If there’s one thing celebrities love—other than awards, free stuff, and being more successful than their fellow celebrities—it’s a really great luxury hotel. Considering the level of service famous people are used to, they expect big things when visiting the Big Apple: backbending service, massive suites, perfect room service, pampering spas, and probably someone to file their nails while they’re sleeping. Some hotels particularly excel at this, and these are among the best.
The WhitbyThe Whitby Hotel, West 56th Street, New York, NY, United States
The Whitby is right there in the middle of all the action, close to Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen, the Theater District, and Central Park. While there are tons of swank hotels that celebrities love, the Whitby has become a magnet for A-listers, mostly because it has a private screening room for their movie premieres, and celebrities like Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson have both checked in after their premieres. To be honest, this hotel is mind-blowing. It’s one of few boutique hotels in the area (only 86 rooms) so it feels extremely private, and it’s extremely welcoming. Expect commissioned art, smart design, dapper young staff, a great restaurant, and a fitness center. The rooms have high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and, for a good handful of the suites, balconies. You have no idea how rare this is for midtown NYC. The Whitby definitely isn’t a huge party pad, but more for dudes who appreciate great design, enjoy craft cocktails, and want to come face to face with A-listers. Rooms here start at $695 a night.
Gramercy Park HotelGramercy Park Hotel, Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, United States
Gramercy Park Hotel is no stranger to celebrities. Opened in 1925, it’s one of the most recognized hotels in NYC. It’s such a hot spot that even suited up locals like to kick back here for a drink, either at the exclusive Rose Bar or the rooftop. Being one of the most luxurious hotels in NYC, you can expect some priceless art, which is what they’re known for (from original Warhols and Basquiat to Damien First and Keith Haring). It’s basically an art gallery. Expect tons of rich, bold colors and expensive furniture too. Some of the biggest names in music, like Madonna and U2’s Bono, like to stay and/or party here, and tons of Oscar winners like Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman have been guests. Guestrooms are crazy elegant and start at $429.
The Plaza HotelPlaza Hotel, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, United States
Remember Home Alone 2 when Kevin’s parents left him (yet again), and he was kicking his feet back in a luxury hotel in NYC? Well, if you have always wanted to roll like Macaulay Culkin, you can book a room at that same hotel, The Plaza. The hotel is legendary–aside from Home Alone 2, it’s been featured in a slew of other movies, including The Great Gatsby, (which actually isn’t too out there, as F. Scott Fitzgerald himself used to party here back in the day)–and has hosted endless celebrities (such as The Beatles, who stayed here during their first U.S. visit.) It’s been a luxury destination since 1907, and it recently went through a renovation to the tune of $400 million, so don’t worry about creaky floorboards. While it pays tribute to its history with well preserved interiors and decor, it’s definitely modernized, with one of the best spas in NYC (Caudalie) and Todd English’s Food Hall. Plus, it’s definitely more party friendly now. Rooms start at $740, suites from $892.
Mandarin Oriental New YorkMandarin Oriental, New York, Columbus Circle, New York, NY, United States
Right on top of Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center, Mandarin Oriental New York is basically a den for celebrities. The Asia-based chain is one of the most high-end hotel groups in the world, and you can always expect white glove service, tons of “sirs” and “ma’ams” and top-notch amenities, like the 14,500 square foot spa (home to one of the largest indoor pools in the city) and fine dining at the Asiate restaurant. Pretty much anyone famous you can think of has checked in, including Liam Neeson, Dennis Hopper, and Jerry Hall. There’s 248 guest rooms and suites, all with breathtaking views of Manhattan. The hotel is world famous, so as expected, the rooms aren’t too shabby. They have high-tech features, huge bathrooms, and all of them will sport panoramic views of either the Hudson River or Central Park. Rooms from $995.
Soho House NYCSoho House New York, 9th Avenue, New York, NY, United States
Soho House New York, located in the Meatpacking District, is known for it’s awesome facilities (rooftop pool, great restaurant, pampering spa), and staying includes special perks (such as VIP status at clubs throughout the city.) The majority of their guests don’t exactly need that perk, though, as they’re usually celebrities. Everyone from Hugh Jackman and Charlize Theron to Denzel Washington and David Beckham has stayed here, and some celebrities, like Alexander Von Furstenberg, have even lived here for months at a time. Soho House is where locals take their out-of-town friends to impress them, and yes, you will probably see a celebrity. There are only 30 rooms, and basic guest rooms (300 square feet, $405) are small, so treat yourself to a Large Bedroom (750 square feet, $775).