Four Seasons New York Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Midtown East, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Free access to hot tub, steam room, and sauna
  • Massive, 500-square-foot rooms
  • In-room printer/fax machines
  • Personal trainers available
  • 5-10 minute walk from Central Park

Cons

  • Generic, beige-intensive room decor
  • Limited nightlife nearby
  • No pool
  • Subterranean fitness center
  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

Deliberately business-like, the 368-room Four Seasons in Midtown East has all the luxury essentials: stylish lobby, beck-and-call service, a fine spa and fitness center, and some of the city's largest rooms. Plus, guests can use spa facilities for free. But before booking, check the rates at the Waldorf-Astoria (more historic) or the Mandarin Oriental (better gym).

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The modern, massive, conservative Four Seasons hosts martini-sipping dealmakers and well-heeled globetrotters who chat amongst themselves in the tall but resolutely gray and rectangular lobby.

Drinks at Ty Lounge
Drinks at Ty Lounge

In terms of high-design pedigree, it's hard to ask for more. The squad behind the Four Seasons' look reads like a laundry list of visionaries. I.M. Pei -- the legendary architect behind the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the east building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. -- designed the public areas with 33-foot ceilings, rigorous symmetry, and a whole lot of limestone. The lobby and guest rooms owe their look to Remedios Siembieda, the designers behind interiors at high-end hotels from Hong Kong to Munich to Bora Bora. Prolific high-end designer Pierre-Yves Rochon laid out the swank accents in on-site dining areas Ty Lounge, and The Bar at the Four Seasons. The space is beautiful -- so beautiful, in fact, that the Four Seasons website kindly invites guests to download its marketing photos "to use as your computer's desktop background."

In hyper-dense, business-intensive Midtown East, open space comes at a high price, and the Four Seasons articulates its opulence primarily through the vaulted ceilings of its public areas. An on-site art gallery supplements tony multi-media pieces with a bi-weekly featured collection. In their plain, gray openness, the public areas eschew both the traditional charm of the Waldorf-Astoria's chandeliers and the adventurous color of the Mandarin Oriental's Dale Chihuly glass sculptures.

It's this middle-of-the-road restraint that helps define the Four Seasons. The rooms feature expensive equipment but target comfort above adventurous design, and the overall goal appears to be putting business travelers at ease with tasteful features and plenty of breathing room and privacy.

For a caricature of the quintessential Four Seasons guest, look to Sex and the City and Mr. Big, the mysterious Gatsbyesque love interest to main character Carrie Bradshaw. The HBO series makes it known that the Four Seasons is Mr. Big's hotel of choice -- just watch the Season 6 episode "The Domino Effect." International business travelers hold court face-to-face or via Smartphone on the lobby's velvet-cushioned sofas. It isn't strange to overhear conversations in French as well as Japanese during a single walk-through. Still, the massive, pillored lobby stays relatively quiet despite the frequent comings and goings of brisk-walking, well-tailored guests and the occasional family.

Sometimes a recognizable face appears; the likes of Jennifers Aniston and Lopez, as well as Beyonce, have been spotted here. The hotel doesn't provide a list of its famous guests, but suffice it to say that those aren't average Joes staying in the $18,000-a-night Presidential Penthouse or the $35,000 Ty Warner Suite.

 Location

Located in Midtown East, Manhattan's safe -- if somewhat less happening -- business district.

Located on East 57th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues, the Four Seasons sits in the business-heavy Midtown East neighborhood, an area more popular for its high-volume of iconic skyscrapers than its nightlife (which generally ends after happy hour).However, there are considerable dining highlights worth visiting in the area, including steak restaurants like Maloney & Porcelli and Smith & Wollensky, or the upscale Mexican spot Dos Caminos.

Many major New York attractions are within walking distance -- the hotel is five to 10 minutes from Central Park and 10 to 15 minutes from the Museum of Modern Art -- but plan to hail a taxi or wear a good pair of sneakers if you want to catch a Broadway show or see the flashing ads of Times Square, about a 20-minute walk away.

In terms of subway transportation, four lines (the N, R W; the 4, 5, 6; the E; and the M) all sit within a five-block radius (a five- to 10-minute walk) from the hotel.

 Rooms

Designed for comfort and convenience, the massive rooms come with excellent beds, high-powered, two-headed showers, large work desks, and plush seating. But they're a little boring.

Bathroom in the Moderate Room
Bathroom in the Moderate Room

Rooms are luxurious, without being adventurous. Gold-tinted carpet, pale wooden trimming, and muted brown furniture don't get points for creativity, but there's comfort in the home-office style. Plus, the rooms on higher floors take in substantial daylight from large windows -- no small feat in skyscraper-riddled Midtown East -- and in my Moderate room (No. 3308), one of the windows even featured a leather-cushioned nook.

