As a travel writer and having stayed at 87 different hotels just last year, I didn’t think the “wow factor” was capable of existing in my little jet setting world anymore. Until I walked into my suite at Hotel Giraffe, which came complete with a terrace balcony overlooking the residential Park Ave setting. Wow factor times twelve. Eat your hearts out K sisters I wanted to scream.
Residing in the Manhattan Eastside neighborhood (which sounds all sorts of Kardashian, right?), the “Grande Lobby” of Hotel Giraffe greets each guest with a warm and attentive welcome along with all-day refreshments across from the grand piano, which created a comfortable, and much needed separation from the hustle and bustle just outside. The property is conveniently situated between Midtown and Downtown, making it one of the most desired hotel pieces of real estate in all of NYC.
It seems hotels are really catching on to the fact that most guests, whether traveling for work or for pleasure, like to have a few drinks, which is why complimentary happy hours have been popping up at amazing hotels for years. Most hotels offer the standard red or white options, but not Hotel Giraffe (and the other two listed below). They offer prosecco! My undying and highly documented love for the bubbly puts these three LHC Hotel properties at the very top of my New York City list. (Note: all LHC Hotels have complimentary wine and cheese for hotel guests from 5-8pm everyday except Sunday.)
Hotel Giraffe gets its name from exactly where you may think and for all the same attributes. The giraffe is a tall, graceful, strong, elegant and gentle animal – all things that describe this Park Avenue luxury hotel.
While you’re there, be sure to check out The Rooftop Garden located on the 12th floor. I promise, you’ll forget you’re in the city for just a few hours (assuming you want to) all while enjoying drinks over the NYC skyline.
Hotel Giraffe | 365 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10016 | 212.685.7700
The Library Hotel
As a writer, I knew I was in for a treat when I walked into the Library Hotel with their mahogany bookshelf paneling and faux card-catalogue behind the front desk. The same way you turn the page of a good book with eager excitement and anticipation is the exact same feeling you’ll have visiting all the different floors of this unique hotel.
Hotels with a story or concept always get me. The Library Concept: Each of the ten guestroom floors of the Library Hotel is dedicated to one of the ten major categories of knowledge (Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion). The Room Menu consists of rooms focused on such things as Erotic Literature (800.001), Fairy Tales (800.005), Museums (1000.004), Ethics (1100.002), Fashion Design (700.006) and much more. Each room is adorned with framed art and books related to and highlighting that rooms specific theme.
Each room has a few library books (with a branded library card) for guest’s enjoyment. I had the pleasure of being in the “Money” room, but clearly travel or sports would have been a better match for me. The best parts of this hotel? The Reading Room (second-floor) and Writers Den (14th floor) of course.
At 4pm, Monday through Saturday, the entire 14th floor transforms into Bookmarks Lounge featuring tasty cocktails carrying on literary themes such as the Great Gatsby and the Capote to really bring it all to life.
When booking your room at the Library Hotel, be sure to select a room that best fits your topical fancy. The hotel is home to over 6,000 used and rare books, which have been handpicked by the Strand Bookstore and will help leave a mark as one of the most unique hotel experiences you can find.
As a souvenir, I even got a bookmark to take home with me – thank goodness I haven’t fully succumbed to my iPad yet!
Library Hotel | 299 Madison Avenue at 41st, New York, New York 10017 | 212.204.5417
Each of the above hotels is both distinctly unique, but if you’re looking for one that just screams classic “Old New York” style, be sure to check out Hotel Elysee on 54th between Madison and Park Aves. The classic styles of Hotel Elysee have been recognized for years being voted on two difference occasions as the “Most Romantic Hotel in New York” by Citysearch as well as the “Best Small New York Hotel” by Travel & Leisure Magazine.
Finding a private country inn in the heart of Midtown is like…well…finding a private country inn in the heart of Midtown. It just doesn’t happen – unless you’re lucky enough to stumble onto the property which stems back to the 1920’s. The timeless charm that Hotel Elysee exudes from the green awning on 54th Street carries all the way into the property and into each and every guestroom. Each of the 87 guestrooms has windows that open which is a rare find in any luxury hotel in NYC.
Another bonus? Onsite you’ll find the legendary New York hotspot, the Monkey Bar Restaurant serving their signature selections (food and drink) until almost midnight each night. And if the Monkey Bar Restaurant doesn’t ring a bell, it means you probably don’t watch Sex In The City or Mad Men – ‘nuff said.
Hotel Elysee | 60 East 54th Street, New York, New York 10022 | 212.753.1066
All LHC Hotels come equipped with numerous amenities, but for an avid traveler like myself, my favorite was the complimentary gym passes to the nearby New York Sports Club which multiple locations.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sport’s column, The Blonde Side.