New York City is a bedrock of American culture, which explains why more than 65 million visitors were drawn to it in 2019. But what would make a visit to the world-famous NYC even more exceptional? One of the answers is to stay in its historic hotels.
Booking a room in a historic hotel could upgrade your experience of NY hospitality by several levels. You’re more likely to enjoy a standard of service that’s been cultivated for decades, one that is still successful in meeting customers’ expectations. You’ll find warmth and a boutique quality you wouldn’t be able to find in an ordinary chain hotel. Plus, some of New York’s key establishments are built around these legacy hotels, which will give you better access to what the city has to offer. If you’re still deciding where to book, choose from one of these recommended historic hotels in NYC.
Westgate New York Grand Central
Westgate is a Murray Hill hotel that combines classic old-world charm with modern amenities. Located in Midtown Manhattan in the verdant neighborhood of Murray Hill, Westgate has gone through several rebrands. From its founding in 1927 to its most current iteration, Westgate has been known as the Tudor City Hotel and as the Hilton East Manhattan. Among the distinguished guests that have booked at the hotel are J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, and the famous pianist Lady Beatrice. Even though the hotel boasts a modern touch, it’s kept its decades-long tradition of giving travelers a taste of luxury on a fair budget. Book one of its balcony rooms to view the ageless beauty of the city that never sleeps.
The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
The Pierre, which opened in 1930, was designated one of NYC’s historic landmarks 50 years later. In 2005, it was acquired by the luxury chain Taj Hotels. This accommodation has a longstanding association with glitz and glamor. Its previous guests include Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, and Audrey Hepburn during the filming of the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s still a great place to stay if you want to be close to NYC’s cosmopolitan pleasures, such as shopping and dining out.
The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
The Carlyle, on 76th Street, was also built in 1930. It’s known for housing statesmen and royalty, like Princess Diana, her future daughter-in-law and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, and US president Harry S. Truman. This hotel is one of the most bespoke among its historic peers, and it still plays host to a sophisticated and urbane clientele.
The Algonquin Hotel
The Algonquin, near Times Square, is NYC’s oldest operational hotel. Built in 1902, it quickly became the favorite lunch hangout of New York’s so-called “literati.” Members of Algonquin’s Round Table Collective, whose prestige you can still feel in the hotel, are George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Frank Sullivan, and Peggy Wood to name a few. Today it’s known for its opulent rooms, its event spaces, and the in-house cat familiars that personally greet guests. Here’s a fun fact for cat lovers: all of Algonquin’s hotel cats are named either Hamlet or Matilda!
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Plaza Hotel, which opened its doors in 1907. It was a stop for NYC’s first motorized cabs, and it counts John Lennon, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Frank Lloyd Wright among its celebrity guests. It was also one of the set locations for the film Sleepless in Seattle. The Plaza has modernized in the most delightful ways; it hosts special tea parties, happy hours, and themed packages inspired by pop culture.
One thing’s for sure: staying in a historic hotel won’t be boring or run-of-the-mill. Check out any of these top-rated hotels and be guaranteed a pampering, some restful sleep, and exposure to New York’s evolving culture!