What are the Most Historic Hotels in New York City?


New York City’s hospitality industry is one of the largest and most diverse in the world. Among these, historic hotels hold a special place in the city’s cultural landscape. Preserving these historic properties is more than just a means of maintaining their physical beauty. It’s a way of connecting with the past and preserving the stories that have shaped New York City.

These hotels are also important for the local economy because they attract tourists from around the world and create jobs for New Yorkers. In this post, we will explore the most significant historic hotels in New York, so let’s get started.

The Algonquin Hotel

New York City Designated Landmark plaque at the Algonquin Hotel

Goldwin Starrett designed the well-known Algonquin Hotel. It is located in 59 W 44th St New York City. It was originally a 12-story building (some say 9 stories) in 1902 for the Puritan Realty Company. Frank Case purchased the hotel in 1927 and put effort into restoring it from almost a state of despair. Since then, the hotel has earned a reputation as a highly regarded tourist destination, boasting 156 rooms and 25 suites.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Algonquin Hotel’s fame can be traced back to famous gatherings of creative people, including writers, journalists, and politicians. They were known for their quick wit and humor, and their regular meetings at the hotel.

The hotel’s appeal goes beyond its connection with known actors like Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Elsie Janis in the past. Famous authors, including H. L. Mencken and Gertrude Stein, have also stayed at the hotel. This is merely an example of the many famous people who are associated with the hotel.

Significance Of The Hotel in Literary and Cultural Circles

As mentioned earlier, the Algonquin Hotel has played a significant role in shaping New York’s culture. It was a favorite spot for intellectuals and notable individuals due to the Algonquin Round Table, which was a major part of its literary circles. The hotel has promoted cultural gatherings and art exhibits, showing ongoing cultural importance.

The Waldorf Astoria

Engraved vignettes of the original separate hotels

The Waldorf Astoria has a rich history dating back to 1893. Initially named after its founder, William Waldorf Astor, over time, the hotel underwent significant changes. The Hotel was demolished to make way for the new structure after the construction of the Empire State Building in 1929. The hotel was rebuilt from scratch and reopened in 1931.

Features And Amenities Of The Hotel

  • The Waldorf Astoria Hotel has over 1,400 guest rooms and suites.
  • The hotel has a fitness center and the Waldorf Astoria Guerlain Spa.
  • he hotel has its own business center, which is a 1,150-square-foot digital facility
  • The hotel has a hidden railway platform under it.
  • The Waldorf Astoria has some famous restaurants like Bull and Bear Steakhouse.
  • The hotel offers meeting and banquet space for everything from weddings to corporate events.
  • The Waldorf Astoria is decorated with Art Deco designs.

Famous Guests And Notable Events

In 1957, the hotel accommodated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their first visit to America. The hotel has also welcomed most of the heads of state from around the world and all the kings and queens of Europe.

The Waldorf Astoria has hosted movie stars such as Cary Grant and sports icons like Chris Evert. Additionally, the Dalai Lama stayed at the hotel in 1976, the same year in which the hotel served as a venue for presidential candidates during the election year as well.

The Plaza Hotel

An image of plaza building

The Plaza is a historic landmark hotel in New York City that was built in 1907. The first version of the hotel was constructed in upper Manhattan in 1883 but was later dismantled by the new owners due to its small size. The current hotel was designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh in a French chateau style using the finest building materials, and it took two years and $12.5 million to complete.

Features And Amenities Of The Hotel

  • The Plaza hotel has 282 guest rooms, including 102 luxurious suites.
  • It has a variety of guest rooms and suites, some with high ceilings, marble bathrooms, and city or courtyard views.
  • There are several restaurants at the hotel, including The Palm Court and The Plaza Food Hall, which offer a variety of international cuisine.
  • The hotel has top-notch workout facilities as well as a spa with a wide range of services available at the spa.
  • The hotel Plaza New York also offers several event spaces and provides pet-friendly services

Famous Guests and Notable Events

Some of history’s most famous figures have visited the Plaza, including George Jay Gould, Marlene Dietrich, and the Beatles. The Plaza has left a lasting impression on the pop culture, and it is mentioned in The Great Gatsby, Home Alone 2, and Elois.

The St. Regis New York

The St. Regis as seen circa 1905

The St. Regis New York is another historic luxury hotel that was constructed in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV at the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue. The hotel was designed by the firm Trowbridge & Livingston. The hotel quickly became a haven for New York’s elite and still remains a premier destination for luxury travelers today.

Features And Amenities Of The Hotel

  • The hotel has 171 luxurious guest rooms and 67 suites.
  • Astor Court Restaurant offers modern American cuisine in an elegant atmosphere.
  • The St. Regis Athletic Club is a fully equipped fitness center featuring state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Remède Spa offers a range of spa services and beauty treatments for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • State-of-the-art event and meeting facilities for business or social gatherings.
  • In-room dining is available 24 hours a day for ultimate convenience.
  • Pet-friendly services.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The St. Regis New York’s storied past includes legendary guests and unforgettable events. From royal banquets to literary soirees, the hotel has hosted some of the world’s most renownedpersonalities. Notable guests include the Japanese Prince Fushimi Sadanaru and former U.S. President Leopold III and his wife Lilian.

