There are only a handful of top five star luxury hotels in NYC and amongst that glorious list is The Peninsula New York, which is part of the The Peninsula Hotel Group, Asia's top luxury hotel brand as well as oldest hotel company, founded by Ellis and Elly Kadoorie, an inspiring brother duo who emigrated to Shanghai from Baghdad and achieved tremendous success opening their flagship hotel in Hong Kong.
Last month, I was invited to a special event at The Peninsula celebrating their 30th anniversary with 1980's art, an unveiling of the original works of Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente, and Keith Haring, amongst others. Gary Lyman, a top NYC real estate and hospitality lawyer, and our new friend, kindly introduced me to Alicia Parker --- the bubbly and effervescent Marketing director --- via email one day, and the rest is history! I had expressed great interest in reviewing The Peninsula for my blog a year prior. That evening, my stars had aligned. I had a splendid evening getting to know a slice of the Peninsula in their cozy Gotham Lounge, marveling at the art and serendipitously meeting the dashing Jonathan Crook, the General Manager, and his sweet, adoring wife, Beliz. This hotel collaboration has been a long time coming so I was deeply grateful and honored to stay at The Peninsula New York, where old world elegance meets modern white glove service. Originally known as the Gotham Hotel in 1905, The Peninsula Hotel Group acquired it in 1988 and the hotel underwent a 45 million dollar renovation a decade later. The Peninsula received a complete makeover with all suites and rooms completely reconditioned, though the spirit of the Gotham Hotel lives on.
Location Location Location!
4 blocks from Central Park, steps from the theatre district, and endless luxury shopping at your feet, The Peninsula sits on the most glamorous and prestigious address in Manhattan. Need I say more?
The night before, Alicia informed us that check in wasn't until 6 pm because they were preparing a special suite for us. Regular readers know that I'm like a kid in a candy store when checking into a new hotel. At this point, the suspense was real but Gregory and I popped by earlier to drop off our luggage. From the onset, the valet was extremely efficient in handling and storing our luggage.
The entrance is definitely a sight to behold and flower-festooned! I particularly loved the large glass chandelier lighting up the lobby and the stunning trompe-l'oeil ceiling. Think of the neoclassical exterior of the hotel as a delightful amuse-bouche preparing you for the deliciousness about to follow. The dual staircase leads to the hotel's upscale restaurant, Clement, and on the other side, the bar and lounge, Gotham lounge.
A friendly gentleman named Gino swiftly checked us in. Gino actually came from The Peninsula Chicago and was in NYC for the summer to help with the front desk operations. He very kindly shared his contact info so he could take care of my next Peninsula stay should I find myself in Chicago next. I already felt the warmth and hospitality of The Peninsula from the get go. A lovely lady named Dana also checked me in and her enthusiasm was refreshing. I felt like the hotel was genuinely excited to have me and that made all the difference!
Fortunately, Gregory and I had business meetings to fill up the time before the 6 pm check in, a convenient distraction to curb my excitement :) That evening, I met up with Alicia Parker and her colleague Lisa Wand for a much deserved Friday aperitif at the hotel's trendy and Shanghai-inspired rooftop bar, Salon De Ning. Think Eastern hospitality meets Western. The winning feature besides the amazing cocktails are the unbeatable views of Fifth Avenue. This stay came at the tail end of an extremely productive and mentally taxing week so I couldn't think of a better way to wrap up my NYC trip than a lovely, though brief respite at The Peninsula. As I quaffed my drink called The Liability (made with freshly squeezed watermelon juice, yum!), I received a text from Gino saying my room was ready. We wrapped up our drinks and I headed straight to reception where I was kindly taken to my room by Caroline Laroche, the Director of Guest Relations.
THE DELUXE SUITE!
I'd just like to say first and foremost, this is the best luxury hotel amenity I've received in my work as a luxury hotel designer and influencer to date. The hotel went above and beyond to make me feel part of the Peninsula family. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement as seen in the video below.
Our deluxe suite was located on the 14th floor and about 1050 square feet in size. All that space had me running through the hallway like a kid.
So... when can I move in?!