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Rosewood Carlyle Resort: The place Legends and Rockstars Keep in New York

Rosewood Carlyle Resort: The place Legends and Rockstars Keep in New York

We check into the historical Rosewood Carlyle Hotel in New York for a sumptuous stay fit for Hollywood legends.

A bastion of the Manhattan hospitality scene since it opened more than 90 years ago and a hotel that commands near-legendary status, given the rollcall of guests – from European royals to their American equivalent, John F Kennedy – who made its tony Upper East Side Madison Avenue address their temporary pied-à-terre, it’s fair to say The Carlyle is as much a New York institution as Central Park, the Empire State and Chrysler buildings or the Rockefeller Center. Its bars and restaurants – they include Café Carlyle, where jazz musicians such as Eartha Kitt and Bobby Short famously performed and whose walls are adorned with now-restored ’50s murals by the costume designer and illustrator Marcel Vertès, and the equally legendary piano bar Bemelmans – are destinations in themselves, as celebrated as the hotel itself if not more so. And its 192 sumptuous but ever-so-tasteful accommodations, of which almost half are suites, exude the instant at-home ambience that makes leaving at the end of a stay such an intolerable wrench.

Bemelmans Bar
Bemelmans Bar

Owned by the Hong Kong-based Rosewood group since the beginning of this century – hence its full name, The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel – the 35-storey, Beaux Arts-style property is now almost certainly more stylish than it’s ever been. Which explains why my own, sadly all-too-brief, sojourn is such an unmitigated joy.

From the intimate lobby with its breathtakingly mirror-like floor of jet-black marble to my own expansive, quietly sumptuous and wonderfully comfortable Upper East Side Suite, renovated a few years ago along with most of the hotel by acclaimed interior designer Tony Chi and still looking pristine, the property feels less like a hotel and more like private residence (and possibly even its own micro-universe, part of and yet somehow distanced from the city outside). For ensuite relaxation I have the choice a velvet sofa or bouclé armchair, and a thoughtful selection of coffee-table to browse through – and as for the bed, it’s predictably sublime. And in a perfect counterpoint to those chilly New York winters, the bathrooms feature underfloor heating. No wonder movie stars, filmmakers, rock stars and fashion-world luminaries insist on staying here whenever they’re in town.

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Service is, of course, unimpeachable. Ever-attentive almost to the point of being uncannily predictive and always friendly without being overly deferential, somehow the staff seem to nail it perfectly. Other highlights? The third-floor Maison Valmont, the Swiss brand’s only spa in the city; a hair salon by celebrity stylist Yves Duruf; and, if you really must, a fitness centre kitted with the latest high-tech equipment. But strenuous work-outs are hardly behaviour appropriate in these blissfully rarefied surrounds, which in the eyes of this guest seem mercifully dedicated to the pursuit of gentle self-gratification.

Source: Prestige Online

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