Welcome to our Hotel Tip of The Week series. Being on the road every day of the year means we stay in countless hotels, and at over 500 days as nomads, we have stayed some of the best (and worst) accommodation the world has to offer. We cover everything from budget to luxury accommodation, and believe that any hotel worth recommending must be clean and comfortable, offer good value for money and treat people as guests, not clients. We have personally stayed in every hotel we recommend to you here on Globetrottergirls.com.
We emerged out of the subway with two uncharacteristically heavy bags prepared for a possible long slog, but lucky for us, the Hotel Elysée is perfectly located between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan (the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park and the Rockefeller Center are within walking distance). Although the building doesn’t look like much from outside, the minute we passed under the Elysée awning and into the lobby we were instantly enveloped by Parisian charm, and despite a distinct lack of a French accent, the front desk staff were equally charming and made our comfort their ultimate priority – who doesn’t love that!
We stayed in one of the hotel’s eleven suites, which had a full living room, an office area and a private bedroom with en-suite bath. The antique European furniture and decor throughout the room (and the hotel) made us feel as though we had a Parisian pied-à-terre. In fact, looking out the window in the morning, we almost expected to see the shops along the Champs-Elysées in Paris, not the skyscrapers of Manhattan. While it could be presumed to be pretentious, this Parisian hideaway is actually friendly, laid-back and has a super varied clientele. We saw luxury retirees mix with young couples, families and even backpackers during the evening reception.
All 86 bedrooms come with down blankets, 100% Egyptian cotton linen, flat screen TVs, DVD players and MP3 docks, while the gorgeous marble bathrooms come with signature bathrobes, slippers and Gilchrist and Soames toiletries. In our suite, the living room had a comfortable couch, sitting chairs, a second, large flat screen TV, a phone and several lamps for perfect lighting. Guests receive complimentary bottled water and a bar of chocolate from Leonidas chocolate shop (just up the road) upon arrival. In the morning, I grabbed my free gym pass got in a good workout at the nearby gym while Dani got some morning shots of NYC.
As with all four HKHotels, Hotel Elysée offers a lavish free breakfast spread each morning with bagels, rolls, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, fruits, yoghurt, cereal, tea, coffee, milk and juice, plus the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other magazines and newspapers to read. From Monday through Saturday, the hotels offer a three hour complimentary cheese and wine evening reception. At the Elysee this is held in the Club Room, and includes delicious nibbles, the Prosecco is cold, and because the reception lasts three hours, we never felt like we had to race back to the hotel to take advantage of this great little snack time. In fact, coffee and tea, water and snacks are available 24 hours, so we were able to grab a small bite to eat no matter what time we were up working or getting home from a night out.
The free wi-fi throughout the hotel works like a dream. Hotel Elysée is not a business hotel, but we were able to get plenty of work done here in addition to some major relaxing.
Stand Out Feature: The Club Room
Whether its a luxury hotel room or a budget dive, we don’t spend much time inn our hotel rooms, and almost never in a hotel’s public spaces, but we were so drawn to the Club Room at the Elysée that the first thing we did after discovering it was grab a cup of strong coffee and read the newspaper for nearly an hour. The Elysée’s Club Room, which serves as the breakfast and wine and cheese reception area each day, is such a comfortable and relaxing space that guests are reading or working here nearly all hours of the day on the cozy red velvet cushions. In addition to the newspapers and magazines made available each day, there is an adjacent library room with a great book selection, plus a piano and computer, all free for guest use.
Stand Out Feature: Value for Money
What is so excellent about Hotel Elysée is that when you lock into your room rate, there is no up-sale. Everything else is included in the price: the breakfast, the wi-fi, evening reception and the coffee, and you can have as much as you’d like (within reason). The further up the luxury accommodation ladder we climb, it seems, the less that comes included in the price. A guest house in Costa Rica or a B&B in Scotland will include breakfast, all day coffee, free wi-fi and water in the price of the room, whereas an international hotel chain we recently frequented charged $6 for a bottle of water and did not provide in-room wi-fi. Hotel Elysée is the perfect combination of luxury and welcome. It has been a long time since we have felt so much like guests in a four-star hotel (rather than constant deflection of the over-price up-sell) – a testament to the great policies in place at the Hotel Elysée.
Room for improvement: Variety of foods at the evening reception
Yes, we are fishing for something to include here, as there was almost nothing we would suggest for improvement. Each night, the evening reception has exactly the same cheese and hors d’oeuvre available, but after a few nights as a guest, a little variety would be appreciated. That’s it.
Overall, Hotel Elysée is a comfortable yet elegant, luxurious and welcoming Midtown Manhattan hotel offering some of the best value for money accommodation available in New York.
Location: 60 East 54th Street, New York, NY, 10022
Price: Starting at $225 per night. Book online in advance for the best deals.
LGBT Friendly: yes
Digital Nomad Friendly: Yes!
Amenities: Free wi-fi, complimentary hors d’oeuvre in the afternoon, breakfast included, free gym passes.
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Although we received complimentary accommodation, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.