The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Discreet staff members, like this white-gloved elevator operator, are known to keep some impressive secrets -- Kennedy and Marilyn reportedly trusted their affair to the Carlyle.

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Iconic Hotels on the Upper East Side (7 of 7)

 Discreet staff members, like this white-gloved elevator operator, are known to keep some impressive secrets -- Kennedy and Marilyn reportedly trusted their affair to the Carlyle.
Built in 1930, The Pierre features a stately neo-Georgian exterior and ornately detailed interiors. Every inch of this rotunda is covered in trompe l'oeil paintings. The checkered marble and chandeliers in the Pierre's lobby evoke classic New York elegance. But Taj Resorts and Palaces, a growing Indian-owned luxury hotel group, took over the Pierre's 140 guest rooms and 49 suites from the Four Seasons in 2005. They headed up its massive, $100 million, 15-month renovation (the hotel just re-opened in 2009) and added a few distinctly Indian touches -- some furniture and colorful silks in the guest rooms and artwork from Indian artists in the lobby. But the overall look of the Pierre is not so much East meets West as it is Old New York made new. Made apparent by its extravagant entrance, the century-old Plaza hotel is synonymous with New York luxury. Countless 20th-century icons have passed through this ornate lobby since the hotel opened in 1907. Truman Capote threw his famous Black and White Ball here; in North by Northwest, Cary Grant was captured by spies in the hotel's famous Oak Bar; on their first visit to the states, the Beatles took up an entire wing on the 15th floor. The Carlyle figures into New York's annals as host (and residence) of local and international celebrities, including an impressive run of presidential guests. Discreet staff members, like this white-gloved elevator operator, are known to keep some impressive secrets -- Kennedy and Marilyn reportedly trusted their affair to the Carlyle.
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