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Friday, January 1, 2010

HAUTE HOTELS: Whom You Know Highly Recommends The Surrey Hotel-Newly Renovated, It Is An Upper East Side Statement of Class and Luxury Putting it Among the Very Best Hotels in Manhattan and the World

Understated elegance and pure luxury, The Surrey sits majestically at 20 East 76 Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue), New York, NY (10021) and since its opening this past November, it has become the new venue for A-listers to put their feet up and their Surrey Pratesi robe on (it says "Hotel Sweet Hotel" on it...and it was designed by Pratesi himself). Peachy Deegan recently checked it out and could not have had a better experience. From the minute we walked in, everyone from the Doorman to the General Manager provided Whom You Know with top service that you don't find everywhere. Art Deco in design, The Surrey is hip enough to boast a contemporary modern feel while staying true to the nostalgia it has among the swanky Upper Eastsiders without being stuffy. Lauren Rottet did smashing work as the interior designer of the massive restoration.

Having a warm, relaxed atmosphere, The Surrey offers not only comfort but also extraordinary style right down to the pattern of the carpet, which is a design taken from Coco Chanel's Paris office's wallpaper. Attractive to travelers and neighborhood guests as well, the whole experience at The Surrey offers a holistic approach to better living from The Spa (it has an infinity tub) to Bar Pleiades, and you can even hire a member of the Mixologist team to come to your room and prepare you the first round of fresh cocktails (you learn how to make the subsequent rounds yourself.) Cafe Boulud is part of the new space and we hope to review it in the future, as well as the bar and Spa. We are so pleased that The Spa features Darphin, a line from one of our favorite brands, Estee Lauder. (Be sure to read our recent interview with Evelyn.)

Walking into the lobby, a silver glow envelops guests as the color scheme goes from black to white in many shades and lights. Bar Pleiades to the left and check in desk to the right, guests proceed ahead to the elevators and will notice quite the unique piece of 15th century furniture which will be showcasing retailers in the near future. The graffiti of esteemed UK designer Jimmie Martin depicts the poems of Grandmother Jennings on the piece which fits in remarkably well, and this is an example of how the new look differentiates itself.  We love how every attention to detail was attended to, and we even had a note in our room when we arrived with a delicious box of chocolates!

While you visit The Surrey, you should be sure to say hello to Bentley, iconic dog of the venue. Bentley is looking forward to appearing in Peachy's Pet Pals and his secretary is polishing his biography. A Havanese Black Dog, Bentley is to The Surrey what Eloise is to The Plaza. Although The Spa at The Surrey has a hummingbird as its mascot, it is really Bentley who unofficially is the dog of the house.
A visit to The Surrey ultimately would include a stay at The Penthouse. With an 1,100 square foot patio with dining outside, the patio we believe would be ideal in the summer and the English style rooftop garden will open in April 2010. We can't wait-one more good thing about the New Year! Meantime, inside there is an incredible projector that would make for an amazing Wii experience (Whom You Know is looking forward to reviewing Wii as well). The Penthouse is $5k a night, but we believe the pretty penny is pretty worth it. The windows look into the garden, but the wall of ivy gives the room privacy and of course the penthouse is complete with a jacuzzi bath. Located on the 17th floor, the modern, loft-like Penthouse at 1,141 square feet is complete with 10-foot ceilings, a fireplace, formal living and dining rooms, a retractable projection screen, oversized bedroom and a bathroom with a sleek soaking tub and rain shower. An eclectic assortment of artwork by Ann Hamilton, Jonathan Borofsky, Nathalia Edenmont, Mel Bochner and Donald Baechler add a touch of humor and inspiration to the space. Affording direct access to The Surrey’s English Rooftop Garden, a private wraparound terrace features twin couches and a dining table that seats up to nine.

Perched peacefully on the 17th floor overlooking the Upper East Side and Central Park, the 2,200- square-foot English Rooftop Garden at The Surrey is intended to feel hidden with manicured boxwoods and ivy trailing over wrought iron tables and chairs. Lounge seating and sofas are set at the corners of the terrace like individual garden rooms, seating up to 40 patrons. Accessible only to hotel guests, the Rooftop Garden is a set ting for relaxing, a romantic evening or for business entertaining and features butler service for beverages and light meals by Café Boulud.

The Presidential Suite is one of the best rooms we have ever seen in Manhattan. The 2,127-square-foot Presidential suite is ideal for Manhattan entertaining with a private terrace, baby grand piano, formal dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, full bar and two bathrooms. Residential-inspired details were added to reflect true Upper East Side living, including an Apple Macbook, fireplace, antique desk, his & hers walk-in closets, sauna, classic claw foot tub and separate shower. In a private seating area overlooking Central Park is an antique chaise lounge whimsically painted by Jimmie Martin with the recipe for “The Perfect Manhattan” cocktail.  Throughout the suite, a covetable collection of modern artwork dresses the walls by artists such as Donald Sultan, Richard Serra, Cecily Brown, Amy Sims, Mel Bochner and Imogen Cunningham.

