The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Review of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel review by Varun Sharma
Updated 11. Aug 2023

The Carlyle enjoys one of the most prized addresses on the Upper East Side, the most affluent neighbourhood in New York. The streets are literally paved with multi-million-dollar brownstones, luxury boutiques, and some of the finest & grandest hotels in the city. The Carlyle features 189 rooms and suites, spa, fitness centre and restaurants & bars. The hotel attracts affluent, sophisticated travellers who demand – and receive - faultless service and superb facilities.

The Carlyle exudes a timeless elegance that has made it one of the most revered addresses in New York. The Café Carlyle has – over the years – become one of the city’s most popular and intimate jazz venues – hosting musical royalty.

With its close proximity to Central Park and only short cab ride/walk to Midtown, the Carlyle offers guests privacy but also accessibility to the many delights of the Big Apple. 

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Occupying an enviable spot on the Upper East Side on Madison Avenue at the corner of 76th, just a block away from Central Park, The Carlyle affords stellar views of the park and the Manhattan skyline from its upper floors. 

The hotel has been a neighbourhood landmark since November 1st, 1930, when The Carlyle opened its doors. It was named after the British essayist, Thomas Carlyle. The location provides an ideal base to discover the best of Manhattan and a stay here is emblematic of a New York experience. It is just a short walk from the galleries on nearby Museum Mile, where you will find the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also nearby are the designer boutiques of Madison and Fifth Avenue.

Airports are within easy reach, with La Guardia just 19 kilometres (12 miles), JFK International 30 kilometres (18 miles), Newark International 32 kilometres (20 miles) and the private airfield - Teterboro - located just 22 kilometres (14 miles) away.



The hotel’s 99 lavish art deco-styled rooms and 90 suites are spread over 35 floors and accessed by a lift manned by elevator attendants in white gloves. If only the mirrored walls of these lifts could talk (their operators are sworn to secrecy) they might reveal that Princess Diana and Steve Jobs once rode this famous elevator.

The choice of accommodation is extraordinary. Rooms and suites are all individually designed by acclaimed interior designers like Tony Chi and Alexandra Champalimaud and varying in style from modern spaces in muted tones to old English. They feature fine antiques, but are all replete with the modern amenities expected from a hotel of this calibre.

Choice of room style comes down to preference, from the hardwood floors and custom fabrics of Carlyle Classic Rooms to the modern twist on art deco in Superior, Deluxe and Premier rooms. Some rooms offer city views and others with a quieter aspect, overlook the courtyard. Thoughtful details like pillowcases with personalised monogrammed initials in gold silk embroidery on plump pillows set the hotel apart. The 24-hour room service is as polished as the black lacquer in the lobby.

Traditional marble and chrome bathrooms are slick and are stocked with the quintessentially New York beauty brand, Kiehls and terry cloth robes s slippers.

Some rooms and suites are named after celebrity guests such as Roger Federer’s, ‘The Federer Suite’, on the 16th floor. Signature suites like The Empire Suite - a duplex over the 28th and 29th floors - offer a one-of-a-kind experience with jaw dropping views of the park and beyond - from its floor to ceiling windows. Many suites on the upper floors command spectacular outlooks including some of the smaller rooms, which have breath-taking views out to the south and east of New York. 

Suites on the upper floors are the pinnacle of the hotel’s luxury offering. The Presidential suite offers 253 square metres (2,734 square feet) of luxury with three bedrooms with king-size beds and four and a half bathrooms. There is a piano in the drawing room and a kitchenette, and the suite commands an amazing 360-degree vista of the city. The residential-style Carlyle Suites offer spacious one-bedroom accommodation overlooking Madison Avenue, with a king bed and a sitting room over 74 square metres (796 square feet). Central Park and Empire State suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering, as their names suggests, superb views across the park and city.

Service & Facilities


One reason why The Carlyle is viewed as a standout New York hotel is the service it offers. Whether you are royalty staying in the property for a month or a passer-by popping in for a cup of tea, the staff treats you on equal footing – generous and accommodating to the hilt. 

The Carlyle boasts a spa & fitness centre and lashings of “pampering” is available. 

Cut, colours and make-up applications are on offer at the plush Yves Durif Salon on The Carlyle’s third floor – an intimate space. Photographs of Hollywood stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot adorn the walls and VIP treatment for all guests is assured.

The Sisley Paris Spa offers facials, massages, and beauty treatments. Next door, the fitness centre has a variety of running and exercise machines by leading brand Technogym and on-site trainers for one-on-one sessions (open 24 hours a day).

