We wanted to try something different, away from the predictable hotels we had stayed at before, like THE PENINSULA and THE FOUR SEASONSHaving chosen this time THE STANDARD, THE BOWERY and the GRAMERCY PARK how did they rate ?

THE STANDARD & GRAMERCY PARK, for different reasons (read stories below) these two properties just did NOT grab us. There are plenty of travelers that will love these two properties, but the one that STOOD OUT head and shoulders, was THE BOWERY.

THE BOWERY is well located, right at the gateway to Soho, and the cobblestone streets of the West Village. It had warm engaging staff and was such a fun happening place to stay.
We found the front desk/concierge to be also very knowledgeable. We loved the indoor/outdoor lounge and bar area, and even with a pretty HIP crowd never felt it snooty.


This is not really that difficult to answer. If its the budget talking, and you open minded to staying anywhere in NYC then THE BOWERY is a clear winner !!!

If on the other hand, staying at "old school" hotels is what you are after, then THE PENNINSULA and THE FOUR SEASONS tick our box ! I like to stay in more traditional hotels in cities like NY, London or Paris.


I have no hesitation ...  THE PENINSULA HOTEL is my pick for NYC. The staff are engaging, they treat you like you are part of the extended family. The POSITION is unrivaled. The recently opened multi-million dollar health club & spa offers a great escape after a day pounding the streets. TAKE ME BACK !

P.S.  Our second last day in NYC we were walking past the PENINSULA on 5th Avenue.... and suddenly  I had a "bee in my bonnet" to pop in and say Hi to the front office staff & concierge. We were not staying there this time, but a few of the staff have become my friends over the years. After saying our hellos, I asked them if we could bring our bags the next morning to their hotel (our last day in NY), and later take a shower and change at their new health club & spa before we flew out to Rio. NOT ONLY WAS THAT A YES.... THEY EVEN OFFERED TO SEND THEIR TOWN CAR THE NEXT MORNING AT NO COST  to help move our bags across !!  NEED I say any more......

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THE PENINSULA (OUR PICK FOR NYC)| 700 5th Avenue, New York | +1 212 956 2888 | View web site
The Four Seasons Hotel| 57 E 57th Street, New York | + 212 758 5700 | View web site
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After our 45min drive
into the Meatpacking district we arrived at the hotel. Although it has a great position on the edge of the island and check- in has a groovy touch about it, with apple computers noticeably showing, our arrival felt quite flat. This was during their "soft opening" so maybe their skylounge has added another dimension to the hotel and given the atmosphere more energy when all elements are avalable.

THEY said
Style defined by substance. Visionary hotelier, Andre Balazs expands his collection of chic and singular hotels and brings pioneering design to Manhattan’s downtown far west.

WE said…
I was sold on the idea of impressive, New York architecture at a really good price and had loved the idea of a building that spans the newly redeveloped elevated railway line ever since I heard a New Yorker tell me about it in Thailand.


The rooms have a very breezy, white minimal LA / Miami feel; I don’t think the comfort and ambience here relates to this city. Also,the rooms don’t deliver at these prices - they’re too basic. They would suit the cheaper, 20-something market. At $489 US dollars a night (corner-king) it’s at the moderately priced high end. That’s a level that should have everything.

In reality the deluxe corner king
, which is 300 square foot, seemed a touch small. It was great to have spectacular views across the Hudson, and there were cool touches like the TV on a pole protruding from the polished concrete floor. We found the floor tiles were "overly rustic" and the carpet looked like I had cut it myself; Sheira ran a bath and the handle came off in her hand... It wasn’t a feel-good hotel or room and we were happy to leave after one night.

We were happier with the service. One night as we left to hunt down a good restaurant, we encountered some staff members who had just gone off-duty for the night. Eager to help, they still chatted to us about restaurants for a good twenty minutes. So we give the hotel kudos for friendliness and helpful staff.

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The Standard| 848 Washington St, New York, New York | +1 212 645 4646 | View web site
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We felt great as soon as we crossed over to the East and arrived at this character, mid-rise old building on the Bowery; we have never been fans of the generic glass tower. The location is brilliant - right at the gateway of Soho and the cobblestoned streets and brownstone buildings of the West Village. In the opposite direction you get all the kooky little shopfronts and gritty bars of the East Village.

THEY said…
Character, luxuriant lodging in the city's much desired, pre-war architectural style.

WE said…
Our mood lifted as soon as we were enveloped in the warmth of the amazing lobby and bar. As a rebellion against the clinical, polished surfaces and single-coloured palette of minimalism, The Bowery has embraced gentlemen’s club richness. You are cocooned by the inky, dark wood panelling, beams and real fireplaces that frame oil paintings, Persian rugs, Baroque furniture in raw, scrubbed wood.

The unstuffy, New York crowd that are such a foil for this posh, silent movie mansion look, make this such a great hangout spot.  SUITE DREAMS

This conversion is the real-deal, with industrial floor to ceiling windows adding a gorgeous frame to the view further downtown over the Lower East Side. The decorative flair of the room, like chic, crisp bed linen lined in tomato red, unusual lamps and a cosy lounge nook, made us feel like we had our own smart Manhattan pad in a Hitchcock movie. The bathroom was great, and I really related to this room.

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The Bowery Hotel| 335 The Bowery, New York, New York | 1-212-505-9700 | View web site
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Gramercy Park is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in New York because it has the leafy, old-world prettiness of uptown with the funky, downtown location. But even though New Yorkers understandably dream of escaping the concrete jungle and living right on the square (which is the only way that you get a key to the park) it is not so hot for visitors. We found it too far out of the way for popping back to our room to change, dumping shopping, checking emails etc. It was a real drag constantly dealing with traffic jams to head back to the Southwest.

On our last day we actually returned - merely as old customers - to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Peninsula uptown to leave our bags in storage and try the new spa before catching our 9:30pm flight to Rio. We were shopping in the area so heading back to the Gramercy in afternoon traffic would have killed our day. With typical class the Pen let us drop our stuff that morning - we would have loved to stay the night there too…

THEY said…
A unique atmosphere
imbued with haute bohemian, eccentric, edgy sophistication.

WE said…
The lobbies and the public areas
in the hotel are fantastic. The drama of the soaring 20-foot ceilings is boosted by gothic red velvet furniture (custom-designed by New York artist, Julian Schnabel) and amazingly bold, splashy abstract art. It’s a great hotel if you want to jump the queue and sample the scene. The Rose Bar is strictly A-list - Hollywood actors play pool and trust fund kids get raucous.


We had a high category ‘Park one bedroom’ suite
. Even though I know the Gramercy is right for so many people we think they lost the plot on the room design. What makes a really cool, gothic impact in the massive public spaces downstairs is alienating in the suites. It was like a red, 19th century theme park. The walls and ceilings are in migraine-pink while the drapes and carpet are red. Neutral walls would have balanced the rich décor and colourful tapestry chairs. Blues and reds always look great and pop out in photos, which I saw in advance on the website, but in real life we couldn’t really relax. I even found going back to the room depressing with busy decor but not enough light coming in. The bathrooms don’t let you relax either: the tiny scale and pitch-black colour scheme is equally oppressive.

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Gramercy Park Hotel| 2 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York | 1-212 920 3300 | View web site
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