The Waldorf is undeniably historic, and while we’d definitely recommend a cocktail at the classic Bull and Bear Bar downstairs, a night in one of the small standard rooms can feel a bit oppressive (and quite out of date) thanks to an extensive use of floral patterns. One serious hotel perk is the luxurious and modern Guerlain Spa.
The pricier and more luxurious Waldorf Towers (28th floor and up) has a separate entrance and management.
Traditional rooms have upholstered furniture, a work desk, and patterned carpets. Some guests may like the classic drapes and floral patterns while others may find the spaces old-fashioned. Décor in the suites is more refined and offer ample extra space.
Full of murals, mosaics, and elaborate plaster ornamentation, the lobby of this landmark is a 1931 Art Deco masterpiece. It features a grand piano once owned by Cole Porter.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The lobby is a big space with lots of interesting architectural details, but it can often feel pretty chaotic—this is not the type of hotel lobby to kick back and peacefully read the newspaper.
Several on-site dining options include Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse for steaks and seafood, La Chine for upscale Chinese cuisine, and Peacock Alley Restaurant for the Waldorf’s well-known extravagant brunch. Each restaurant has a separate bar area and Sir Harry’s provides an extra place to have a drink or two.
Located on Park Avenue and East 49th Street, this hotel is a short walk away from Midtown East landmarks. Shopping on 5th Avenue and the theater district are also within walking distance. Subway access is available with the 6 train at 51st Street and the E and M trains at Lexington Avenue/53rd Street. Taxis and Uber are widely available in the neighborhood, but traffic congestion is a common problem.
Urbanspace Vanderbilt (6-minute walk) is one of Manhattan’s best upscale food halls with a variety of flavors under one roof including Mile End Deli, Roberta’s Pizza, and La Palapa Taco Bar. To splurge on dry-aged steaks and seafood, make a reservation at Smith & Wollensky (4-minute walk), a classic steakhouse dating back to the 1970s. New Yorkers love Chef April Bloomfield’s burgers—from the Spotted Pig to the Breslin—and the two-patty beauty at Salvation Burger (7-minute walk) is no exception.
One of the neighborhood’s coziest watering holes is Maggie’s Place (5-minute walk), a pub with a long bar and friendly Irish bartenders. Raise a glass in a historic landmark at the Great Northern Food Hall (10-minute walk), set beneath a soaring ceiling in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Genuine historic character and a luxurious spa are this hotel’s best features. We love the suites (where décor is a bit more refined) and the several options for grabbing a classic cocktail.