New York Timeless Classics: The St. Regis New York and The Monkey Bar
When an opportunity to sail on Disney Cruise Line departing from New York City to Canada presented itself I jumped on the chance to spend a few days prior at The St. Regis New York. Twenty-four years since my last stay at a truly timeless hotel, but what stood out in my memory was the rich history of an iconic hotel, the stylish guest rooms, great location, and personalized butler service, all still valid today.
The St. Regis New York
Built by John Jacob Astor IV over a century ago, The St. Regis New York is a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The historic lobby is small but oh-so-nostalgic with the original old-world marble columns, hand-painted mural ceiling, and grand crystal chandelier.
The hotel’s 237 guest rooms and suites feature classic sophistication with a touch of contemporary chic. Black-lacquer painted doors, crystal chandeliers, marble baths and fabric walls were featured in our Grand Luxe King Guest Room. At 490 square feet, a nice size for New York, it had the feel of a Junior Suite with a sitting area sofa, coffee table, and easy chair, and an adjoining king bed surrounded by bold blues, high ceilings with crown molding, and gold and black accents.
Additional amenities of a Bose sound system and large flat-screen TV, plush bedding, and touch lighting system added to the posh feeling. In the Italian marble bath are double sinks, tub and separate shower, separate toilet area, Remède Bath products, and an in-mirror TV.
Soft robes, thick towels, comfy slippers, turndown service, and morning coffee and tea served each day by your butler are par for the course. Also included are packing and unpacking service if you like. And in the middle of the city is peace and quiet with double-paned windows that keep out much of the traffic noise.
I was a bit taken aback by the hotel’s $50 per night Destination Fee until I discovered it included a $50 food & beverage credit per night, $50 laundry/dry cleaning credit per night, $25 hair salon credit per night, long distance and international calls, and two museum tickets per day to the Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art (pick up your tickets on a daily basis at the concierge desk). If you actually take advantage of all these benefits you really do come out ahead.
Our F&B credits were happily spent on daily cocktails at one of our favorite places in NYC, the hotel’s King Cole Bar. Home of the original Bloody Mary—here know as the Red Snapper—you’ll be awed by the bar’s famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural in a glorious setting.
Other St. Regis New York benefits? Take advantage of the house Bentley hotel car available on a first-come, first-served complimentary basis for drop-offs within a 10-block radius of the hotel.
The Monkey Bar
While there isn’t a huge choice of great restaurants in the immediate area, the hotel is convenient to both uptown and downtown attractions and not terribly far from anywhere in the city. We went further afar for dinner each night until the last when we decided to visit another New York City icon, The Monkey Bar, just two blocks away located in the Hotel Elysée. We found it to be one of the best dining experiences in town if you love classic New York restaurants. Whether you dine in the historic 1930s bar with its hand-painted monkey murals and live piano music, or in the adjoining classy dining room surrounded by the famous Ed Sorel mural of jazz age icons, I guarantee you’ll be pleased.
We decided on the best of both worlds with dinner in the dining room and drinks afterward in the bar. Updated classics is what you’ll find on the menu beginning with a great Moscow Mule, a skillet of warm, glossy Parker House rolls, seared halibut with chickpeas in a harissa sauce, and orecchiette pasta with mushrooms and truffles.
A super ending to a classic New York City vacation!
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