Disclosure: I was comped for part of my stay at Hotel Elysée but all opinions and views are honest and my own.
If someone wanted to gift me unlimited trips to France for a lifetime, I’d happily take them! I adore the country and its culture but unfortunately, my schedule (and my wallet) won’t allow for me to visit on a regular basis. So I’m always on the lookout for ways to get my dose of France within the U.S. (and within my budget). French cafes feed my food fix; while art, music and literature fill my French cultural needs. And I recently discovered Hotel Elysée, a NYC-based hotel that made me feel like I was back in France.
Hotel Elysée is just one hotel under the Library Hotel Collection umbrella of properties, which includes the Hotel Giraffe, Library Hotel, Casablanca Hotel and others. They hosted me for a recent weekend birthday trip in New York. The iconic hotel was built in the 1920’s and named for a French restaurant. It’s an intimate Upper East Side/Midtown East property and has a distinctive French feel.
I arrived early on a Friday afternoon and the hotel was still preparing my room so they offered to stow my bags until my room was ready. I took a stroll up and down Fifth Avenue while I waited (only a few short blocks away), grabbing lunch and doing some shopping. They called to let me know I could check in, and once I got to explore the hotel, I felt like I had been transported back to Paris.
The picturesque interior décor throughout the property had all of the charm and warmth of an intimate French flat. From the painted walls featuring a French courtyard, to the regal colors and furnishings throughout, I really felt like I was back in Europe! I stayed in a Deluxe guest room, which featured a sitting area (living room) upon entry), with a working desk (perfect for a writer like me), a large closet, and plenty of space to store my things. Flanking it was a large bedroom on one side and the bathroom on the other. The bedroom featured a super comfy queen-sized bed, a flat screen TV with a wide range of cable channels and a DVD player, a mini bar, and two lounge chairs by the windows – perfect for relaxing and people watching. The only minor issue I had with the room was that there was no peephole in the door, probably because it is an older hotel. Plus, there was no additional door guard/chain lock aside from the deadbolt.
Other little luxuries in the room included plush bath robes and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. And in case you needed it, you could request any of the following during your stay: an empty mini-fridge, coffee or tea maker, space heater, fan, hypoallergenic foam top for mattress, hypoallergenic foam pillows, featherbed mattress topper, feather pillows, memory foam pillows, down or hypoallergenic blanket, fleece blanket, baby crib, lighted makeup mirror, DVD’s, night light, satin sleep mask, earplugs, and the SleepPhones system (to borrow or purchase to take home).
Other Hotel Elysée perks include:
• A lavish Continental breakfast that is served daily in the Club Room on the second floor.
• The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Herald Tribune, USA Today and the New York Post are available each morning
• Cookies, fresh fruit, coffees and teas are available throughout the day
• A wine and cheese reception every evening from 5 to 8pm, which includes Prosecco and fine wines, plus imported and domestic cheeses and hors d’oeuvres
• Wireless high speed internet which can be accessed throughout the hotel, with a computer for guest use in the Library on the second floor
• Daily passes to the nearby New York Sports Club are available so you can participate in a full range of cardio and strength-training equipment and aerobic, cycling and body-sculpting classes
• A complimentary library of books, and DVD’s you can borrow during your stay
• The world famous Monkey Bar restaurant right below the hotel!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to check out the wine and cheese reception, because I spent most of my time out exploring the city and visiting my old haunts. But the manager did leave a complimentary bottle of Mondavi Cabernet Savignon, a box of Salt Of The Earth Bakery’s The Wild Oat oatmeal cookies, and a Leonidas Milk Chocolate bar for me in my room – thank you! I did get to check out the Continental breakfast on the last day of my stay. It’s on the second floor in the Club Room which features a piano and a library and plush couches to relax on while you eat and drink. For breakfast, there was a variety of fresh fruit juices and fruits, oatmeal, yogurt, cereals, bread and pastries and coffee – all so very French!
I know New York City has everything you could ever want, but I never expected to find a little taste of French luxury tucked away on the Upper East Side! I used to work in that same area and never even realized that I could indulge in my dreams of going back to Paris by just dropping in Hotel Elysée! And it’s so conveniently located to various train lines, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and UES shopping and restaurants that you don’t even need to leave the area to get your fill of NYC fun.
If you’re like me, and you crave a place that feels authentically French (without having to hop a plane to Europe), give Hotel Elysée a try! I know I’ll be staying there again when I want a taste of France!