Literary icons such as Michael Arlen, Lucius Beebe, John McClain, and Quentin Reynolds have graced the King Cole Room. Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Hitchcock also Visited the hotel in the 1960s.

The Carlyle

Carlyle Hotel in Madison Avenue

The Carlyle hotel is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is a legendary luxury hotel that has been a symbol of New York glamor for many years. It was designed by Sylvan Bien and Harry M. Prince and named after the Carlyle family.

Features And Amenities Of The Hotel

  • Has 189 rooms, including 90 suites.
  • The Carlyle Restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine.
  • Bemelmans Bar, a legendary spot featuring murals by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Pet-friendly services
  • Offers personalized recommendations and services.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Carlyle hotel is popular for hosting many famous guests and notable events. Numerous celebrities, politicians, and business leaders visited the hotel over the years, including the likes of Princess Diana, President John F. Kennedy, and Mick Jagger.

Legendary artists like Bobby Short and Woody Allen have performed at the iconic Café Carlyle, which has made The Carlyle hotel famous for cabaret performances. Additionally, high-profile events such as the United Nations General Assembly and the Met Gala after-party have taken place at The Carlyle.

The New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel

The New Yorker Hotel

The New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel, stands as an Art Deco masterpiece in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Since its grand opening in 1930, this hotel has been a beacon of style and luxury, mirroring the dynamic spirit of New York City. In addition to learning about NYC’s Historic Hotels, learn about NYC Suburbs humble beginnings. Visit How Has History Shaped the Growth and Evolution of New York City’s Suburbs?

Features and Amenities

  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Several on-site restaurants including the famous Tick Tock Diner
  • Event spaces, adorned with historic 1930s decor, make for memorable weddings and conferences.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

Over the years, The New Yorker has hosted many famous personalities such as Muhammad Ali, JFK, and Nikola Tesla, who spent his last years living in the hotel. It has been the site of many significant events in New York’s history and continues to be a popular choice for notable gatherings.

The Jane Hotel

Nestled in the West Village, The Jane Hotel is a cultural landmark with a storied past. Originally built as a hotel for sailors in 1908, it has retained much of its historical charm and architectural integrity.

Features and Amenities

  • The Jane offers a unique stay with its cabin-like rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary bicycles for exploring the city
  • The hotel’s ballroom and rooftop bar provide stunning views of the Hudson River

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Jane has been a creative haven for artists and writers, with survivors of the Titanic once housed here during the ship’s inquest. Its bohemian legacy is preserved in the eclectic clientele and events it attracts.

The Warwick New York

The Warwick Hotel New York

The Warwick New York is a historic hotel that exudes old-world glamour and modern sophistication. Built by media tycoon William Randolph Hearst in 1926, it has been a staple of luxury in the city ever since.

Features and Amenities

  • The Warwick boasts elegantly furnished rooms
  • Fitness center
  • Dining options that include the famed Murals at 54 restaurant
  • Guests can also enjoy in-room spa services
  • Business center

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Warwick’s guest list reads like a who’s who of the 20th century, with names like Elvis Presley and The Beatles. It has also been the backdrop for many films and hosted numerous high-profile events in its grand salons.

The Knickerbocker

The 42nd Street (left) and Broadway (right) facades of the Knickerbocker Hotel

The Knickerbocker Hotel, located in Times Square, is a beacon of contemporary luxury built within a legendary landmark. Originally opened in 1906, it was reimagined for the 21st century while paying homage to its rich history.

Features and Amenities

  • The hotel offers a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city
  • Fitness center
  • Event spaces with cutting-edge technology
  • Charlie Palmer restaurant that serves refined cuisine in an elegant setting

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Knickerbocker has been frequented by icons like F. Scott Fitzgerald and famed opera singer Enrico Caruso. The hotel’s re-opening marked a notable event, heralding the return of a storied name to New York’s luxury hotel scene.

The Hotel Pennsylvania

Hotel Pennsylvania entrance in 2011

The Hotel Pennsylvania, opened in 1919, holds a treasured spot in New York’s history. Located opposite Madison Square Garden, it’s known for its convenient location and historic significance.

Features and Amenities

  • The hotel maintains its classic charm
  • Fitness center
  • Business facilities
  • It has historically been known for accommodating large groups and events with its expansive meeting spaces.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Hotel Pennsylvania is famously known for Glenn Miller’s orchestra performance of “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” with the hotel’s phone number inspiring the song’s title. It has hosted countless celebrities and notable events throughout its long history.

The Bowery Hotel

The Bowery Hotel, located in the iconic Bowery district of Lower Manhattan, marries old-world charm with contemporary luxury. The hotel, although a newer establishment, draws inspiration from the bohemian history of its neighborhood.

