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Hotel Highlights

  • Old-school Upper East Side elegance
  • Moments from Central Park
  • Shops, restaurants and galleries on your doorstep

Overview

Refusing to be outdone by its Upper East Side setting, The Surrey is grand and gracious, with a restaurant, bar and spa to rival the city’s finest. This boutique hotel has lashings of glamour from top (the 17th-floor roof garden) to toe (sumptuous sink-into paisley carpets).

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Surrey with us:

20 per cent off selected spa treatments

Facilities

View Gallery
The Surrey – New York – United States

Need To Know

Rooms

190

Check–out

Noon, but flexible, for a cost (half a day’s rate before 3pm; a full day’s rate after 6pm); earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $391.00, excluding tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of $9.50 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude Continental breakfast (US$35 each).

Also

Treat yourself with a decadent treatment like a honey scrub or seaweed wrap at the refined Cornelia Spa on the second floor. After your soothing treatment, head up to the rooftop terrace to unwind. Also, New York's 'Museum Mile' is on your doorstep – the museums lining Fifth Avenue are some of the world's greatest cultural institutions.

At the hotel

Gym, spa, restaurants, bar, seasonal rooftop garden, DVD library and WiFi (US$15.95 for 24 hours, free in suites). In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, DVD player, Pratesi bathrobes, Dean and Deluca minibar, in-room mixology kit and Mitchell and Peach bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The Ultra Deluxe Salon comes with a fireplace and a soaking tub. If you really want to splash out, opt for the Presidential Suite: a luxurious expanse with a baby grand piano, claw-foot bath tub, sauna, private terrace, and lashings of space for dining, entertaining, sleeping or all the above. Start saving now.

Packing tips

Bring a scent or bag by Chanel – the bar’s decor riffs on the classic designer, with leather quilted walls and monochrome.

Also

Dogs are welcomed with their own bed, in-room treats, day-care services and grooming. Owners will need to pay US$150 and sign a waiver for canine companionship.

Children

Little Smiths are welcome, with free cots and extra beds for $40. Babysitting can be arranged, for $30 an hour (based on a four-hour minimum; there will be an extra charge for the babysitter’s transport to the hotel).

Read more

Food & Drink

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The Surrey – New York – United States

Hotel Restaurant

Café Boulud – part of Daniel Boulud's culinary empire – has been styled by a Parisian artist and a NY-based architect, and the decor reflects this European–American union: wood panelling, plush upholstery, neutral hues, pendant lamps with rice paper shades, coral leather chairs and white linen-dressed tables. The menu is shaped around four concepts: tradition, the season, the vegetable garden and travel. Try pan seared rib dumplings with orange-soy reduction or lavender-honey glazed duck breast.

Hotel Bar

Bar Pleiades is inspired by Coco Chanel and the 1930s, with leather quilted walls, black and white lacquer finishes, French doors, banquette seating and plenty of nooks and crannies. The cocktails are just as elegant – honour your setting with a Manhattan or two. The rooftop garden, overlooking Central Park and the Upper East Side on the 17th floor, is served by a butler who’ll happily serve you drinks up here.

Last orders

Breakfast is from 7am until 10am, lunch is 12pm until 2pm and dinner is served up between 5.45pm and 10.30pm. Drinks are served in the bar from noon until midnight.

Room service

In-room treats can be ordered from the restaurant menu 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Upper East Side elegance: Chanel and Hermes or clever imitations.

Top table

Sit in the banquette-lined alcove and people-watch unseen.

Local Guide

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The Surrey – New York – United States
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Book a massage or facial at the ravishing spa – each treatment room has its own white-tiled bathroom, so you won’t have to see a soul en route to the massage bed. Ask the concierge to arrange a private tour of any of the neighbouring galleries. It would be hard to find a more cultured setting than Museum Mile – the Guggenheim (www.guggenheim.org), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org), the Asia Society & Museum (www.asiasociety.org) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (www.whitney.org) are just a few of your neighbours. Madison Avenue is on your doorstep, so dedicate at least one afternoon to shopping, especially at the two big Bs – Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman. Hop into a private horse-drawn carriage and have a ride around Central Park. Listen to some fabulous falsetto at the Dicapo Opera Theatre (www.dicapo.com), or see a concert at the Central Park Naumburg Bandshell (www.centralpark.com).

