The Four Seasons Hotel at 57 East 57th opened in 1993 to great acclaim. The world came to admire the classic design of architect I.M. Pei, and the opulent Art Deco lobby. Wherever the eye fell in the lobby, there was the beauty of rare wood, an onyx ceiling, and marble columns and floors. I was fortunate to have attended the grand, black-tie opening, and joined the international celebrity guests who admired the handsome staircase from the front door to the lobby, the lighting, and the sumptuous interiors. Each room, they said, with its gold silk walls and custom furnishings, cost one million dollars to create. The hotel had instant cachet and became the toast of New York. Their reputation has never wavered.
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As twenty years pass, public taste changes. A 100% renovation now offers breathtaking panoramic views of New York City. Through oversized windows, (that open) the one and two-bedroom Manhattan Suites rise above the city and provide some of the best views on Billionaire’s Row. From some suites, there is a view in two different directions providing dramatic vistas of the iconic Chrysler Building, downtown skyline, the East River and the Atlantic Ocean. Attention has been paid. Residential custom furnishings include hand- made, king-sized pedestal beds, oversized oak executive desks, and custom-made hand-knotted Tai Ping wool carpets. For those who cannot tear themselves away from these beautiful calm rooms, there is 24-hour room service.
The days of a fine dining restaurant at the Four Seasons ended in 2012, with the closure of L’Atelier Joel Robuchon. Do folks come to New York to eat at their hotel when there are so many “must try” celebrity restaurants out there? I chose to have dinner at the Ty Bar, named after the hotel owner Ty Warner, and I couldn’t be happier. From the menu of classic cocktails, I take the most classic of all, a dry vodka martini with extra olives. I sit back on my lush velvet banquet, near the wood-burning fireplace and people-watch. Fascinating viewing. The menu is au courant comfort food: seafood tartar, wearing a sprightly necklace of thinly sliced cucumber; a steak wearing a jaunty cap of onion crisps and baby asparagus. The Garden Restaurant opens at 6:30 to serve N.Ys most elegant, sophisticated breakfast in a calm environment that means business.
You can make a reservation for the Four Seasons Hotel New York here.
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.