There are so many hotels to choose from when you travel to New York City that trying to decide on which one fits the bill can be a real hit-or-miss situation. The Carlton Hotel NYC proved to be a hit for our three-night stay for reasons that include both the obvious and the unexpected.
Accessibility is about two things: getting there and getting around. In both cases, the Carlton is perfectly situated. You can take the SuperShuttle from LaGuardia, and if you fly into Newark, it’s an easy train ride to Penn Station and then a 10-minute walk—or shorter taxi ride—to the hotel.
Once you’re settled, getting around town is a cinch. There are tons of great things to do and places to see within walking distance, from the famous Flatiron Building and Eataly just a few blocks away to Times Square and Grand Central Station.
If shopping is more your thing, you can walk to Macy’s flagship store or over to Broadway. To venture further afield, the subway’s just a block away (6 or R line). Head north to Central Park, Museum Mile and the Upper East Side or travel south to the World Trade Center and over to Brooklyn. A couple personal favorites on that side of the river are the original Jacques Torres chocolate shop in DUMBO and the River Deli in Brooklyn Heights if you’re in the mood for deliciously authentic Italian.
The original structure that is now the Carlton Hotel was designed by Harry Allen Jacobs and built in the early 1900s. The hotel’s Beaux-Arts style made it one of the most attractive destinations of its day. Fast forward one hundred years to the Marriott corporation’s multi-million dollar upgrade and you have an excellent example of Old World elegance in the modern age—for those who are tired of glass and steel. As you walk through the building, you’ll spy all kinds of gems restored from the original hotel—the Tiffany-style domed skylight, the mosaic tile floor in Millesime, the hotel’s main restaurant, and the Lobby Bar’s 1912 vintage bar.
3. Room size
Have you ever stayed in a New York hotel room where you could barely squeeze between the bed and the wall or had to hoist your bag up onto the mattress in order to open the bathroom door? Then you’ll love the spacious rooms at the Carlton, which range from 195 to 315 delicious square feet. As a couple traveling with a baby, we had ample room to maneuver—even with a stroller and a crib.
The hotel also offers a number of suites with a view of the Empire State Building. But what really sets the place apart are the more creatively designed and whimsical suites aptly named The Corner Pocket, The Broadway Diva, The Speakeasy, and The New Yorker. Each one offers fun and over-the-top features. The Speakeasy, for instance, has a bookcase that swings open to reveal a Prohibition-era gambling den complete with wood-panelled bar, felt-top card table and a vintage Tommy Gun (under lock and key of course).
4. Millesime restaurant
Nobody goes to New York to eat in their hotel restaurant. But if you had to—or had the time—then dinner at the Carlton’s Millesime is well worth it. Owner and 2-Michelin-Star Chef Laurent Manrique and Executive Chef Seadon Shouse are the creative talent behind this brasserie-inspired seafood restaurant. Our favorite dishes on the dinner menu included the fresh oysters from Canada and the US, the Hamachi Tartar, Mussels ‘Escargot’ Style, and the Wild Striped Bass. All washed down with a crisp Sancerre. If you’re not a seafood lover, the menu offers a Waygu Flatiron Steak and your classic NY Strip.
5. Unexpected bonuses
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s the small things that make a difference. At the Carlton, Molton Brown toiletries add a dash of spa living to your stay. Then there are the refrigerated towels in the well-equipped gym. This was a novel amenity we’d never seen before. For those who seek the nightlife and don’t want to fight for a cab, the Carlton’s Lobby Bar offers a wide range of live music throughout the week and DJs pack the place on weekends.