down through the ranks), is hard to match. All of the 142 guest rooms and suites stand out, but we’re particularly fond of the gorgeous suites—it’s impossible to stay in one and not feel spoiled. Of particular note are those with glass-enclosed solarium terraces.

In all accommodations, the furnishings are befitting of a refined country manor house. Pillows lounge casually on sofas and chairs, and the artwork hanging on the walls feels as if it belongs to a private family collection. Color palettes range from dignified hues of burnished gold to cheerful combinations of blue and yellow. Here you’ll find all of the essential amenities—two-line speaker phones, iPod docking stations (in some rooms and all suites), Internet access and robes—and nice extras in some of the accommodations that include small kitchenettes.

Grand Deluxe Bedroom at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York The elegant Arabelle restaurant at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York
Grand Deluxe Bedroom
Elegant Arabelle restaurant

At the hotel’s Arabelle restaurant, you’ll bask in its pretty, light-filled dining room as you savor modern American cuisine. It’s an elegant spot—perfect for Sunday Brunch.

While you won’t find a spa or swimming pool on-site, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay—complimentary tea and coffee to get you started in the morning, a nice fitness room, 24-hour room service and a location that can’t be beat. From here you can easily walk to Central Park, the Whitney, the Met, the Guggenheim, Barney’s and the boutiques on Madison.

The hotel also boasts one of the most attractive bars in town. Bar Seine, in concept an eclectic fusion of Morocco, the Orient and a private English club, is thoughtfully decorated in rich textures (velvet chairs, a leather floor), jeweled colors and perfect lighting that bathes the nooks in an amber glow. It’s a destination unto itself for the cocktail crowd, just as the Hôtel Plaza Athénée is as much a destination for its guests as the city it inhabits.

Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York
37 E. 64th St.
New York, NY 10065
212-734-9100, 800-447-8800
Visit the Hotel Plaza Athenee official website

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Read a review of Arabelle restaurant at Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York


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