Local restaurants

One of the city’s best restaurants – Café Boulud – is within the hotel itself, so be sure to book in for dinner. Sample classic American cuisine at The Post House (+1 212 935 2888; www.theposthouse.com), a steakhouse on 28 East 63rd Street. Despite its meaty bias, the menu also flirts with seafood (signature dishes include coconut shrimp and seared sea scallops). For a meal with a view, eat at Aureole at the Bank of America Tower on 34 East 64th Street (+1 212 319 1660; www.charliepalmer.com). The food is as seductive as the glamorous setting, with dishes such as pastrami pork belly sliders, Alaskan black cod and New York cheesecake. Go celebrity spotting at Tao, a restaurant styled as an Asian temple, at 42 East 58th Street (+1 212 888 2288; www.taorestaurant.com). You can eat in the third-floor Skybox, and look out over the entire restaurant, have some sashimi in the sushi bar, or sample delicacies such as lobster wonton with ginger broth and crispy orange chicken in the main dining room. Alloro at 307 East 77th Street (+1 212 535 2866; www.alloronyc.com) serves up sophisticated Italian fare – try the duck breast carpaccio with bitter greens and candied oranges, or risotto with shrimp, freshly squeezed apple and fennel. GO Burger (+1 212 988 9822; goburger.com) is BLT’s little brother on the Upper East Side – a modern take on a burger and fries joint. Their signature patty? A blend of short rib, brisket, sirloin and chuck cuts griddled to perfection. You can also get lighter fare such as chopped, Caesar or Cobb salads – and not so light, such as fried dill pickles and waffle bites, smothered with sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon. If you’re feeling ravenous – and you don’t care about calories – order the UltiMELT, a burger topped with onions and crispy bacon between two gooey, grilled gruyere sandwiches. Chef Michael Psilakis delivers in flavour and concept at Fishtag, (+1 212 362 7470; fishtagrestaurant.com) his Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper West Side. Use their Appetizing menu to take the guesswork out of what to drink with dinner, as their cured meats, cheese and seafood are expertly paired with wine, craft beer and cocktails. For dry-aged steak and celeb shoulder-rubbing head to John DeLucie's Crown, a gentlemen's clubby restaurant set in a townhouse on 81st Street (+1 646 539 4880).

Local cafés

Ease tired feet and shopping-laden shoulders by staking out a nook at Alice’s Tea Cup at 220 East 81st Street (+1 212 734 4832; www.alicesteacup.com). Try the café’s afternoon tea if you need a boost; there’s even a ‘wee tea’ for little Smiths.

+ Enlarge
Upper East Side

The Surrey

20 East 76th Street, New York 10021, United States

Just a block from Central Park and walking distance to museums and high-end boutiques, The Surrey is all Upper East Side elegance.

Planes

JFK International Airport services most international and west coast arrivals and departures, and is 20 miles away. Several domestic airlines fly into LaGuardia Airport, just 10 miles away. Although close, travel times to and from both airports vary greatly due to traffic and time of day.

Trains

Penn Station, just 15 minutes away by car, is on 7th Avenue & West 32nd Street, and is served by Amtrak (www.amtrak.com).

Automobiles

With an abundance of taxis and public transportation options available, a car is not necessary. However, for those daring enough to brave city traffic, parking for guests is available, at $55 a day ($65 for four-wheel drives).

Reviews

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The Surrey – New York – United States

Anonymous review

by Shaun Clarkson , Interiors innovator

Although a dyed-in-the-wool Brit, Mr Smith loves classic American show tunes, and all the way in from JFK he kept singing, ‘When I take you out to the Surrey, when I take you out to the Surrey with the fri-i-i-i-inge on top.’ It’s in the Surrey, of course, but then, we were bound for The Surrey, the old-fashioned Upper East Side hotel that was redone last year, reputedly for $75,…
Read more

The Surrey

Anonymous review by Shaun Clarkson, Interiors innovator

Although a dyed-in-the-wool Brit, Mr Smith loves classic American show tunes, and all the way in from JFK he kept singing, ‘When I take you out to the Surrey, when I take you out to the Surrey with the fri-i-i-i-inge on top.’ It’s in the Surrey, of course, but then, we were bound for The Surrey, the old-fashioned Upper East Side hotel that was redone last year, reputedly for $75,000,000. Our destination played right into Mr Smith’s penchant for slightly changing a lyric and then basking in his cleverness.

