Peninsula Hotels exemplify an unmatched classical grandeur that embodies elegance, style, and all the finer things. A successful hotel must change over the years, but its unique role and reputation must remain consistent. Such is the case with the Peninsula New York, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this past September. The 23-storey, beaux arts–style oasis on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street is undoubtedly one of the greats, and at the grand anniversary party, a new mezzanine, designed by Yabu Pushelberg and showcasing Clement restaurant (previously known as Fives), was revealed.
The New York dining scene is not only fickle but highly saturated. And yet, with Clement, the restaurant seems to have what it takes to stick around. Yabu Pushelberg’s design inspiration was the idea of a consummately appointed New York home, and the food, courtesy of chef de cuisine Brandon Kida (highlighting the likes of Hudson Valley foie gras with blueberries and pistachio, and Long Island duck with flowering chive, roasted pear, and smoked orange peel jus) is refined.
Old World grandeur meets streamlined modernity at the Peninsula New York and upon entering the property a crystal chandelier glitzes in the lobby above the dramatic staircase. The midtown Manhattan hotel includes 185 luxurious guest rooms and 54 suites—each decorated in classic yet contemporary furnishings. Sleep comes easy thanks to the cushy king-size beds with Frette linens and the marble bathrooms—spacious by any city standards but especially in New York—are well appointed including Oscar de la Renta amenities. The property has fitness and aquatic facilities, no doubt, along with the Peninsula Spa. The Eastern-inspired Salon de Ning rooftop bar—accessible only via its own private elevator—will have you staring out at impressive views of the New York skyline.
Peninsula Hotels—nine locations (Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Beijing, Manila, Tokyo, Shanghai) soon to be 10, with an opening in Paris next year—is still a family enterprise: Sir Michael Kadoorie (whose grandfather was one of the hotel chain’s founders) and his family were on hand in New York to toast the milestone anniversary with guests.
It is no longer good enough to be a beautiful hotel with a grand lobby and lavish rooms, and thus, the Peninsula experience is tailored for each region with the Peninsula Academy, a bespoke program where guests can partake in local culture, history, lifestyle, cuisine, and art through personalized activities and excursions. Offerings at the New York property include Behind the Curtain: Broadway Up Close, a first-hand look at what goes into a Broadway production including touring the Theater District, taking in a show, and meeting a member of the production when the curtains close; FDNY Tour: Fun at the Firehouse, into one of New York’s fire houses including the working command centre and up onto a fire truck; and Harlem Gospel Brunch: Historic Tour and Church Service as a chauffeured vehicle takes you through the ever-evolving Harlem highlighting its history followed by a gospel church service and then on for a classic soul food brunch.
The feeling of luxury at the Peninsula New York never crosses over into excess. Everything simply feels right, from the extremely high level of services to something as subtle as the material used in the furnishings. Every grand lady has a story, and the Peninsula New York is no exception.