20 E 76th St, New York, NY
Originally built in 1926 as a residence hotel—and home to celebrities such as JFK and Bette Davis over the years—the Surrey was reimagined into its present form in 2009 by award-winning designer, Lauren Rottet. The US$60 million renovation turned the hotel into one of New York’s most luxurious, but with a playful twist. The most eye-catching of the new adornments is a 6ft tapestry of a young Kate Moss by Chuck Close, followed by a stunning hand-laid mosaic floor tile in the shape of an intricate oriental carpet at the hotel’s entrance.
The Surrey’s overall theme is monochromatic neutral, with tones of silver, black and grey, lending a Chanel-inspired elegant sophistication to the property. Rooms at the hotel are spacious by New York Standards (most are between 32 and 55sqm), and feature Duxiana beds, hand-painted wardrobes and bathrobes by high-end towel maker Pratesi. We like the simple elegance of the rooms, which come off as classic yet contemporary.
The Surrey boasts one of the Upper East Side’s most stunning private roof gardens, which is open only to guests and Partners of the hotel (from May until late September).
Borrow one of the hotel’s Bobbin Bikes, stop by the nearby Dean & Deluca (Madison and E 85th) to load up on picnic supplies, then peddle over to Central Park for a New York-style picnic. Or you have the Whitney Museum of American Art literally across the street from the hotel.
The Surrey is just a stone's throw from two other great Upper East Side hotels, the Mark and the Carlye, A Rosewood Hotel. We actually love all three hotels, but the rooms at the Surrey we found to be the best. The Carlyle has a more impressive lobby—and boasts the legendary Bemelmans Bar (where Woody Allen likes to perform)—and the Mark has perhaps the best restaurant of the three (Jean Georges), but for an overall package, we like the Surrey.
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