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?!
The Deluxe Suite amenities include but not limited to:
Executive work desk supplied with a printer, scanner, AND fax machine!
Lavish Master bedroom with individual thermostat controls
Decorative fireplace - I actually lit all the candles and had a wonderful meditation that morning!
Marble bathroom with television above bathtub
Dental and shaving kit
Separate bathroom and shower
Fully stocked mini bar and Nespresso machine
2 walk in closets with plenty of storage for luggage
Sumptuous Oscar De La Renta bath products
Bathrobes and slippers
Free international calls using VOIP
Fresh yellow roses throughout the suite!
24/7 room service
When you stay at a luxury hotel of this caliber, you are guaranteed deluxe amenities. If you want to do NYC elegantly, then The Peninsula is your hotel. Very classic interiors with modern and old fashioned touches. I can feel the history... oh if these walls could talk!
The guest personalization here is second to none. Thank you to Jonathan Crook and Alicia Parker for your beautifully handwritten notes and the beautiful array of chocolate covered pretzels, the fresh fruit, and the adorable white chocolate Peninsula valet. Gregory bit off its head before I could even take a serious look at it, haha! What artistry!
Gregory and I loved the fragrant yellow roses throughout the suite. As someone who literally lives the suite life, I find luxury hotels as a refuge from home life so the flowers were a beautiful, homey touch. I wish the photo below was a scratch n sniff.
Saturday morning was spent soaking in the bathtub making great use of the built in TV. I spent the morning watching SpongeBob (hey, gotta feed that inner child!) and Gregory watched the World Cup game competing for 3rd place. Can you say life goals?
From Nada to Prada tip: In all of the rooms except the standard rooms, a tub with a mounted TV is included so go for that room upgrade!
With a weekend filled with business meetings, unfortunately we did not get to enjoy breakfast in bed and I'm truly kicking myself over that. The hotel offers a wide selection of breakfast from Continental to Japanese to Chinese to local specialties. I know The Peninsula prides itself on food and are serious about delivering the very best in cuisine.
The only two criticisms I have to make:
Upon checking in, our luggage wasn't there. It did arrive eventually but apparently there was a mix up with our luggage being under a different name.
I have worn better, softer robes in 4 star boutique hotels. Not a big deal, just something to note. I have recently become a fan of Boca Terry Robes after staying at Cachet Boutique hotel, NYC's newest boutique hotel. I found The Peninsula's robe to be a little tired.
However, I'd like to applaud the staff for delivering a bucket of ice in literally less than 2 minutes. That's pretty unheard of in NYC unless you stay at The Peninsula, of course ;)
Because my stay was so short, I feel like I can not give a fair assessment of the abundance of amenities that the Peninsula New York offers. The spa is world class and the gym is excellent, featuring state of the art equipment. I felt that the food was not the hotel's strongest point having dined at Clement a few nights prior to my stay. Living in Paris can spoil a girl's palate. I felt the lobster bisque was underwhelming but the waiter service was phenomenal and the atmosphere was lovely. With that being said, I did not sample the food at Gotham's lounge though I am more than sure their afternoon tea experience is terrific. Next time I am in NYC, I will make it a point to experience the very best spa service Manhattan has to offer. Have you heard of Experience Showers? That's on my list and is provided at The Peninsula New York!
Below are the exceptional hotel amenities offered:
Clement Restaurant/Bar - Mezzanine level fine dining restaurant serving American fare and an eclectic cocktail menu
Gotham's Lounge - Comfortable and intimate lounge perfect for business meetings and cozying up to afternoon tea and evening cocktails
Salon De Ning - One of the best and liveliest rooftop bars Manhattan has to offer. As a cigar connoisseur, Gregory loved that he could smoke his cigar freely. Shoutout to Lucan and Hannan at Salon De Ning for taking excellent care of my husband that evening!
State of the art fitness center
World class Spa / Sauna
Sun terrace - An oasis above the bustle of Manhattan streets
Indoor glass enclosed pool - There are only a handful of New York pools and The Peninsula's is definitely not one to be missed!
From Nada to Prada tip: Join a free aqua aerobics class that is offered daily - fitness on the go!
Vu Hair Salon - All your beauty needs available in house owned by celebrity stylist, Vu Nguyen
24 hour room service
24 hour valet service
Complimentary service of up to 3 hours of chauffeur driven Mini Cooper S Clubman for all your shopping and sightseeing journeys when booking through a Virtuoso Travel Designer aka yours truly ;)
For more information on The Peninsula's marvelous amenities, please click here.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
Reviewing the NYC location of Asia's #1 luxury hotel brand, The Peninsula Hotels, has been a dream. When I hear "The Peninsula", I immediately think glamour, romance, and style. Here I have made friends for life. I 100% recommend The Peninsula New York to all my friends, family, and clients looking to live in old world NYC luxury and for a matchless, quintessential NYC experience ideally located in the heart of Manhattan. A blend of traditional and modern hospitality and world class service resides here. Ever single staff member I encountered carried a cheery disposition, it was inspiring! I believe what sets apart The Peninsula New York from its competitors like The Pierre, St Regis and Four Seasons is the hotel's unmatched pool, spa, gym AND the signature touches of The Peninsula such as a desk equipped with a printer, scanner, fax machine and a cool speaker system that is connected to the control panel next to the bathtub so you can switch from watching cartoons (SpongeBob, in my case) to classical music. All in all, The Peninsula New York is a fine choice for luxury and wellness minded travelers. I am looking forward to send my personal clients to any of the 10 renowned luxury properties under The Peninsula Hotels umbrella. I've already got my eyes set on The Peninsula Manila, located in my hometown!
This photo below I feel encapsulates the spirit of The Peninsula New York! Joyous, welcoming, and classic.
Words of Gratitude
A hearty thank you to General Manager, Jonathan Crook, for arranging a 10 pm late checkout so we could comfortably board our very early 1 am flight the next day. Thank you Alicia Parker for the delightful treats packed for my 7 hour flight back to Paris. Your thoughtfulness knows no bounds.
And thank you thank you thank you to anyone who I failed to mention, especially in housekeeping. You are the unsung heroes of the hospitality industry!
To book your next getaway at The Peninsula New York, you can book through me, your Luxury Travel Designer, and have access to exclusive amenities and perks including but not limited to:
Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
Continental breakfast up 2 daily
$100 USD food and beverage credit
700 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA
Thank you to Alicia Parker from the bottom of my heart for making this hotel collaboration possible!