by Lissa Poirot
Hotel Elysee is a historic New York hotel in the heart of the city, mere steps from Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center. European in style, the hotel features antique-styled, oversized furnishings. Chandeliers are everywhere, not just in common areas but in the rooms, as well. And the majority of people we’ve encountered staying at the hotel are, in fact, European.
Built in the 1920s Hotel Elysee, the hotel is nestled between Madison and Park Avenues and offers a number of complimentary amenities, including daily breakfast, weekday hors d’oeuvres and wine reception (kids are welcome), as well as fruit, cookies and beverages throughout the day.
Hotel Elysee is an utterly charming boutique hotel without any pretense and welcoming to even toddlers who may run around the lobby during check in.
Our Editor Loves
- Steps from Central Park
- Complimentary breakfast
- 5th Ave. and Times Square location
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Hotel Elysee, an entirely non-smoking hotel, offers 100 rooms, including junior suites, suites and premiere suites.
All rooms come with free Wi-Fi. DVD players (a small selection of DVDs are available at reception for complimentary use) and MP3 player. Some rooms feature a kitchenette, terrace or solarium (not many, so inquire before reserving). The hotel even notes they provide firm mattresses but will provide a featherbed, should you prefer softer sleeping accommodations. A mini-fridge and cribs are available upon request. A Belgian chocolate bar and bottled water are complimentary at check in, so if you see that bar on the table, don't be afraid to eat up!
The suites featured any entry area, a larger room with desk, armoire housing a flat-screen TV, a sofa bed and chairs, a coffee table and end tables. In the bedroom a king-sized bed, another armoire hiding another flat-screen TV, two chairs and entry into the modern and nice-sized bathroom. The ceilings are high and beamed, and the fabric wallpaper and gilded framed artwork and mirrors are a nice touch.
When my sister and I traveled to NYC to celebrate my 65th birthday, I wanted to stay at a nice hotel that was in walking distance to theaters, museums and subway stops. I chose Hotel Elysee after reading numerous reviews and then discussing with a friend who had recently stayed there.
From our arrival, where we were warmly greeted by the doorman and welcomed by the front desk staff, I knew we were in for a treat! Hotel Elysee reminds me of a European hotel that is quaint, small yet luxurious. The rooms are large by NYC standards and with 2 beds, we still have ample room to be comfortable. Because I was celebrating my 65th birthday, a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates were waiting for me in my room which was an unexpected surprise and such a nice touch!
The beds were extremely comfortable and quality linens and we appreciated being able to control our own temperature level which allowed for cooler temperatures at night which afforded quality and restful sleeping. Nice toiletries in the bathroom, in room safe which we used and 2 bottles of water provided each day!
A lovely breakfast is provided each day which fueled us until early afternoon. If you are lazy and don't want to venture down for breakfast, they will even deliver it to your room for only $5 per person. The fruit was ripe and so delicious, excellent yogurt, pastries, cereals, etc. Fruit, cookies, tea and coffee are also available all day long.
The afternoon Happy Hour is 3 hours in length which is perfect to stop by on the way home from a day of sightseeing or stop by before heading out to the theater or dinner. Lovely selection of wines and prosecco were offered as well as veggies, dip, cheese, crackers, olives and nuts. It was so inviting to sit down on the couches and relax and chat with other guests and hear where they were from and what they were doing in the city.
The staff is extremely helpful with directions, cabs, explaining subway stops as well as dinner reservations and treat you like a celebrity as well as family. I could go on and on but I think that you get the picture that Hotel Elysee is now the only place that I will be staying when in New York.
Chose to stay at the Hotel Elysee by Library, New York based on recommendation and I wasn’t disappointed. A cheery welcome from the doorman Gary and an escorted introduction to my room was very welcome after a long day of travel. The style is old world, the corridors and rooms peppered with antiques real or otherwise. The bed was very comfortable and the corner King Room to the front was very roomy. The second floor is the hotel’s hub, a pleasant lounge area doubling as the venue for the complimentary continental breakfast, an evening complimentary happy hour, and all-night beverages and biscuits. The room is well used with some patrons lounging on couches late into the evening, doing their thing while listening to soft melodic jazz in the background. The continental breakfast was perfect… beautiful fruit salad, cereals, bakery items and coffee and tea. The friendly staff will toast items for you and make you a latte if that’s your preference. And then they’re back pouring red, white and sparkling in the evening and replenishing the cheeseboard and snacks. The only negative for me was the WIFI. Our room seemed to have some issue connecting despite the hotel recently installing new routers. After two days of my six-day stay, the hotel upgraded us to a king suite with separate lounge and kitchenette. The WIFI situation was solved and the room was a treat. The measure of a good hotel is how they deal with problems; the Hotel Elysee showed why it rates so well with its visitors.
While there are no traditional family-friendly activities here, families are only steps away from Central Park and Rockefeller Center.
The infamous Rockefeller Center is just around the corner and offers impressive views from Top of the Rock, 70 floors above the city with a unique view of nearby Central Park. In the winter, ice skating beneath the towering Christmas tree is available. NBC Studios and its morning Today Show film with concerts and fun in the plaza, especially during summer months. Radio City Music Hall, home of the world famous Rockettes, is also located here, with performances throughout the year.
Again, just step from Hotel Elysee, the Central Park Zoo is easily accessible. Visit to see the park's polar bears, penguins, seals and more in an intimate and manageable setting. Don't forget to watch your watch; every hour, on the hour, the dancing clock just outside the zoo gates put on a show.
Complimentary breakfast is provided daily in the Club Room (or can be delivered to your room for a per person fee). Cereals, yogurt, breads, pastries, bagels and beverages are on hand. Beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends. Also, between 5 and 8 p.m., complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres are served. Coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available throughout the day.
A landmark in New York since the Great Depression, the Monkey Bar has grown to include monkey murals old and new and is considered a hot spot in the city. Think it's a place for kids? It was featured in "Sex and the City," is owned by Vogue editor Graydon Carter, and features a pricey menu. So that may be a personal decision. The restaurant is connected to the hotel and open for lunch during the week between 12 and 3 p.m. (more for business lunches) and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to midnight (11 p.m. on Saturdays).
Room service in the hotel is provided by the Monkey Bar, with a limited lunch and dinner menu. (No special menu for children.)
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The hotel provides complimentary breakfast daily, as well as complimentary beverages, fruit and cookies throughout the day, and an hors d'oeuvres and wine reception in the evenings, as well as bottled water and a Belgian chocolate bar in the room. Internet is free. Although there is not a fitness center on the premises, the hotel provides complimentary passes to a nearby sports club.
The Art of Smart Timing
There is never a bad time to visit New York -- with so much to see and do, New York is bustling winter, spring, summer and fall.
To get to New York by plane, LaGuardia and JFK International airports welcome flights from all over the country, as well as around the world. Taxis will be less expensive from LaGuardia. Newark, N.J., is about 30 minutes away by car and tunnel.
If driving in, parking is available right next door. But valet may be cheaper than the garage.
As typical in New York, walking, taxis and subways are the way to get around.
For Mom and Dad
Hire a babysitter and grab a drink at Monkey Bar downstairs.