My NYC home away from home: 65 West 54th Street. To get to my room, you take the elevator up, up, and up to the top floor. That’s where you’ll find a private-entranced suite inspired by 1920s old Hollywood. The multi-room classic abode has perfect views of Manhattan’s hustle and bustle. Its color scheme: sophisticated shades of platinum, champagne, beige and silver.
My beloved suite is no New York apartment; rather, luxurious accommodations in The Warwick New York Hotel, a historic hot spot built in 1926. Over our last trip to NYC, we spent one night at The Warwick, but I could have lived there indefinitely.
I love hotels with a rich history. It’s been said that William Randolph Hearst built The Warwick for his longtime sweetheart and mistress, Marion Davies, a young starlet and regular performer at The Ziegfeld. Hearst was an early 20th century entrepreneur known as a media king and property developer; his Rolodex consisted of the rich and famous. In 1926, Hearst constructed his unique 36-story apartment hotel to accommodate his Hollywood friends and business partners needing a convenient pied-à-terre. At the time, it was one of the tallest apartment hotel buildings in the world.
Former Warwick fans include James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland and Lucille Ball. Elvis Presley stayed at The Warwick before his landmark appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. When The Beatles came to New York for their historic North American debut, they called The Warwick temporary home. Cary Grant even lived in the hotel for 12 years. Today, celebrities, heads of state, business travelers, and families enjoy the comforts of The Warwick New York Hotel.
However, in 2012, The Warwick completed a big renovation and make-over; it now boasts a 426-room inventory. With that being said, its elegance and charm has been protected and conserved.
When we checked into The Warwick, we were honestly in a delightful shock. We didn’t really know what to expect, considering the hotel’s old age. Upon walking in, my husband and I were transported back in time—I almost felt old Hollywood with the antique décor and inviting lobby.
The elevator can only be described as adorable—it’s not one of those oversized transporters from one floor to the next. You could tell it had a rich history; that many heels paired with mink coats graced its grounds. When we got to our floor, we realized our suite had a private entrance. We welcomed the seclusion.
Upon opening our suite door, there stood a hard wood entryway with a tall vase holding umbrellas we luckily didn’t need. When we walked to the left, there stood a huge living room with views of the city—the plush, comfortable furniture was surrounded by silver-leaf coffee and accent tables, ivory lacquer bedside tables, and French Provençal chairs. And in the midst of our 1920s-inspired room was the latest in technology: a flat-screen, iPod docking station, and the capacity to plug in Wii consoles. (To my husband’s dismay, I vetoed this option.)
The bedroom had a bed fit for a king and queen, and the bathroom flaunted granite and Bvlgari amenities. And I loved the complementary robe and slipper. (Always a true sign of an A-list place.)
The property also features a restaurant and bar. Murals on 54, the hotel’s main dining venue, is equipped with historic murals painted by Dean Cornwell, known as “The Dean of American Illustrators.” In 1937, Cornwell was commissioned by Hearst to paint murals for The Raleigh Room, the original restaurant inside this apartment hotel. These murals were completely restored in 2004.
Randolph’s, rated as one of Citysearch’s “Top Ten Best Hotel Bars,” is the classic cocktail lounge at The Warwick. Its large windows overlook New York’s famous Avenue of the Americas, offering a front-row seat to the buzz of Midtown.
The hotel’s location couldn’t be better. For all fashionistas, Fifth Avenue shopping is a mere block away, and for those interested in the arts, you can easily stroll to the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum at Equitable, and the Museum of Television and Radio. Also a few streets away: Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Radio City.
Within what seemed like a New York City minute, our 24-hour stay at The Warwick came and went. When we do return to NYC, though, I’ll definitely revisit my home away from home.