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Hotel The Pierre Hotel 5 star
Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, New York 10021 New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Pierre has always been a landmark hotel in New York City?and we are glad to report that after its latest $100 million renovation following its takeover by Taj Hotels, it is still very much one of the hotels by which others must judge themselves. It is true to say that it may not have some of the facilities of some of the other top hotels (no spa, smaller rooms), but when it comes to service, style and sophistication, not to mention history, it is untouchable. With a location that would make most hotels weep with envy, fabulously appointed rooms with an Asian touch and a new, top quality restaurant, The Pierre is back on top of its game and ready to welcome once again all types of traveller, no matter their motive for visiting the city. All this comes, of course, at a price, but if you had to choose a place to spend your hard earned cash, this has got to be near the summit of your shortlist.

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    • Hotel The Pierre

      The Pierre   -   © P. Hauser / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel The Pierre

      The Pierre   -   © P. Hauser / EASYVOYAGE

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    Location 6.24 /10

    The Pierre lays claim to one of the most privileged plots in the city, on top of Central Park in the Upper East Side on East 61st Street, right by Fifth Avenue, amongst exclusive boutiques and top quality restaurants. The best of shopping on Fifth and Madison Avenues is just a little further south, as are MoMA and the Rockefeller Center. There are four metro stations surrounding the hotel meaning you can get pretty much anywhere you need to be in Manhattan quickly and with ease. Both JFK and Newark are 19 miles away while La Guardia is 10 miles.

    Accommodation 9.70 /10

    The rooms at The Pierre are divided into Guest Rooms, Suites and Grand Suites. The majority of the 189 rooms, which were redesigned by James Park and associates, fall into the first category which is in turn divided into half a dozen or so types. The basic room, which is a little confined, still has echoes of the hotel's 30s origins in the form of the lamps, mirrors and table and chairs, although many modern amenities have been added such as a 40" flatscreen television, DVD player, Bose iPod docking station, cordless phone and wifi capabilities. The room also has a desk by the window and a cabinet with minibar. Some of the fabrics in the room were imported from India by the management team in a bid to add their subtle touch to the American institution. The small but functional Turkish marble bathroom has a bathtub, hairdryer, bathrobes, digital scale and a special line of Molton Brown toiletries which are only available in a handful of hotels around the world. There are several different versions of the Guest rooms, which vary in size, view and amenities to a certain extent. The best of these is the signature room, of which there are seven, and boast views of the city or the park (even from the bathroom), Indian antiques and custom made carpet. There are four different Suites at The Pierre, one of which is the City View. These have the same views as the City View Guest Rooms, however have a separate living space with sofas and armchairs arranged around a glass top coffee table, a drinks bar and a spacious desk and are decorated in a similarly elegant European style. The bathroom is also larger and has both a bathtub and shower. The final category of room, the Grand Suites, offers generous amounts of space and the option of being connected to up to six other rooms. The bedroom in our room had was of a fair size and appointed royally with lush fabrics (bed linen, curtain, chaise longue), beautifully crafted furniture (a gilded, mirrored sideboard) and amenities such as a flatscreen television, cordless phone and Bose iPod docking station. The bathroom is magnificent with a double white marble vanity, deep soaking tub and separate shower and toilet as well as plenty of toiletries and towels. But the jewel in the room's crown is the immense salon with incredible views of Central Park and everything you need to feel right at home: flatscreen television, a large seating area with antique furniture, dining table for six or more, a desk with fax, printer and internet cables, a pouring bar and minibar and of course the fireplace. The complimentary water and amuses bouches are a classy touch.

