Two bars on-site: Two E Bar/Lounge, which offers afternoon tea, and The Rotunda
24-hour room service, laundry, and dry-cleaning available
Free morning coffee and pastries served in lobby
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Smaller standard rooms than at competing hotels
Small bathrooms in some rooms
No full-service spa
Staffed elevators can be slow
Some guests find the gym insufficient
An elegant Old World hotel across the street from Central Park, the Pierre offers a taste of grand old New York to those staying in any of its 189 traditionally decorated guest rooms. The large staff provides exceptional service, but the Pierre lacks some of the on-site amenities (like a full-service spa) that can be found at other by-the-park luxury hotels, like the Plaza and the Four Seasons.
A historic high-society hotel, where service is professional and ever-present
Opened in 1930, the Pierre features a stately neo-Georgian exterior and an ornately detailed interior, especially in its elaborate ballrooms (popular for high-end parties and weddings) and the rotunda, where every inch of the curved walls and high ceiling are covered by trompe l’oeil paintings. A $100-million renovation in 2009 added a few Indian touches, like colorful silks in the guest rooms and Indian art in the lobby (the hotel is managed by India-based luxury hotel brand Taj). The overall look is opulent elegance -- not so much East meets West as it is old New York made new.
But with a tony Upper East Side location on Central Park, and 78 residences that share staff and hotel amenities with hotel guests, it's the old New York that dominates. Bellhops and elevator attendants wear white gloves and attend to guests with old-fashioned formality. Cruising upwards in one of the hotel's small elevators, with white-gloved hands pushing the buttons for you, it's not hard to imagine one of the building's famed residents of yore -- Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Aristotle Onassis, Yves Saint Laurent -- getting in for the ride.
The Pierre prides itself on its impeccable service and high staff-to-guest ratio (reportedly three to one). Service lapses are rare, but when they do occur, they are minor.
On Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, and across Fifth Avenue from Central Park
The Pierre sits at the southeast end of Central Park. The main entrance is on East 61st Street, and a second entrance sits on Fifth Avenue, directly across the street from Central Park. The hotel's close neighbors include Barneys New York, an upscale department store, and the Metropolitan Club, one of the city's most exclusive private social clubs.
Numerous subway lines are situated near the hotel. The N, R station on Fifth Avenue is on the same block as the hotel, and the F train at Lexington Avenue is three blocks away. Taxis are easily hailed around the hotel at virtually any time of day or night.
Elegant and colorful, rooms have top-of-the-line everything, from Bose wave radios to Molton Brown toiletries
At about 300 square feet in size, the Pierre's standard rooms are decent for New York City, but nowhere near as large as what you'd get at the Four Seasons, where standard rooms average 500 square feet, or the Plaza, where they run about 475 square feet.
The rooms are the picture of elegance, however. They're classic (sumptuous silk and brocade fabrics in corals, blues, and greens, many of them imported from India), yet modern (40-inch Sony flat-screen HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Bose wave radios). And with pillow-top mattresses and down pillows and comforters, the beds are some of the best around (though the hotel will gladly change the mattress should a guest find their bed too hard or soft).
Bathrooms are small -- so small that the door can hit your legs as you use the toilet -- but they're outfitted in Turkish marble and stocked with huge, fluffy, white bath towels, an enormous Grohe rain showerhead, crystal drinking glasses, and Molton Brown toiletries. One caveat: The least expensive standard rooms have showers but no tubs.
Classic rooms have a soaking tub and another 50 or so square feet of space. As prices go up, the rooms get larger and the views more impressive.
Cozy lobby bar with tea service and a fireplace, and round-the-clock room service, gym, and business center
The hotel's French-America restaurant, Perrine, opened in May 2016 and serves a seasonal menu, as well as signature cocktails.The lobby bar, Two E, serves afternoon tea (sandwiches, scones, sweets) before transforming into an evening cocktail lounge, with live jazz on the weekends. Two E doesn't have a children's menu, but it will happily accommodate special requests for kids. In addition to Two E's light afternoon/evening menu, the Pierre also offers 24-hour room service, which is consistently praised for its speed and quality. The Rotunda, formerly an event space, now serves seasonal cocktails.
The hotel's 24-hour fitness center features Life Fitness cardio machines (treadmills, step machines, ellipticals, and bikes), all with individual cable televisions, iPod docks, and USB hubs. There is also a multipurpose strength-training machine, as well as fitness balls and free weights. A changing room with shower is also available. Free bottled water, fruit, towels, and newspapers are available.
Also open all day and night is the business center, which features two PCs, one Mac, and three printers -- and more free water.
Children are offered a welcome gift (like a stuffed penguin) and age-appropriate amenities at check-in, so parents should let reception know their children's ages when booking. Adjoining rooms are available. Some City View rooms feature two twin beds, a nice option for kids. Cribs are available at no extra cost, as are rollaway beds for guests under 17 (note that standard rooms cannot accommodate rollaways; guests using rollaways should book Classic or City View rooms).
Four-legged friends under 15 pounds are gladly received at the Pierre, where building residents have dogs of all sizes. There's no additional fee; guests must simply sign a pet waiver. Doggy welcome offerings include a bed, a chew toy, and bowls, and the concierge can arrange dog-walking services.
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