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Gravesend, United Kingdom
November 24, 2011
From journal A wicked weekend in New York.
Bayside, New York
September 30, 2001
New York''s Essex House has been around for awhile. I don''t know how long it has been under the Westin umbrella, but to New Yorkers, this is still the Essex House. It faces Central Park, and is considered to be one of the ritzier hotels in the city. With reason. It was built in the 1930''s in art deco style which you can experience in the confines of the elevators. I was charmed by the presence of a single white orchid in one of the elevator corners. It still has its original rooftop sign, and was previously owned by Mariott, the Nikko hotel chain, and now Westin.
It rises 43 floors above the city, and our room was only on the 6th floor! Hotel was sold out for the weekend, as apologies came to us that an upgrade couldn''t be had. The fluted black marble columns adorn the main lobby where there are portraits of what looks like Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, he with a sports car and she with a dog by her side.
Our room was small by comparison to Westin''s other properties, but it does not leave you for wanting for anything. The bed was queen-sized and offered a wonderful night''s sleep on down acessories. TV, exquisite snack bar with, gulp, macadamia nuts! Two safes for my non-existent jewels; an in-room fax machine, 2 telephones (one in the bathroom, ultimate decadence), a small chest of drawers, and a low armoire in the hallway in addition to the clothes closet which had an iron, ironing board and dry cleaning rates.
Room service available as well as all-night dining menu. Concierge was helpful on a couple of occasions for restaurant recommendations. There is a business center on the premises, however, I did not see cable or DSL computer lines in the room.
The bathroom, although small, had a divine hand held shower, as well as a conventional overhead one. The soaps and bath liquids and lotions were all English and smelled like heaven. Yes, hair dryer and magnifying magnificent mirror. None of the original 1930 fixtures here, with the exception perhaps being the shower and bath knobs. They have restaurants on the premises, including the famed Ducasse, and Café Botanika which appeared quite busy on Friday night. I recommend this only to the affluent and business traveler on an expense account.
You are minutes away from quite a few of Manhattan''s landmarks; Carnegie Hall is within a stone''s throw.
From journal Weekend in Manhattan - still magic
March 27, 2006
These comments relate primarily to the Westin years. Our last stay was February 2005, when we were in town to see Christo's "The Gates." Our first stay at The Essex House was in the late 1980s, when we were in town to appear on the old Phil Donahue Show. Remember the advertising line, "Guest stay at New York's Essex House?" Well, that was us.
Our love affair with the Essex House expanded when we moved away from New York. Every year we'd come back for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and since we were not "out-of-towners," we needed a place to stay. The Essex House became our New York Thanksgiving Headquarters.
It's on Central Park South, about a block and a half from where we'd watch the parade (at Columbus Circle). And after about the third stay, they'd stop asking us about the stepladder we crammed into the elevator (parade, little kid, stepladder—get the picture).
The rooms are large (by New York standards) and very well appointed. During the Westin years, they got even better, with the Westin's Heavenly Bed.
The lobby, hall, and room decor is exquisite. The staff is attentive and the food at Cafe Botanica is wonderful. We never could afford dinner at Alain Ducasse's, but their reputation is fantastic.
Since we are now marching in the Macy's parade (as balloon handlers), we've moved our base of operations down more towards 34th Street (where folks congregate at 6am on parade day). Our new place is the Doubletree Guest Suites at Times Square. It's convenient, but it can't possibly compete with the Essex House.
From journal Rick's Guide to Central Park and Midtown Manhattan Hotels
July 10, 2008
January 23, 2006
From journal Christmas in New York
April 25, 2001
From journal New York City in August
June 1, 2006
April 19, 2006
December 28, 2007
September 21, 2007