Done by Waterworks, the bathrooms are simply exquisite in each of the 190 rooms, including 30 suites, and the mosaic on the floor is an emblem for hotels in the early 1900s. We cannot emphasize enough how much we love the attention to detail that is present in all aspects of the hotel. At the heart of all salons and suites is the hand-crafted DUX bed by Duxiana (engineered for perfect support) and dressed in Sferra bedding.  We felt like we were sleeping on a cloud!  In addition, Beaux-Arts/Art Deco custom-designed furnishings such as hand-painted armoires, walnut cabinets and nightstands with burl wood insets, desks with builtin vanity and desktop electrical outlets for convenient access complete the atmosphere. Artwork in the salons and suites include prints of 1700s etchings Lauren Rottet found while traveling in Milan as well as more contemporary black & white photos of New York scenes. Some salons offer window seating overlooking Madison and 76th Street with cushions embroidered in quotes, including: “Across these rooftops, stories are told;” “Through these windows lies the soul of the city;” and “Only here among the crowds can you find rest.”

Style and sophistication meet in modern technology, with LCDs and Denon iPod docking stations in every salon and suite. Guests can view their photos and music on the TV screen as well as play their personal music selection. Bedside panels control the lighting in the room, which ranges from nightlight mode to reading to watching TV.  All bathrooms have exclusive finishes such as white Italian marble throughout, Waterworks fixtures and luxurious Pratesi cotton terry robes and signature bath amenities by Laura Tonatto of Milan.  Deluxe suites are realized with double sinks and soaking tubs.

On the 11th floor we viewed a Grand Deluxe Suite, which is a living space as opposed to a room. All rooms are spacious by Manhattan standards, and this graciousness will add to your peace of mind in the city that never sleeps. On the 16th floor, a couple of Suites have a bathtub, patio, and fireplace. All Grand Deluxe Suites have a bathtub, two rooms and two televisions. Suites are offered at $1,100 a night. 
Although the bathrobe said "Hotel Sweet Hotel," for these rooms you have a state of mind of "Hotel Suite Hotel!"

With linen by Sferra and of course the Pratesi bathrobes mentioned earlier, The Surrey does not overlook anything in terms of pure luxury. The Vanity work area is quite smart as it is both beautiful and functional, as shown below:

TV's are by Samsung, and the in-room bar is stocked with products from New York predominantly. Bedside clocks are by Bulova, and every room has an ipod docking station. Even the spa rooms and the fitness center have docking for your ipod! Peachy Deegan stayed in a Grand Deluxe Salon, which are offered at $700 a night.

Located on the 2nd floor, the fitness center is open to guests with room key access, twenty-four hours a day. The center features top-of-the-line cardio equipment with individual video screens and headsets. Professional personal trainers are also available to create individualized, New York-centric experiences such as rock climbing and runs in Central Park as well as sunrise yoga on the Rooftop Garden.

A destination hotel to the T, The Surrey we are pleased to announce has earned its status gradating from Big Apple Business to Haute Hotels. (Click here to see our inaugural coverage of The Surrey.) It is the first American Hotel to achieve this on Whom You Know, and the second hotel to be featured ever in Haute Hotels, which celebrates the Best Hotels in the World. (Brown's Hotel in London was the first to be featured.) 

Our parting view from our room, as it snowed:

Whom You Know Highly Recommends The Surrey Hotel. 
Newly Renovated, It Is An Upper East Side Statement of Class and Luxury Putting it Among the Very Best Hotels in Manhattan, and in the world. Thank you Emily, Spencer and Ellen! And it was not only Peachy Deegan that thought this-unanimously The Surrey is loved by the Whom You Know panel.   The thoughts of the panel:

Located on a coveted tree lined street on the Upper East Side, you will find the absolutely stunning Surrey Hotel. As you enter the beautiful lobby you are immediately and graciously welcomed. The General Manager, Spencer, could not have been more welcoming, cordial and professional. 

Following a huge renovation, The Surrey Hotel is the destination of Manhattan. The clean grey lobby is luxurious with a real neighborhood feel to it. The whole hotel has a traditional feel with a beautiful contemporary twist. The Surrey Hotel boasts luxury throughout; every detail is attended to by a wonderful team. Be careful, from the moment you arrive, you will not want to leave. Café Boulud is housed in the hotel for your dining pleasures. They even have wonderfully appointed private dining rooms that can cater from a special private dinner for two people to a cocktail reception for forty. 

