The Empire Hotel is elegant with just a splash of exotic.
THE EMPIRE HOTEL
44 W 63rd St, New York, NY
empirehotelnyc.com; (212) 265-7400
Distance by car: 45 minutes
One of the oldest buildings on the Upper West Side, The Empire Hotel first opened in the mid 1890s, went co-op in the 1980s, and had a luxury restoration in 2007. The 12-story, four-star hotel has 422 rooms (including 50 suites) and offers terrific views of Lincoln Center, Central Park, and Broadway.
ROOM: Rooms are elegant in a classic palette of browns and creams, with splashes of zebra and tiger print on pillows and chairs. Amenities include Frette linens and robes, rainfall showerheads, flatscreen TVs, and all the tech standards of wireless Internet.
BOARD: Start with cocktails in the sumptuous candlelit lobby bar, then mosey on up to Ed’s Chowder House on the second floor (be sure to order the sampler of three small tastes of New England, Manhattan, and wild-mushroom chowders), and then finish your evening with a nightcap on the Rooftop, an 8,000-square-foot lounge (the convertible glass roof and fireplace will take the chill off fall nights).
ONLY HERE: What’s a visit to New York City without shopping? Empire is right by Columbus Circle and 5th Avenue, and the hotel offers a chauffer-driven SUV and stretch limo service to carry your haul back. Bargain hunters should check out the newest Century 21 outlet in Lincoln Square—and the hotel’s Century 21 package that includes a $50 gift certificate, continental breakfast for two, and two welcome drinks in the Lobby Bar.
WHILE HERE: Of course, there’s Lincoln Center just across the street (visit lc.lincolncenter.org for a schedule of events), the American Folk Art Museum a few blocks up the street, Broadway plays to the south, and Central Park to the east.
JUST THE FACTS: Room rates range from $279 to $379 per night.