The Hotel Elysée aims to have the ambiance of a refined country inn, and, surprisingly enough for a hotel located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it more or less achieves that goal. Some may find the lived-in glamour of the rooms (chandeliers are by no means in short supply) to be the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle outside. Others may feel as if they’ve accidently ended up in the middle of a Grand European Tour with their grandmother.
For those seeking the specific, elegant bed-and-breakfast vibe that the hotel offers, this is one of your best choices in the city. Built in the 1920s, the hotel was named for one of the finest French restaurants of the era and has been home to movie stars, artists, writers and intellectuals. Staying here feels less like you’ve checked into a fast-paced, high volume New York hotel and more like you’re a guest in someone’s exquisitely well-maintained manor. There’s even a complimentary library of movies, music and books available to peruse.
The experience is by no means dowdy. Flatscreen televisions can be found in every room, the beds are the apex of luxury and the bathrooms are delightfully stocked with Gilchrist & Soames amenities. Some rooms even boast full kitchens. However, you won’t want to waste anytime cooking during your stay. The spectacular Monkey Bar just off the lobby (partially owned by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter) offers room service for both lunch and dinner. Or better yet, make a reservation and spend an evening in the buzzy restaurant yourself. The chic crowd and lively atmosphere makes for the perfect complement to your more quietly dignified quarters.