Features and Amenities

  • The hotel features custom-furnished guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows
  • On-site Italian restaurant
  • Well-equipped fitness center
  • Private event space with vintage charm.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

Its chic bar and lounge have become a favorite haunt for celebrities and New York’s elite. The Bowery Hotel has quickly established itself as a setting for fashionable events and high-profile gatherings.

The Roosevelt Hotel

Roosevelt Hotel - View of main lobby

The Roosevelt Hotel, with its grand opening in 1924, stands as a beacon of classic American luxury and New York elegance. Nestled in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, at Madison Avenue and 45th Street, the hotel is named after President Theodore Roosevelt and has been a landmark of the New York City skyline for nearly a century.

Features and Amenities

  • Guests can enjoy the grandeur of the hotel’s spacious rooms and suites
  • Business center
  • Fitness center
  • Dining options including the famous Madison Club Lounge, the Vander Bar, and the Roosevelt Grill

Famous Guests and Notable Events

Over its long history, The Roosevelt Hotel has hosted influential figures and has been the site of significant events. It is perhaps most famous for its “Mad Men” era allure, having served as the setting for several scenes in the television show. The hotel has also been a choice location for presidential election night parties, including Governor Thomas Dewey’s mistaken victory celebration in 1948.

The Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel, also known as Hotel Chelsea, located on 23rd Street in Manhattan, has been a sanctuary for creativity and artistic expression since it opened its doors in 1884. This bohemian landmark has been a home to artists, writers, musicians, and actors, immortalized in songs, poems, and numerous works of art.

While the Chelsea Hotel is currently undergoing renovations, it traditionally offered a unique blend of amenities that catered to the creative spirit. Its eclectic rooms and suites, each with its own distinct style, have been a haven for artistic guests. The hotel has housed a curated collection of art and has been known for its artistic events and gatherings.

After discovering the historic hotels, see how the Chelsea Hotel’s ghost stories compare in our newest feature.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The list of the Chelsea Hotel’s famous residents is lengthy and includes icons like Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and Janis Joplin. It was the place where Arthur C. Clarke wrote “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and its walls have witnessed the creation of songs by Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith. The hotel’s storied past is filled with notable events, including the tragic death of Nancy Spungen, and has been a backdrop for numerous films and documentaries.

The Pierre

The Pierre stands as a paragon of New York City luxury. Opened in 1930, this iconic hotel towers over the southeastern corner of Central Park, at Fifth Avenue and 61st Street. With its distinctive copper roof and impeccable service, The Pierre is synonymous with sophistication and social prestige in New York City.

Features and Amenities

  • White-gloved elevator service
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Sumptuous dining options, including the Perrine restaurant and the famous
  • Rotunda room, known for its afternoon tea service
  • Elegant event and meeting spaces, including the Grand Ballroom and the Cotillion Room.

Famous Guests and Notable Events

The Pierre has been the choice hotel for socialites, celebrities, and dignitaries from around the world. It has hosted countless galas, charity events, and society weddings. The hotel’s guest book includes names like Elizabeth Taylor and Yves Saint-Laurent. The Pierre’s Grand Ballroom has seen performances by Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, making it a central hub for New York City’s elite social scene.

Comparison Of The Hotels

These hotels provide a diverse range of accommodations, from standard rooms to executive suites. They also offer exceptional on-site amenities, including fitness centers, relaxing spas, and a variety of dining options. Despite these similarities, each hotel possesses its own unique features that make it different from the others.

The Algonquin boasts a rich literary history and offers a more intimate experience due to its smaller size. Meanwhile, the Waldorf Astoria and The Plaza, as symbols of the city’s grandeur, and offer larger and more extravagant accommodations. The St. Regis and The Carlyle are both elegant properties that seamlessly blend charm with modern conveniences. Whatever your preference, these hotels guarantee an unforgettable stay.

Comparison Of Amenities And Features

Even the most discerning travelers can find luxurious amenities and facilities in all of these hotels. However, each property offers unique amenities and features. The Waldorf Astoria and the Plaza hotel provide extensive event spaces, while the Algonquin offers a more intimate experience due to its smaller size. The St. Regis has a Michelin-starred restaurant, and The Carlyle is famous for its live jazz performances.


New York City’s culture is enriched by its historic hotels, which offer a window into the past and serve as major tourist attractions and employment hubs for New Yorkers. The hotels covered in this post are significant in the New York City hospitality industry because of their iconic and historic status, prime locations, influence on industry standards, economic contributions, and role in cultural events.

Notably, the Algonquin hotel, Waldorf Astoria, and Plaza hotel have witnessed and hosted important historical events and welcomed many iconic guests. Preserving these hotels is vital to maintaining their charm and beauty while promoting cultural gatherings and art exhibits. Learning about the history and cultural significance of these iconic landmarks is an excellent way to appreciate their contribution to the city’s unique character.

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