Sick of slick, shoebox sized hotel rooms with lobbies resembling nightclubs, the last time we were in New York, we decided to go Old World and stay on the Upper East Side at The Sherry-Netherland hotel. At the corner of 59th and 5th and overlooking Central Park, it sits across the street from the 24-hour Apple store, is a stone’s throw away from Barney’s and Bergdorf’s, and within walking distance of MoMA. In other words, it’s exactly where you want to be. Built in 1927, with classical friezes in the lobby that were once housed chez Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Sherry exudes Establishment charm. Its marble-floored lobby which is lit by a glittering chandelier was modelled after the Vatican library and is attended by proficient and professional front desk staff. After a couple of trips up and down from our room, the white-gloved elevator operator was able to peg our floor without asking – impressive with the 38 stories he has to negotiate.
The hotel houses only about 50 rooms but the building is also home to an upscale co-operative residence, and on one Sunday morning, we saw an unbelievably elegant older resident in her immaculate Sunday best strut about 4 steps from the front door to her black chauffeur driven town car – a quintessential New York sighting. The rooms are spacious by New York standards and decorated as you might expect with traditional furnishings and gold-framed paintings. The bathroom is swathed in marble with plenty of counter space, perfect for laying out all the comforts of home. The Sherry prides itself on its thoughtful touches like fresh flowers and chocolates upon arrival and mini-fridges filled with complimentary soda and water, just what you need after a long day of stomping around the city. Or, you can make a stop at Harry Cipriani’s, through the lobby, and have a Bellini from the place that invented it. The Sherry is a classic through and through.