The Real Deal New York

Superlative staycations

Manhattan’s top 10 most expensive hotels
By Christopher Cameron | May 08, 2015 03:06PM

New York City’s luxurious hotel suites command tens of thousands of dollars a night. But what about the entire range of rooms in the city’s top hotels? Luxury Listings looked at the average published rate (APR) at the city’s premier hotels to rank Manhattan’s priciest lodgings. The results may surprise you.

The Peninsula New York — a lavish turn-of-the-century institution on Fifth Avenue — took the pinnacle position in the ranking, while iconic inns like the Waldorf Astoria didn’t make the cut. Still, many of the likely suspects are here, like the Plaza, the Ritz-Carlton and the Pierre.

Of course, all the hotels on the list offer the best of the best: immaculate rooms, top-notch service, magnificent amenities and prime locations. In fact, with so much in common, it can be difficult to differentiate one lavish belle epoch lobby from another. But, according to industry experts, what makes one hotel stand above another has often been decided years before a guest checks in — meaning, at the top of the market, it’s all about branding.

The reason a guest might chose the St. Regis versus the Ritz-Carlton “has to do with the brand of the hotel,” said Margaret Bay, a Brown Harris Stevens broker, who markets high-end hotel suites, like the two $250,000-a-month penthouses at the New York Palace hotel. “The services at all these hotels are really great. The difference is brand allegiance. Some people only stay at the Four Seasons, others only stay at Starwood hotels.”

But that isn’t to say brand-savvy travelers aren’t price sensitive. According to Kitt Garrett, the founder of the bespoke travel agency Discover New York, even at the top of the market, life plays out on paper. “If someone is trying to decide between a few luxury hotels in the same area with similar vibes, it’s all going to come down to who has a better deal,” she said.

With that in mind, here is a look at the rates, services and amenities at Manhattan’s priciest hotels.

The Peninsula New York

Forget cabs — guests who book a suite at the Peninsula New York can cruise around the city in either the hotel’s “bespoke Peninsula Edition BMW house car” or the chauffeur-driven MINI Cooper S Clubmans that are “customized with refrigerators” (British spelling complimentary). After hitting the town, swing by the spa for the $1,065 “Red Carpet Ready” package which includes treatments for the neck, chest and upper arms.

The Plaza Hotel

Perhaps NYC’s most iconic hotel, the Plaza overflows with over-the-top luxury. Brush your teeth under a 24-carat gold-plated Sherle Wagner bathroom faucet. Sip a $3,000 “Century Sidecar” made with 100-year-old Remy Martin Louis XIII “Black Pearl” cognac at the Palm Court. And abuse the hotel’s butler services — “specialty bath” preparation, private bar maintenance and a shoeshine — in an Edwardian suite.

Thanks to its place in pop culture, the Plaza also has branding power few other New York institutions can touch. “I remember at age eight going to play Eloise at the Plaza,” Garrett said. “When I walked into my room there were little pink cards on my pillow that said, ‘Eloise slept here.’ In the Oak Room, I asked if Eloise was there and the maître d said, ‘Oh! I’m so sorry, she just left. But she’d be thrilled to know that you were asking for her.’ This is a memory that goes back 60 years. That is priceless.”

The Mandarin Oriental

Towering above Central Park’s west side, the Mandarin Oriental is all about power. In the suites, floor-to-ceiling windows give commanding views of the city and park. And in Asiate, the hotel’s restaurant, impress fellow execs with a $7,500 bottle of 1985 Dom Pérignon Rosé. “Any hotel located in Midtown is going to see a lot of business executives, internationals and sophisticated Americans,” Bay said. Downtown hotels attract a “very different client,” she added, referring to the generally cheaper and fuss-free accommodations typically found below 14th Street.

Trump International Hotel & Tower New York

The Trump brand says it all. Expect the Donald’s signature luxury services like stationery and business card personalization, personal shoppers, three-star Michelin dining at Jean Georges, “kiddie cocktails” from the children’s room service menu and pet pampering for “furry jet-setters.”

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Experience “contemporary European townhouse décor” in this classic 141-room luxury hotel. All guest rooms are furnished with Asian-inspired silks and modern French furnishings. But if you prefer an even more eclectic mix of Moroccan, European and Asian-influenced style, head to Bar Seine for its signature cocktail “Valmont — Hike in the Glacier” (vodka with citrus and elderflower liqueurs).

The Pierre

The hotel’s Clefs d’Or Concierge Team will tie your bowtie, “have your marriage proposal written across the sky over the Statue of Liberty,” plan a wedding, get prime seats for any sold-out performance and even negotiate the purchase of a private yacht on your behalf. For a super deluxe extended experience, the Pierre boasts the priciest rental in the city, at $500,000 a month.

Langham Place

By contrast, Langham Place is more feng shui. From its $35 “Modern Afternoon Tea” tray at Measure to an “experiential shower” at the spa — which “invigorates the body, mind and spirit through the natural power of water” — Langham Place offers spacious accommodations in a contemporary and chic environment.

The Royalton New York

This self-proclaimed “boutique” 168-room hotel is perhaps best known for its Forty Four bar and restaurant — a favorite power lunch spot for media, publishing and fashion elite. And if lunch goes well, the Royalton also offers other business-friendly luxury amenities like a private penthouse boardroom, fully catered reception services and premium open bars.

Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park

At its Central Park location, puttin’ on the Ritz means coveted park views from the 22nd floor Royal Suite, afternoon tea at the Star Lounge (four teas for $55), a “Caviar Luxury” spa treatment ($515) and for everything else, a snappy concierge.

The Park Hyatt New York

Tucked into the swanky One57 development, the Park Hyatt New York, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, is all about big. Guest rooms range from 475 to 2,239 square feet, so there’s plenty of space for in-room dining; try the 38-ounce 60-day dry-aged rib eye for two ($150).

The Greenwich Hotel

The only downtown hotel to make the list, Robert De Niro’s 88-room Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is haute hippy. With rustic Italian food, hand-laid Moroccan tiles, antique silk rugs and a lantern-lit Shibui spa — which features a 250-year-old Japanese bamboo farmhouse — the hotel attracts celebrities and well-heeled bohemians.

St. Regis New York

The butler service at the St. Regis was “born out of a mandate to fulfill every guest’s desire as if it were second nature.” That “mandate” came from the hotel’s founder John Jacob Astor IV, and today – following a quiet yet thorough renovation and repositioning — the services are once again as extravagant as they were 100 years ago. The maître d’etages is on duty 24/7, and the butlers promise to learn unique preferences “in great detail” in order to indulge a guest’s whim at a moment’s notice.