5-foot body pillows. A fitness concierge. Italian robes and bath amenities by the chic diptyque brand. These little luxuries are just a few of the reasons why I didn’t want to come home from a recent trip to try out two New York City sleep spots.
I always end up feeling overwhelmed when it comes to trying to select a hotel in the Big Apple. There are so many to choose from, and it can be tough to know which ones are legitimately luxurious — and which ones don’t live up to the promises made by photos and words on their websites. So, if you tend to feel as I do, listen up, because I’m here to make your life a little easier.
On this trip, I was focused on the Midtown East and Upper East Side neighborhoods and picked my destinations accordingly. Read on to find out if one of these hotels might be a fit for your stay on your next NYC getaway.
Location. Location. Location. That’s what I loved most about this Midtown East spot. At the corner of East 50th Street and Lexington Avenue, both Central Park and Times Square are both within walking distance. The Benjamin’s roots go way back to 1927, when it opened as the Hotel Beverly. And after a three-year, $10 million redesign, the 29-floor hotel sparkles like the day it opened. I opted to stay in one of the one-bedroom suites, which featured a kitchenette with refrigerator, a queen sleeper sofa, a marble bathroom with shower/tub combo, and a killer view of Lexington Avenue. Another neat touch was The Benjamin’s Rest and Renew Menu, which includes 10 pillow options based on sleep position. (BTW, I opted for the 5-foot body cushion.) For those who enjoy a good workout, there is also the fitness concierge option I mentioned, thanks to the hotel’s partnership with SIN Workouts. For example, I was looking for a nearby high-intensity interval training class I could take, and the contact at SIN took care of all of the details of getting me into a class at the well-known NYC sweat spot the Fhitting Room. After working up a sweat, the place to grab a meal is The Benjamin’s restaurant, The National, which is one of celebrity Geoffrey Zakarian’s eating innovations. I visited The National for dinner and brunch and enjoyed every bite of the short ribs and veggie omelet I indulged in.
After walking into my cozy but chic “salon” at The Surrey, I could immediately tell why this spot was voted Conde Nast Traveler’s number one hotel in 2015. Located about a block from Central Park on the Upper East Side, this spot is all about luxury. My room featured a sitting area complete with a window seat overlooking East 76th Street, a hand-painted wardrobe, the most cloud-like king size bed I’ve ever slept in, and a bathroom stocked with the coveted diptyque toiletries. During my stay, I also visited The Surrey’s haven from the city’s chaos, the Cornelia Spa, to try the Somadome meditation pod, a cocoon-shaped pod that I slipped into for a 20-minute stress reduction session. (And for those looking for a more traditional treatment, the spa also offers options ranging from massages to facials.) When it comes to tantalizing your taste buds, I recommend indulging in a glass of red wine or a cocktail at the hotel’s sexy Bar Pleiades or a meal at The Surrey’s restaurant Cafe Boulud (part of culinary super star Daniel Boulud’s eat spot empire). With a variety of palate pleasers that might include anything from Main peekytoe crab to a classic Monte Cristo, you are sure to leave with a happy mouth and full belly.