Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hotel Elysée, A Bit of Paris in New York

While I was in New York City for Taste of Tennis, a yearly charity event that features top chefs and top players, I had the pleasure of spending a night at the Hotel Elysée.   It was my first experience at an HK Hotel, a chain of boutique properties in Manhattan that consistently receive the top ratings on Trip Advisor.

Hotel Elysée was a perfect preview of my upcoming trip to France.  Everything about the hotel, including the dedication to artwork, flowers, food and drink, screams European.  My room, full of quaint furniture, had a beautiful balcony.  If I didn't let my eyes wonder past the cute table and chairs to the Manhattan skyline, I could have easily believed I was in Paris!

Beyond the rooms and the attentive staff, you will find special touches at the Hotel Elysée that I’ve never seen offered without extra charge at a hotel in New York City.  For example, the high speed internet is free of cost.  Guests are given a complimentary evening reception on weekdays and breakfast in the Club Room for every day of their stay.

The Club Room reminds me of a few executive lounges I had enjoyed in Europe, but this is open to all guests.  The “cocktail hour” included wines, Prosecco, cheeses and crudités, plus an assortment of coffee and tea for those who didn’t wish to imbibe.  Breakfast is also very European, with a large assortment of fruit, bagels, muffins, scones and cereal.  As long as I was in the right atmosphere, I had my favorite French breakfast --  pain au chocolat (a chocolate croissant), yogurt and fruit.  Cookies, fruit and coffee and tea are available in the Club Room all day long for the guests to enjoy.

Hotel Elysée is not a large hotel so there’s no gym on the premises, but they do offer complimentary passes to the nearby New York Sports Club at Park Avenue.  Also within walking distance of the hotel is Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and the famed Fifth Avenue shopping district.  There is a 24 hour concierge and a multi-lingual staff to help guide you to wherever you want to go.  While I was there I saw travelers from all over the world, many of whom were repeat visitors.

The Hotel Elysée has been named “Best Small New York Hotel” by Travel & Leisure Magazine.   Despite all the awards and amenities, rooms are very reasonable by New York City standards.  They also offer a selection of packages that change throughout the year, including “Christmas i n New York,” “Picnic in the Park” and “Happy Halloween.” Visit their website for details.

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