A warm welcome is extended to guests of all ages. The Rose Buds programme includes babysitting services, en-suite wireless baby monitors, changing tables and nappies, cots, and linens, Erbaviva skincare products and velour terry child-sized bath robes and slippers. There is a children’s menu for in-room dining and a special ‘Madeline’s Tea’ is available seasonally. 

The hotel welcomes dogs under 12 kilograms. During their stay, canine guests will live in the lap of luxury with customised dog beds and bowls, pet treats and spring water. Dog walking services are available.

The hotel is fully accessible for disabled guests.



As ‘old New York’ as the city’s iconic cheesecake, this grand hotel resides in the well-heeled Upper East Side. The glamour of top-hatted bell-hops welcoming guests into a sleek black and gold hued marble lobby through the golden revolving door is just the beginning. 

Art Deco through and through, this beautiful bolthole is as legendary as its guest book, its clientele a Who’s Who of actors, artists and rock stars, models, musicians, politicians and both British and Hollywood royalty old and new. 

The Carlyle has a unique heritage of romance and scandal yet, however star-studded its history, its discreet yet relaxed and exclusive ambiance is just as famous, attracting millionaires, billionaires, and discerning business travellers alike in search of sanctuary.

Priceless paintings reminiscent of a Renaissance museum hang in the lobby with Louis XV furniture. Art Deco style blends with contemporary comfort in rooms and suites oozing with class and old-world charm. The Carlyle is housed in an elegant 35-story, 1930s Beaux-arts building overlooking Central Park, with spectacular views of skyscrapers and the Manhattan skyline.

Restaurants & Bars


The Carlyle Restaurant is a chic dining room serving modern classic dishes like Dover Sole and lobster bisque for dinner or a Cobb Salad for lunch. The menu features American cuisine with European flair and is headed up by Executive Chef, Ron Pietruszka.

The soundtrack is cabaret in the intimate supper club, Café Carlyle, where guests drink and dine with a side order of live jazz and great artists including Bobby Short and Eartha Kitt once entertained. Headline acts still include big-name singers, bands and cabaret luminaries like Judy Collins, the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band and actor/musician Woody Allen often plays clarinet here.

The walls are bedecked with original murals featuring New York characters and scenes painted by Marcel Vertès, some recently added to by local artist, Glenn Palmer-Smith.

The Sultan’s Dining Room in Istanbul's Topkapi Palace inspired the interior of The Gallery – a sophisticated private retreat designed for refined dining, which includes a fantastic afternoon tea with homemade pâté, finger sandwiches, pastries, scones and jam with Devonshire cream and exotic teas. Design legend Renzo Mongiardino, who designed rooms for Elsa Peretti, curated the look of this tiered space with its deep red wall whimsically painted wallpaper and patterned velvet banquettes.

At the speakeasy Bemelmans Bar, the walls are lined with masterpiece murals by Ludwig Bemelmans (the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books). Inside this low-lit haunt, socialites drinking martinis, rub shoulders with politicians and film stars and this namesake bar continues to hold its status as one of the finest cocktail bars in the world.


Part of the Rosewood Hotels Group, the property is committed to green initiatives and respecting the unique setting and history of the local community. Their pledge: “We vow to be noble stewards of nature and proactively seek ways to conduct our business in a manner that puts environmental responsibility and sustainability at the forefront of our business objectives.” Every Rosewood hotel has its own green initiatives which includes cutting down on single-use plastics, recycling, water preservation and climate control within guestrooms and public areas.

What We Love

  • Its Upper East Side location - a block away from Central Park and a short cab ride to Midtown – for shopping & sightseeing
  • Café Carlyle – jazz & cocktails – a heady mix of culture and fun
  • The suites – stylish, chic and among the best in New York

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Bemelmans Bar – it’s the most beloved bar in the city and features the only public surviving work of author/illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans. Relatively unchanged since 1947, you never know who or what you will see – there is always incredible live piano music and famous martinis – a magical experience all around!
  • Our Associates – the tenured staff is like family to our guests. Many have worked at The Carlyle for decades and they are the true heart and soul of the hotel.
  • Our upcoming unveil – we have been carefully renovating The Carlyle for the past three years and are looking forward to sharing details and completing the project by Autumn 2021!

    Anthony McHale
    Managing Director
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About the author
Varun Sharma
With over 25 years of experience in luxury travel journalism, Varun is responsible for all the content you see on He works closely with all the hotel and airline brands that appear on the website. BBC-trained, Varun has appeared in print, on radio, television, and now online media - having worked for outlets including the BBC, Telegraph (UK), MSNBC, Travel Channel and Cond...
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