Standard room, $289-$649; luxury suite, $679-$1,200; standard tower room, $539-$700; tower luxury suite, $899-$1,699; historic tower apartment-style suite, $7,000-$10,000
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Spanning an entire city block, the Waldorf Astoria is one of a handful of hotels synonymous with Old New York luxury. Founded in 1893 by millionaire William Waldorf Astor, the hotel was originally located 15 blocks south on Fifth Avenue; when it opened at its current address in 1931, it was the world’s tallest and largest hotel. Now part of the Hilton empire, the landmark building still boasts original Art Deco interiors and a sumptuous Old World decor, kept-up thanks to an on-going $400 million restoration. Guest rooms are located in two areas: the Waldorf Astoria and the Waldorf Towers. The latter has a separate reception and concierge, larger rooms, and suites that may be leased long-term through Sotheby’s. The dizzying number and categories of rooms range from standard-sized Deluxes and Mini-suites to sprawling one- or two-bedroom affairs with full kitchens, stunning views, expansive terraces, dressing areas, dining rooms and antique furnishings. The décor varies, too, though rich tones, plush fabrics and gold accents are never far behind. In a nod to the hotel’s many business and group travelers, all rooms boast coffee machines, voice mail, Internet access and express check-out; more luxurious touches include bath amenities by Penhaligon's, perfumer to the British Royal Court. Self-guided tours for groups in nearly 50 languages are available for guests; free hotel tours are available for the curious passerby.Pros
Numerous stores, four respected restaurants, several bars and lounges, an on-site wedding studio, a florist, full-service spa and salon, gym and countless other services mean that guests truly never have to leave the building.
With dozens of conference spaces and the famous Grand Ballroom and Starlight Roof event rooms, the block-long hotel lobby often seems as bustling as Grand Central.
Claim to Fame
Every President since Hoover has stayed here, as have boldface names from the Queen of England to Britney Spears. It’s also been the New York residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the Hilton sisters. Look for the hotel in movies like Weekend at the Waldorf and Serendipity.