    Overview 9.90 /10

    It is without fail that you are met by a beaming doorman when entering The Pierre, a detail often lacking in many a New York hotel. There are two entrances to the hotel, one of which accedes directly to the lobby, the other of which is at the start of a long corridor which eventually meets the entrance hall. Perhaps the most striking part of the lobby is the signature black and white marble check floor tiles which are as shiny as they are stark. The rest of the décor is in a classic European style featuring arches with marble reliefs, gilded ceiling mouldings and Art Deco chandeliers hanging from above. The central part of the lobby houses both the reception desk, whose staff is one of the most gracious we met, and the award winning concierge who is equally as pleasant and well turned out. In other parts of the lobby you will see both original paintings by Indian artists which belong to the Taj collection, as well as other magnificent pieces including the 2nd century Bodhisattua from Gandhara. Also off of the lobby is the famous Rotunda, arguably the hotel's centrepiece, whose Renaissance style trompe l'oeil murals feature both mythological figures and influential personalities of the time it was painted, namely the mid-1960s. To one side of Edward Melcarth's creation is a symmetrical staircase leading to event space and the ballrooms. Rather surprisingly for a hotel of this standing there is no wellness centre, although of course in-room treatments can be arranged by contacting reception. The fitness centre has high quality cardio machines with individual screens and weight apparatus with complimentary water, fruit and towels on hand. Aside from the art found in the lobby there are other works found around the hotel from the Taj collection as well as original plans of the hotel, lamps and mouldings from before the renovation and the old mail shoots by the elevators. The hotel has a business centre at guests' disposal and when available, a house car to transport guests wherever they wish to go. There are two hairdressing salons, Dominique and René, and a gift shop. The Pierre famously claims to have a three-to-one ratio of staff to guests which explains the impeccable service from the 24h multilingual elevator butlers to the housekeeping. We very much appreciated the courtesy call which came 10 minutes after having checked I to make sure everything was to our satisfaction.

    Food and drink 9.70 /10

    The Pierre has both a bar and restaurant, both of the highest quality. 2E, named so after the hotel's location at number 2 East 61st Street, is open from 11am to 1am and serves light snacks until midnight, afternoon tea between 3pm and 5pm and cocktails from noon. Le Caprice, designed by Martin Brudnizki and based on the renowned restaurant in London's St. James's, serves breakfast from 7am to 10.30am, lunch from noon until 3pm and dinner between 5.30pm and 11pm. The décor follows in the footsteps of its English counterpart, with monochrome being the overriding theme and David Bailey photos of Jean Shrimpton upon the walls. A gleaming bar is lined with designer stools and the tables are immaculately laid with fine crockery. In the morning enjoy both continental and hot breakfast which use the finest products and is beautifully presented by attentive, friendly staff. These can be chosen either à la carte or from a list of set breakfasts. The lunch menu features such dishes as smoked haddock and quail egg tart, dressed crab with celeriac remoulade and Thai-baked sea bass which can be followed by American cheeses, Bakewell pudding or apple and blackberry crumble with custard. The dinner menu's appetizers include, among others, steak tartare and grilled tiger prawns with lemon, chili and garlic while for the main course you can choose between the likes of fillet of Steelhead trout and yellow-fin tuna with spiced lentil salsa and arugula. Desserts remain the same. Brunch is served on Sundays. The wine list is fairly extensive and features both Old and New world wines with a heavy preference for French bottles.

    To know

    The Pierre, more than most, has a long and distinguished history. It all started when Charles Pierre Casalasco, whose father was in the hotel business in Monte Carlo, opened the hotel as part of a joint venture after having spent almost a decade working alongside some of the most influential characters in New York. His experience helped the Georgian style hotel to become highly celebrated, that is until the Great Depression arrived, which not even The Pierre could escape. The oil tycoon John Paul Getty took over the hotel in 1938 and it started to claw its way back to the top, becoming the place to be in the 1940s and the first hotel to have radio and television sets in 1950. At the end of the same decade it became a cooperative and 75 of the apartments were sold, with a certain Elizabeth Taylor becoming one of the new owners. The hotel changed hands several times over the decades until in 2005 it was decided that Taj Hotels would lead a $100 million renovation which was completed in June 2009. Over the years presidents, actors and actresses and the biggest names in literature have stayed at The Pierre and the myth is set to continue under the new management team.


    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      beauty salon, massage, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, sports, fitness

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room


    • Location
    • Quality of service
    • Décor
    • Views
    • Le Caprice restaurant
    • Indian touch


    • Size of some rooms
    • No spa

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score 8.50/10
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