The Carlyle Hotel in NYC – Uptown, but not Uptight

Last weekend, my family of 4 visited the iconic New York City hotel, The Carlyle. It was a great way to celebrate “family day” long weekend in February. We had an awesome time. (Almost all of the following photos are mine, but a couple were taken from the hotel’s website. See

The Carlyle is definitely uptown – both in its sense of style, and in its location.

For its sense of style, the upscale hotel has a history of catering to the rich and famous.

It served as the NYC “White House” for JFK, and has been a favourite of presidents and princes. (And, despite the hotel’s attempts to shoo away the paparazzi, many other Hollywood leading stars have been photographed at its doors – such as George Clooney – see ).

The Carlyle continues to win awards for being a top hotel in NYC. (See the Conde Nast naming as the best hotel in NYC in Nov.11 And, it has won accolades from around the world. (See

For it’s location, The Carlyle is at 76th and Madison. It is definitely away from the midtown hustle and bustle; and is just a 2 block walk to the heart of Central Park. The Carlyle is definitely upper east side.

But, it is not uptight.

My family loved The Carlyle.

In spite of its heady history, and its fashion with the famous, The Carlyle makes every guest feel warmly welcomed.

Our first greeting at The Carlyle’s front desk reminded me of days gone by. My family was warmly welcomed, by name, and staff remembered us throughout our stay. (No doubt their skills are a honed art. It’s certainly a testament to the hotel that many of its staff have served for 20+ years. And the hotel respected that service even during the tumultous days after 9/11 – all of its staff were kept in its employ.)

The Carlyle’s superior service is underscored by the white gloved elevator operators, who not only greet you (and some serenade you too), but make you feel like a long lost friend.  

While we certainly are not famous, walking into The Carlyle made my family feel like we were.

We were welcomed to our Carlyle suite in fine style, and treated like royalty. (Did I mention Princess Diana has a suite named after her?) 

And, in tribute to the glory days of yore, the hotel uses real keys for its rooms.

Our Carlyle suite was absolutely spectacular!

The rooms were elegantly appointed. They were all classically decorated in subtle tones and hues. However, there were still enough modern touches to make you feel at home (including updated bathrooms, and several flat screen tvs).

The suite had more closet room (at least 3 large closets) than any other hotel room I have visited. (Obviously, this is a nod to the hotel’s history. The Carlyle was built in 1930 as a luxury hotel with residential apartments. Its residents have included Richard Rodgers, Ingrid Bergman, Ludwig Bemelmans, Elaine Stritch, and many others. The ample storage space, and fabulous nooks and crannies, contribute to the feel that you are “home, away from home”).

Our suite had a kitchen, as well as a bar (and a couple of rollaways for the girls.)




And the extra special touch (arranged by my friend Christina Hoe-Knudsen Lamoureux as a thoughtful VIP welcome for me) – there were monogrammed pillowcases on our beds. You can imagine my girls’ reactions! (And, apparently, the hotel keeps the pillowcases in storage – to welcome you back home when you visit next!) 

Of course, I have to mention the spectacular terrace off our rooms, with a view of Central Park. (The girls had to wear the plush robes throughout the stay. I think they wanted to move in!)

Don’t you think it’s time for you to visit The Carlyle?