Although we’ve been to Manhattan many times over the past 25 years, I confess that we had never stayed on the UES, as it has come to be known. The Surrey, a 1926 Beaux-Arts building, is just a somersault from Central Park and a martini-totter from Bemelmans bar in the Hotel Carlyle. It has central-casting good looks, as though it were designed to serve as the backdrop to a ’40s movie. (In fact, it’s been the roost of starlets from that era, among them Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert.)

The affable doorman, Giuseppe, who remembered our names from the get-go, seemed the perfect old-school foil to the hotel’s coolly sensuous new look, designed by Lauren Rottet. This Mr Smith is an interior designer by profession, so no sooner were we through the revolving door than I'm saluting that the lobby’s subtle tones – creamy whites, pitch-black blacks, and reassuring grays – are nods to the ’40s, my favorite design decade. The room deftly balanced currents and influences from several periods, Art Deco, mid-century modern, ’90s minimalism – it was more about Ms Rottet’s educated eclecticism than an homage to an era. That arresting, black-and-white Chuck Close portrait of Kate Moss, an exclamation point at the end of the elevator lobby, certainly is very now.

Our room carried on the eclectic theme – muted pastel tones and rich wood cabinetry, a working fireplace and black, etched water glasses, and a capacious bathroom, floored and walled in grey-veined marble. There were doffs of the cap to Chanel in the bar modeled on the beauty house’s compact, and maybe to Shabby Chic in the bookcase stenciled with an acanthus motif. Drawing back the curtains we found a balcony and a fabulous view over Central Park, now bundled up in the golden tones of late autumn.

The evening being mild, we took a walk to clear our heads, and then ducked into the Two Brothers Diner, just across the street from the Whitney Museum, for a burger and a few rounds of Rolling Rock (when in Rome…). Then home to that huge sumptuous bed, with a headboard of padded leather as tall as an NBA centre.

What we enjoy doing most in New York is shopping, abetted by the fact that the place seems to be permanently on sale. This Mr Smith is also a big guy, especially in the shoe department, and America caters to me brilliantly. So it was straight to Barneys, 20 blocks down Madison Avenue, where I picked up some lovely pink suede shoes and a pair of red brogues at 50 per cent off.

Our unlikely rendezvous for lunch was ABC Home, near Union Square, which had recently opened a new bar and cafe. We had a boozy repast with a friend from north Wales (but now a New Yorker), and then hot-footed it back uptown so I could have a session of reflexology, while the husband soaked in the tub. I returned thoroughly relaxed and full of praise for the spa, especially the fact that each treatment room has its own dressing armoire and vanity, and some a shower or bath. I just wished they'd given me more than a spoonful of the delicious local honey that begins each treatment.

The great thing about The Surrey is that it puts you smack in Manhattan’s museum zone, and the next day we made the most of it. We took in the Edward Hopper show at the Whitney, then walked up Fifth Avenue for a whirl around Frank Lloyd Wright’s nautilus-shell-shaped Guggenheim. We took one last gulp of culture at the exquisite Neue Galerie, which specialises in German and Austrian art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the Secession artists, the Blaue Reiter, Die Brucke, and the like.

Friends were curious about The Surrey, so we were happy to be able to invite them to our boutique abode on our second evening. We started at Bar Pleiades, an intimate boite off the lobby, and ended up with nightcaps in the ravishing roof garden on the 17th floor. And what did Oscar Hammerstein III name The Surrey's new private roof garden? ‘The fringe on top’ of course. Perhaps it was the master-of-the-universe view that induced Mr Smith to start on what would be many rounds of bubbly. The next morning, I felt anything but. When I cocked open an eye, there was Mr Smith with a Virgin Mary, two aspirin, and a pleased-with-himself smile on his face. ‘That,’ he said, ‘was the Surrey with the binge on top.’

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Surrey's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on They loved it!

We loved

Perfectly situated for shopping at Madison Avenue and just a one-minute walk from Central Park. For families the family suite is absolutely perfect — a lot of space and an individual, modern and intelligent design. Very nice hotel staff. Warm welcome with milk and cookies for the children. Nice bar and a roof terrace with a great view. Spa is wonderful.

Don’t expect

No hotel restaurant, breakfast is served in the restaurant on the side; no nice and friendly atmosphere there — they don’t even serve a coffee in the lobby when you are waiting for friends and they close early (for lunch as well as for dinner). On the roof terrace service finished after 10.15 pm. Fantastic view, no drink...

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Incredible service, rooms, and food.

Rating: 10/10 stars