Luxury New York City Hotels

by Mary Freeman

Luxury is not hard to come by in New York. The city is home to some of the most extravagant and opulent hotels in the world. Many of them are household names and have been historic icons for decades. Those willing to spend a pretty penny -- room rates are in the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars -- will receive world-class service in lavish surroundings.

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Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond

All of these hotels have accomplished a rare feat: earning themselves both a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond rating. The Mandarin Oriental's 14,500-square-foot spa not only has views of the Hudson River, but also features a VIP Spa Suite and Thai Yoga Room. The spa specializes in holistic treatments derived from ancient traditions found all over the world. I.M. Pei designed the 52-story Four Seasons Hotel. The hotel baths feature Florentine marble and soaking tubs that fill in 60 seconds. Guest rooms have English sycamore paneling, handcrafted furniture and leather-upholstered chairs. The signature suite room at The Peninsula offers guests a chance to stay in a 3,300-square-foot penthouse apartment with crystal lamps, grand piano, whirlpool tubs and library. At the Ritz-Carlton at Central Park, celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel of the Ritz-Carlton's BLT Market prepares a seasonal menu using fresh fish, meats, cheeses and produce acquired from local farmers' markets and suppliers.

Familiar Names

Guests at the Standard get quite of view of the New York City skyline with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows that open. They can also get a traditional German experience at the hotel's Biergarten. The Trump Tower is a New York icon; beyond its doors lays New York's only Forbes five-star hotel with a five-star restaurant, chef Jean-Georges' namesake dining establishment. The Waldorf Astoria has been an Art Deco landmark since the early 1900s. The historic hotel in combination with its smaller counterpart, the Waldorf Towers, offers guests more than 1,413 rooms and suites.

Recently Remodeled

Decked out in Beaux Arts decor, the historic Plaza Hotel has been a cultural icon of New York for decades. The hotel has recaptured the grandeur of its Palm Court through a $6.5 million restoration that included the replication of the restaurant's original 1,800-square-foot stained glass lay light. The Pierre, the Taj Hotel chain's flagship hotel, reopened in 2009 after a $100 million renovation. Here, guests can expect nothing less than personalized service as staff members outnumber patrons three-to-one.

Others

Part of the Dorchester Collection, the New York Palace offers some of New York's largest suites, topping off at 5,000 square feet. The hotel provides a car drop-off service for guests who live within 20 blocks of the hotel. The rooms at the Hotel Plaza Athenee sport Asian and French decor and feature Sferra Italian fine linens. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea with homemade scones, tea sandwiches, pastries and chocolates. For guests who care about the small details, the St. Regis Hotel offers a butler service for all the rooms. For even more personalized service, guests can meet with a personal trainer at the fitness center or indulge their senses at the St. Regis Spa, which has a butler assigned to each floor.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.

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