Tried & Tested

Hotel check: The Pierre, New York

26 Jan 2005 by Tom Otley

What's it like? The Pierre doesn't suit everyone, but those whom it does suit will love it. The restored 1930s Georgian-style 41-story building is a mix of
hotel rooms and condominiums (known as ?co-ops? and run by a committee who can reject potential purchasers).
Not surprisingly, the co-ops tend to take the lion's share of the Central Park views, but then with Pierre Bergé's (co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent's haute couture empire) 38th-floor apartment recently on the market for $9 million ? with a monthly maintenance fee of $12,000 ? they certainly pay for the privilege, as will you if you stay here.
A typical floor might have both co-ops and hotel rooms, giving the hotel a unique feel. Wood panelled elevators each have their own white-gloved operator, and there are post shoots on each level, allowing residents to send letters without leaving their floor.

Where is it? On the corner of Fifth Avenue at 61st Street.

How many rooms? 201, including 52 suites, plus 72 condominiums. There are several room categories, from moderate, superior and deluxe to premier, park view and boudoir. Broadband internet access is available for $10 per day.

Business centre: Just off the lobby, the business centre is small but well equipped, manned during office hours but open 24 hours for hotel guests.

Fitness centre: On the third floor, though Central Park jogging is the main draw.

A good, English-style breakfast of sausages and bacon is available in either Café Pierre or the Rotunda, with its Renaissance-style trompe l'oeil and ceiling murals painted by American artist Edward Melcarth in 1967, faux marble staircase and domed ceiling. Good for afternoon tea, though for dinner it's best to walk a few extra paces to Café Pierre, which is decorated with etched Italian mirrors, imported silks and satins, and a colour scheme of saffron, green and gold.

Bar: The bar is small, dark and intimate, like an Upper West Side apartment ? with the addition of a pianist. It has a good wine list, served by the glass, assisted by the 10,000-bottle wine cellar for the restaurant, with cocktails also available.

Price: Starting from $395.

Contact: The Pierre New York, Fifth Ave at 61st St, New York, tel 1 212 838 8000,

Tom Otley

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