New York is a city that is known for its many fine hotels, but there are some that are in a class of their own. These are hotels that are known as landmarks because of their history – most date back to the early 1900s and have stood the test of time ever since – as well as their luxurious accommodations, great locations and the famous clientele they attract. Some are designated as official landmarks, whereas others lay claim to the title by right. Here are some of the true landmark hotels in New York.
The St. Regis Hotel was opened in 1904, and offers all of the conveniences modern travelers expect, together with a true taste of New York’s past. The service is gracious, and the atmosphere is refined, creating a haven in the heart of Manhattan for visitors. The hotel is a perfect example of Beaux-Arts style, pampering its guests in lavishly decorated rooms and suites that are tastefully decorated with antique furniture and silk wall coverings. The hotel underwent a tasteful $100 million restoration back in 2006, which has only added to its luxury and charm.
Before Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, the New Year in New York was welcomed in by Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians, with the strains of Auld Lang Syne playing over the radio to millions. Lombardo broadcasted from the Roosevelt Grill, located in the Roosevelt Hotel at the corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street in midtown Manhattan. This is one of New York’s grand old hotels, which opened in 1924 and was extensively renovated in 1997. Conrad Hilton – of Hilton Hotels fame – bought the property in 1943, and made the hotel’s Presidential Suite his home. Around the same time, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey ran his business affairs out of the hotel –this was where Dewey, his family and staff listened in disbelief as he lost the 1948 presidential election to Harry Truman in one of the greatest upsets in American political history. The hotel has also been the backdrop to several major motion pictures, including The French Connection, Wall Street, and the Taking of Pelham 123. Guests today can book at the hotel directly, or through Royal Holiday Club Resorts.
Finally, no list of true New York landmark hotels would be complete without the Waldorf Astoria. This Art Deco masterpiece was built in 1931, and has played host to celebrities, titans of industry and prominent public figures ever since. In fact, every US president since Herbert Hoover has stayed at the hotel. Interestingly, the current 1931 building was not the first location for the hotel – the original was opened on Fifth Avenue in 1893, and was subsequently demolished to make way for the Empire State building. Some of the other famous – and infamous – long-term residents of the hotel included Douglas MacArthur, gangster Bugsy Siegel, Cole Porter, Marilyn Monroe, inventor Nikolai Tesla and Bertie Charles Forbes – founder of Forbes magazine. It was also home to Guy Lombardo’s New Year’s celebrations – he relocated there from the Roosevelt in 1960 and continued to broadcast from the Grand Ballroom until 1978.
The wonderful history that you find in New York City never seems to amaze me! What is your favorite landmark New York City hotel? Do tell ........