  • Standard rooms start at an enormous 500 square feet, and Executive Suites start at 800 square feet
  • Spacious closet
  • Comfortable bathroom with Bulgari bath products and (in all rooms except Studios) the Four Seasons' signature deep soaking tub
  • Large desk and workspace with printer/fax machine
  • Eight-piece glassware set and a well-stocked minibar
  • 32-inch hi-def flat-screen TV with a full satellite package that includes Spanish-, Japanese-, and French-speaking channels; a DVD player (the hotel also offers a lending library with both classic and children's DVDs)
  • Terrycloth robe and slippers
  • Ample dimmer switches
  • Drapes that close by an electronic switch.
  • Each morning, guests can choose between the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Post, or USA Today for free delivery.
  • Small flat-screen TV in the bathroom
  • Showers come with two heads -- one overhead, one handheld.
  • Excellent beds: Sealy Posturelux Four Seasons mattresses; fine sheets; fluffy down pillows; down comforter with a duvet; hypoallergenic pillows available upon request
  • Wi-Fi is a daily fee
  • On the 18th floor, I didn't experience any street-noise issues and heard no sounds from other guests in the hallways.

 Features

The spa and fitness center in the hotel's basement don't immediately stand out compared to those at other luxe Manhattan properties -- but guests get free access to the hot tub, sauna, and steam room in the spa. The business center is well equipped but keeps limited hours.

Treatment room in the Four Seasons Spa
Treatment room in the Four Seasons Spa
  • Spa facilities, unlike the treatments, are free for guests, and this includes use of the whirlpools, saunas, and vanity stations. In New York, this is practically unheard-of.
  • The on-site Four Seasons spa offers massages and mani-pedis, as well as signature treatments like the Big Apple Antioxidant sugar body scrub and the DNA Collagen Regenerator facial. During off-hours, in-room treatments are also available.
  • Excellent, 24-hour fitness center: free weights and weight machines; 13 cardio machines, each with personal TVs and headphones; free fruit and fruit juice in the locker rooms' lounge areas; an attendant offers free bottled water.
  • Personal trainer-led yoga and jogging workouts available for a fee
  • No pool, unlike at the Mandarin Oriental
  • The business center offers several above-the-bar services, including cell-phone and laptop rental, in addition to the usual Internet access. The facilities can also accommodate high-volume copying and printing. When the center is closed, guests can still access it by contacting the concierge.

 Family

There are plenty of family-friendly amenities, and the Midtown East location is decent for kids, but the lobby and restaurant scene is decidedly grown up.

The Four Seasons' list of family-friendly features is extensive. Given advance warning, the hotel will provide a welcome package for very young guests, plus child-size bathrobes. The hotel also offers materials for childproofing rooms, as well as coloring books, rollaway beds, cribs, PlayStation game consoles, and a DVD lending library with titles for children. Babysitting services are available through the concierge with 48 hours' notice, but the hotel will also try to accommodate later requests.

That catalog of family-friendly services sets the Four Seasons ahead of most other New York hotels, including the Waldorf-Astoria and the Mandarin Oriental. However, prospective guests should note that on-site dining facilities and the overall air of the place caters much more to buttoned-down grown-ups than to energetic tykes.

 Food

The Garden is a popular power lunch spot by day and classy wine bar at night.

The Four Seasons offers high-priced fine-dining on its premises. The Garden offers gourmet fare that's tasty but hard on the wallet, and the Four Seasons' room service comes from a separate, in-house kitchen.

  • The Garden, an American restaurant across the lobby from Ty Lounge, opened in 2009. Four 20-foot African acacia trees adorn the airy, contemporary space, hence the name. The breakfasts, brunches, and lunches haven't changed much since the restaurant was known as 57: Expect eggs, pancakes, baked pastries, and organic yogurt parfaits for breakfast; prime beef burgers and bacon paninis with slight gourmet twists for lunch.
  • At night, The Garden becomes a classy wine bar. It serves an assortment of small plates -- sweetbreads, tuna tartar, and charcuterie, among others -- as well and over 200 wines by the glass.

 Bottom Line

Deliberately business-like, the 368-room Four Seasons in Midtown East has all the luxury essentials: stylish lobby, beck-and-call service, a fine spa and fitness center, and some of the city's largest rooms. Plus, guests can use spa facilities for free. But before booking, check the rates at the Waldorf-Astoria (more historic) or the Mandarin Oriental (better gym).

Things You Should Know About Four Seasons New York

Address

  • 57 East 57th St.,, New York, NY 10022

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Four Seasons Hotel
  • Four Seasons Hotel New York
  • Four Seasons New York City
  • New York City Four Seasons

Room Types

  • City View Deluxe Room
  • City View Executive Suite
  • City View Room
  • Manhattan Suite
  • Panoramic City View Tower Room
  • Panoramic Park View Tower Room
  • Panoramic Studio Suite with Terrace
  • Park View Executive Suite
  • Premium City View Room
  • Presidential Suite
  • Royal Three Bedroom Suite
  • Studio Room
  • Terrace Deluxe Room
  • Terrace Park View Executive Suite
  • Ty Warner Penthouse

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 368
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Midtown East, Manhattan
Address: 57 East 57th St.,, New York, NY 10022
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