Published On: Thu, Feb 20th, 2020

3 Historic New York City Hotels That History Buffs Should Visit

Visitors to the Greatest City in the World are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodations. As of 2015, there were 696 hotels in the city—over two-thirds of which were located in Manhattan alone. From ultra-modern skyscrapers containing over a thousand rooms to trendy little boutique properties, there’s a hotel for every kind of tourist. 

History buffs, in particular, will be delighted to know that a good handful of these establishments have been open since the beginning of the 20th century. Built by some of the most recognizable names in business and designed by legendary architects, these historic buildings contribute to and define New York City’s unique character. 

The Westgate 

New York’s historic midtown Manhattan hotel, The Westgate, has been known by many names throughout its illustrious 89-year history. Built in 1931, the 300-room property was acquired by Westgate Resorts in 2018. The timeshare empire committed to the meticulous preservation of the original building’s exquisite gothic-revival architecture while bringing the hotel into the 21st century for modern travelers. Visitors can now enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness center, a business center, and an in-house restaurant called Tudor City Tavern and Marketplace, on top of the unmatched service that customers have come to expect from a Westgate property. 

In addition to gorgeous views of the New York City skyline and the East River, the Westgate New York Grand Central offers a convenient location that is within walking distance of such venerable NYC landmarks as Grand Central Terminal and the United Nations Building. In fact, majestic Grand Central is only two blocks away from the hotel’s doorstep. It’s an ideal choice for first-time guests to the Big Apple. 

photo/ Jo Wiggijo via pixabay

The Plaza

Old-world glamor and luxury live on at the Plaza Hotel, one of New York City’s most iconic locations. The lavish 19-story building is an absolute confection, situated on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. The Plaza was designed in the French Renaissance style and took 27 months to build. It opened in 1907 and quickly became a favorite among heads of state, luminaries, Hollywood celebrities, and socialites. 

The Plaza counts F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, and Tommy Hilfiger among its patrons. Guests of the hotel can expect five-star customer service amidst the plushest accommodations that money can buy in the city, up to the 24-karat gold plated bathroom fixtures. Amenities include 8 luxury shops, 5 in-house dining options, a spa, and a salon. It is the only hotel in New York City to have been granted landmark status by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1986, the structure was named a National Historic Landmark by the United States government. 

The Carlyle

On an episode of his erstwhile Travel Channel show The Layover, the late Anthony Bourdain describes The Carlyle as “something of a super-exclusive, super discreet… New York institution”. Currently owned by the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts group, the 35-floor luxury property first opened its doors in 1930. It has the unique distinction of having hosted every US President in history since Harry Truman, earning it the nickname “the New York White House”. Past guests also include the late Princess Diana, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Bono, George Clooney, Wes Anderson, and more. 

Located on the corner of Madison Avenue and 76th Street, the Carlyle epitomizes the elegance of New York’s Upper East Side. Aside from complete discretion, guests can also expect impeccable service from the multi-awarded establishment. Amenities include a fitness center, a spa, and a salon, as well as a number of in-house boutiques. 

If these hotels’ walls could talk, they surely would have a lot of stories to tell. Let them be part of yours next time you find yourself in the Big Apple.

Author: Briana Jones

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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