Early last week, I met one of my friends at the Carlyle Hotel in NYC for lunch! I was quite early and I knew there was about 20 minutes to go before their arrival. I hadn’t been at this hotel for years, this would be my second time! I love this hotel because of its history and the interior design.
Immediately you seem to be put right back in time, although some of the furniture is current – the style still resembles the 1930’s time period. However, I must say there are still true overall hints of authenticity; which is so delightfully present in the Carlyle Hotel today.
Taking a seat, I wondered if anyone notices? Like the Chinese Chippendale mirror, the Art Deco style of crown moldings, the marble floors with its inlay of granite! How the chandeliers are pristine and inversely high in the ceiling, beautiful. The curves of each stair on the staircase – each stair was one entire piece of marble. I could have sat there forever, it was so hard not to concentrate on every nook and cranny….I was trying not be so obvious (so I took a few snapshots)!
The elevators, originals! Each only 4 ft wide and little over 6 ft tall; many have to walk in sideways! A total of 5 elevator doors; all giving a very lovely scene.
What a wonderful experience to also be still and watch the guests come and go out of the Carlyle Hotel lobby! Each elevator door has a maître ‘d. “Hello, sir! Floor 30?” “Floor 18.” Beep goes the elevator, as the door closes; another one opens!
Beep…just saw the actor, Brad Garrett from the television show Everyone Loves Raymond!! I love his new show, How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)! I’d smiled when Mr. Garrett had to bend his head to get in the elevator, he’s only 6 ft 8 1/2 inches tall!
Beep, the maître d is giving directions, “Mam, the tea room is to the right.”, looking immaculate with his dark grey suite, silk black tie and spit polished shoes; so shiny – you could see your face! Beep! “11th floor please!” Beep! “Bonjour.” “Which floor are we going?” “18”.
My friend arrives! So I sigh! Off to Cafe Carlyle for lunch, where we talk while enjoying a delicious crab cake and their special martinis.
Other patrons were having fancy imported teas and lovely cakes; some where reading their newspapers and others were asking questions about getting to Times Square in time for a Broadway play.
I really enjoyed myself, the atmosphere was so very nice, I just kept imagining how wonderful it must have been to be here to hear Bobby Short play! It was a great day indeed! So, if you ever get the chance to visit New York City, the Carlyle Hotel is a must to see!
The Carlyle Hotel, A Rosewood Hotel, known formally as The Carlyle, is a combination luxury and residential hotel located at 35 East 76th Street on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue, in the Upper East Side area of New York City. The hotel is designed in Art Deco style and was named after Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle.
The new thirty-five floor hotel “was to be a masterpiece in the modern idiom, in which shops and restaurants on the lower floors would give residents the convenience and comforts of a “community skyscraper”. However, by the time the Carlyle was ready to open its doors, the 1929 stock market crash had decisively ended the boom times. The new hotel struggled, went into receivership in 1931 and was sold to the Lyleson Corporation in 1932. The new owners kept the original management, which was able to dramatically improve the property’s financial situation through maintaining high occupancy and rates favorable to the hotel’s costs. However, the hotel’s reputation at this time was “staid rather than ritzy”. The next postwar boom allowed the hotel to take on new high-society prominence.
The Carlyle became known as “the New York White House” during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, who owned an apartment on the 34th floor for the last ten years of his life. He stayed at the apartment in a well-publicized visit for a few days just prior to his inauguration in January 1961. Marilyn Monroe was sneaked in through the service entrance on East 77th Street.
The hotel’s Café Carlyle has featured a number of well-known jazz performers – notably George Feyer from 1955–1968, and Bobby Short from 1968-2004. Woody Allen and his jazz band have been playing weekly at the café since 1996. The Carlyle is the regular residence of Mick Jagger, when he is in New York.
The Café Carlyle is noted for the murals by Marcel Vertes, which were cleaned in the summer of 2007 as part of a renovation and redecoration of the café. Reopening in September 2007, making it appeal to a younger generation.
Pictures by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design. Brad Garrett photo by http://www.fanpop.com