On Manhattan’s buttoned-up East Side, The Carlton Hotel caters to visitors who want the feel of a classic New York City hotel stay without the chintz and creaky furniture that you’ll find in some of the city’s grand dames. Here’s a look at this hotel…
What’s Noteworthy: The property was given a glamorous redo by architect David Rockwell in 2007 and joined Marriott’s Autograph Collection — so you can use your points! — in 2012.
Best Feature: The hotel’s location somehow feels both low key and in the center of it all from a prime spot on Madison Avenue. Rooms at the back of the building are whisper-quiet but the lobby hums with activity late into the evening, especially on weekends.
The Rooms: With leather headboards, dark wood trimming, and mirrored and crystal accents, the rooms feel plush and subdued — perfect for sleeping in late after an evening of New York City adventure. Counterbalance that with a series of unabashedly fabulous suites. The Speakeasy Suite has a poker table and a bar hidden behind a bookcase, while the Diva Suite is done in peacock feather colors and has a velvet couch and — naturally — a photo of Liza Minnelli by the bed.
The Food: You’re just as apt to run into New Yorkers in The Carlton’s dining spaces are you are hotel guests. Dine in the French Bistro, Millesime, in one of its charming red banquettes, and don’t miss the $1 oyster happy hour from Monday to Saturday from 5-8 p.m. The adjacent and date-worthy Bar Bordeaux specializes in the French wine and serves accompaniments like cheese and charcuterie platters. Meanwhile, the chandeliered lobby bar is open every night until 2 a.m.
Who Will Love It: Those looking for a calm center in the hurricane of New York City, and a hotel with a luxury feel that won’t cost upwards of $600 per night for a basic room.
Who Might Not: Hipsters and trendsetters may need to stay farther downtown — as in, Brooklyn — to feel properly cool in New York City.
Nearby: The property is just two blocks north of Madison Square Park, where you’ll find Mario Batali’s sprawling Eataly complex and the original Shake Shack location.
Deals and Special Offers: Rooms in January, when New York City becomes a chilly, quiet haven for its locals after all of the holiday hubbub abates, are going for a truly excellent $179 per night. For stays in November of this year, you’ll pay a still-worth-it $315. Rates in December, over the precious pre-Christmas shopping weeks, are more than $400.
Getting There: The property is one block from the 6 subway train, which carries visitors up Manhattan’s East side via Grand Central Terminal. The N and R trains, which bring users through the center of the island and on to Brooklyn, are just two blocks away.