At these luxury properties it’s a matter of pride to furnish the softest bed linens, in-room technology, and designer-branded toiletries within tastefully decorated quarters far more spacious than the norm. Add to that immaculate cleanliness, majestic views on high, and a unique personality—and one can’t help but revel in the grandeur of New York.
And if a luxury guest requests a strolling violinist to serenade a gourmet picnic in Central Park or a diamond ring delivered with dessert on a terraced penthouse, these hotels’ ultra-resourceful concierges deliver on dreams.
FAMOUS FACES AND PLACES
Care to take in a Broadway show? There’s no need to stand in line: Many concierges can conjure house seats to the hottest tickets in town, and arrange for limos to and from the theater.
"Many luxury guests want to visit places in New York they’ve seen on TV," says a Waldorf=Astoria concierge. "Restaurant reservations at sites owned by celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali and Bobby Flay are popular" as are directions to spots where bold-face names congregate.
Star-seekers in NYC go out of their way to visit landmarks made famous in the movies. Scenes from The Way We Were, Arthur, First Wives Club, Scent of a Woman, and Maid in Manhattan were all filmed in or around New York’s grande dame hotels.
The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Ground Zero are also high on visitors’ must-see lists, and a concierge can arrange for guests to view them from the lofty perspective of a helicopter tour.
NEW YORK IN STYLE
After designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen launched their flagship luxury stores in the meat-packing district, downtown became an important stop on fashionable visitors’ itineraries.
Uptown, Burberry welcomes luxury shoppers to its new six-floor flagship North American store on 57th Street. There customers can emulate their favorite spy at The Art of the Trench, the shop’s made-to-order trench coat service.
In keeping with the have-it-your-way ethos, shoppers also can turn to the alchemists at nearby Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, who will customize luxury skin-care products while they wait.
A concierge at another midtown luxury hotel, whose guests frequent Armani, Prada, Hermès, and Gucci, says, "If we need them to open early to accommodate a special customer, it’s not a problem. We’ll even set up an in-room fashion show for someone to view the season’s new line, with the store sending over garments and models."
Whether a trip is occasioned by a wedding-dress fitting at Vera Wang, an appointment to test-drive a Maybach at Mercedes-Benz of Manhattan, or a long-awaited spree to scout new luxury products that simply aren’t available at home, legendary hotels ensure deliveries safely arrive in one’s room.
LUXURY RESTAURANTS TO DINE FOR
With 32,520 restaurants in the greater New York City area—and new ones opening constantly—it would take more than a lifetime to sample all. Fortunately, your concierge can send you to the best. And you may be able to travel there by elevator: The 2003 Zagat Survey of New York City Restaurants lists more than 60 dining rooms within hotels, and legendary hotels house more than their share of four- and five-star award-winners.
If you’re still hungry, there’s 24-hour room service—where at the best hotels even a humble grilled-cheese sandwich arrives under a silver dome.