With accolades piling up on it’s doorstep, The Surrey was an easy choice when we popped to the Big Apple to attend The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.
It’s New York City’s only Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel, delivering Upper East Side chic in spades. It’s also a haven for some rather cool art – so if that tickles your fancy, you’ll find plenty to peruse here.
It’s certainly a NYC spot steeped in history – before it’s 60 million dollar rejuvenation, it was once upon a time home to JFK and Bette Davis. Since it’s transformation into a hotel, it’s left a fine impression – taking out the 2016 #1 Hotel in NYC from Travel + Leisure and the 2015 Conde Nast Traveller #1 Hotel in NYC also. I mean, you really don’t need any further recommendation from me to book do you? Probably not, but if you want to find out more about this beautiful property before plonking down a fair chunk of change on a stay, do us both a favour and read on.
Walking into my Grand Deluxe Salon, it was hard not to get a little excited. The rooms are huge by New York standards, and sumptuously fitted out. Gorgeous lilac grey and soft chocolate hues take you a world away from the hustle and bustle (not to mention grime) of New York City streets. There’s so much to explore in the room, but I couldn’t wait to try out the bed.
It’s a Duxiana (translation: expensive) but it’s firm. And I mean firm. I’m more of a fan of big, squishy, plush beds a la the W, so I was a bit disappointed that the bed didn’t have that feel to it that I associate with luxury hotels. If you love firm beds however, you’re well looked after here. The receptionist told me perhaps with a longer stay I’d get used to it. Somehow I doubt it.
Bedding though is top notch, with Sferra sheets, a lovely duvet and an extensive pillow menu including Buckwheat, Body, Hypo-allergenic, Duxiana® Spring, Duxiana® Hypoallergenic Down and Tempurpedic®. Quite the selection.
There’s a cute window seat where you can sit in the sun and admire the uniquely New York views while perusing the well-curated selection of high brow fashion coffee table books. If the window seat doesn’t take your fancy, there are beautiful arm chairs that might be more your cup of tea.
A large desk opens up to reveal a vanity and also houses many international power points and usb charging points – amazing! The room is actually equipped with an iron and ironing board, a rarity these days and so handy. I’d love to see a garment steamer in a hotel room someday – that would be heaven!
The marble bathroom is chic and spacious with double sinks, Pratesi robes, slippers – oh, and Diptyque toiletries! Yum. Being my fave fragrance house at the moment, that was a treat – and the first time I’ve seen them in any hotel.
If you’re feeling thirsty and Bar Pleiades downstairs feels a journey too far, why not have one of their mixologists come to your room instead? They’ll bring all the necessary ingredients, whip up round one and leave you to craft the rest in the privacy of your room, or return to lend their expertise at your request.
Hungry? Room service is catered by Cafe Boulud, famed Chef Daniel Boulud’s Michelin starred establishment that resides on the ground floor of the property. If you elect to include breakfast in your stay, this is where you’ll be enjoying it – a fine way to start the day I must say.
For those glammed up and ready to leave the sanctuary of your salon, why not head up to the private rooftop terrace on the 17th floor? Access is limited to hotel guests and club members and it boasts some panoramic Manhattan views. Sadly it was unseasonably windy when I visited so the bar was not operating. It looked like it would be a fab spot to imbibe when the weather is playing ball, however.
There’s a 24-hour fitness centre if 2am workouts are your thing, and concierge are happy to receive parcels for you in advance of your stay if you have an online shopping addiction. There’s a luxurious Spa too – if you can find time that is!
Given that it lies in between Madison and 5th Ave, it’s a fab spot for shoppers. It’s more Upper East Side than downtown, so it’s probably best suited for those looking for something other than the Times Square madness who and want to enjoy some New York finery. Stroll less than a block and you’re in Central Park, and MoMA’s about six blocks away. I love walking NYC and there’s always an Uber nearby, but for the adventurous there are cycles available from the hotel if you’d like to go further – perhaps pop across Manhattan to the Highline, or Roberta’s in Williamsburg for their famous pizza?
Style: Upper East Side Elegance
Would I return? Definitely!
Suitable for: Couples, singles, business travellers, shoppers, gourmands
Room Type Reviewed: Grand Deluxe Salon
Room Size: 37sqm, King size bed
Room Amenities: Pillow menu, Sferra sheets, Diptyque toiletries, desk with inbuilt power, window seat, robes, slippers, bottled water, air conditioning.
On request services: In-room Bartender, room service by Daniel Boulud’s Cafe Boulud.
Hotel Facilities: 24-Hour Fitness centre, private rooftop, Bobbin bikes, Spa