The Surrey Hotel also boasts Bar Pleiades, a perfect place to meet friends, kick back and people watch. The Bar has a cozy feel but is so elegant in design. The design has an Art Deco feel with Coco Chanel accents all around. In the lobby is a beautiful 15th Century furniture cabinet, decorated with a poem. 

We visited the gorgeous Penthouse Suite, where its spacious design extends pure luxury. Located on the 17th floor of the hotel, the loft-like room is perfect for entertaining. The suite includes a sizeable private outdoor terrace with dining table and chairs. It offers spectacular views of Central Park and the Upper East Side. Inside the suite you will find a fireplace to cozy up to on those chilly New York evenings. It even includes a drop down electric screen and projector, perfect for the Wii. A contemporary chess set sits elegantly on the coffee table.

The Presidential Suite is literally fit for a president, boasting even more space. It features residential-inspired details, another fireplace to cozy up to, a baby grand piano for your personal entertainment, a huge formal dining room with full kitchen and wet bar. The master bath is designed for two people and includes a sauna.

The Surrey Deluxe Salon is filled with grays, soft whites and rich wood furniture. The desk includes a built in vanity unit that is really well designed. Artwork throughout the building was mostly collected from flea markets in Venice.  Our room:

All the fixtures in the bathrooms at the Surrey Hotel are from Waterworks. The mosaic floors are decorated with the hotel emblem for ‘Hotel’. All rooms have a Denon iPod docking station. You have sound in the bathroom also from your Samsung LCD TV. The mattresses are Duxiana covered in Sferra bedding. The Pratesi robes were so soft and toasty; you will not want to get dressed. The oversized glass enclosed showers give a beautiful spa experience. The design of the wall fabric in Coco Chanel’s office in Paris is the inspiration behind the carpeting in the rooms. All rooms feature 24 hour in room dining catered by Bar Boulud. Your private bar features snacks from New York based vendors. You may even find a window bench in your salon, each with a Manhattan quote.

The Surrey Hotel has a unique exclusive in room cocktail program. For 24 hours a day, you may choose a cocktail and a Surrey mixologist will bring to your room all the accoutrements required for 4 or 5 drinks. A personal bartender will mix the first round and interact with you as they mix. You are then left to experience this on your own, if you are not sure, you can always have them back to assist you, in true Surrey style!

A wonderful Outdoor Garden located on the 17th Floor is in the works and will be ready in the summer for guest’s pleasure.

If you do decide to leave your room, be sure to head to the second floor where you will be warmly greeted by spa manager Cheryl. The spa offers tailor made treatments in beautiful spa rooms. Privacy is of the utmost importance. Each private treatment room features a safe for your belongings, a private shower and your personal wardrobe. Darphin products are used in many of the treatments, which is the only spa in New York where these products are used. Darphin products are very results orientated and customize easily, as this spa is all about customizing everything to each individual. They even offer LI’TYA which is the top spa line in Australia, and The Surrey Spa is the only place in the northeast that you will find it! These products are all organic. Relaxation is extremely important along with Joy; each Rug features their mascot hummingbird, which in Native American Lore means Joy! An iPod dock is placed in every treatment room and shower; they even have great iPod tunes to enhance your treatment. The Couples treatment room features an infinity couples tub….you will not want to leave this well appointed spa.

As I climbed into my comfortable bed, I noticed a Sleep Book on the bedside table, filled with adorable photographs. The suede blinds keep the light out. You have a light switch for everything; reading light, night light, TV light… much detail at every turn.

The worst part of the Surrey experience… have to leave! Thank you to all at the Surrey Hotel for a most memorable experience that will never be forgotten. Thanks to Spencer for your wonderful hospitality; you must be very proud of this beautiful hotel.

Spencer’s new puppy Bentley makes a wonderful mascot, if you see a beautiful Havanese puppy, be sure to give him some love.

20 East 76 Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue), New York, NY 10021
Telephone (212) 288-3700
Reservations 1 (800) 978-7739
The Surrey is 20 minutes from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), 40 minutes from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and 60 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
Ranging from 350 to 2,127 square feet, The Surrey features 190 salons, including 30 one–bedroom suites, a Penthouse and a Presidential suite.

Dining at CAFÉ BOULUD we hope to cover in Tasty Tidbits and Peachy's Picks in the future.

Conceptualized by Cheryl Jacobs, The Spa at The Surrey offers discrete and tailored services on the 2nd floor of The Surrey.  We hope to cover this in Spa Peachy in the future. 

Post your comments on how much you love The Surrey too!

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