The Surrey

The Upper East Side's posh boutique hotel
Originally opened in 1926 as a residence hotel that hosted the likes of John F. Kennedy, Bette Davis and Claudette Colbert, The Surrey is a posh 17-story boutique hotel housed in a landmark Beaux-Arts building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel received a complete redesign of its public and private spaces, and reopened in 2009 after a top-to-bottom, $60 million makeover. Interior architect Lauren Rottet, who collaborated on the renovation, was inspired to re-create this storied hotel as a New York heirloom townhouse passed down through generations. She kept many of its Beaux-Arts elements intact as a nod to the hotel’s past but modernized the space with contemporary black-and-white photography, custom furnishings such as hand-painted armoires and a serene palette of gray and cream tones.

Since its reopening, the hotel has drawn an eclectic crowd of leisure and business travelers with its 190 luxurious, yet comfortable, salons and suites; delicious French-inspired menu at Café Boulud; popular yet laid-back Bar Pleiades; and luxe, tranquil Cornelia Spa at The Surrey.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The aforementioned hotel makeover called for the space to be outfitted in neutral tones of gray and cream, including gray tufted chairs and a gray velvet couch in the lobby, plus gray-on-gray wool rugs and beautiful cream-colored wardrobes.
  • Located on the Forbes Travel Guide Four Star hotel's second floor, the Cornelia Spa is a serene oasis swathed in soothing shades of gray and cream.
  • Those familiar with Daniel Boulud’s French kitchen know exactly what to expect from the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star eatery. Folks new to the renowned chef’s take on saffron mussels velouté or terrine de foie gras will be overjoyed by the experience.
  • The Surrey understands quality, even in the most subtle of situations. When you go to the newly equipped gym, for instance, and find yourself in need of earbuds, you’re afforded a complimentary pair nice enough to be sold in Best Buy.
  • Art buffs will enjoy the hotel’s notable collection that includes 31 original modern works, such as Chuck Close’s massive tapestry of supermodel Kate Moss, that are scattered throughout the private and public spaces.
Things to Know
  • On East 76th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues, The Surrey is ideally situated within walking distance of Central Park, upscale shopping such as Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman, Museum Mile, and renowned Upper East Side restaurants such as David Burke Townhouse and Aquavit.
  • Though Swedish and deep tissue massages are amazing at the spa, you will be blissfully satisfied with a customized facial such as the Cornelia Signature Botanical.
The Rooms
  • Some of the 189 rooms and suites are decked out in hand-painted wardrobes, sitting areas and fireplaces. Bigger spaces come with sleeper sofas and private terraces.
  • All of the units feature brown leather office chairs, huge mirrors, glass-enclosed showers and Duxiana beds you’ll melt in after a day of sightseeing.
The Restaurants
  • Café Boulud New York, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant by one of the world’s most recognized chefs, offers classic French fare with seasonal American ingredients. 
  • The menu at the cafe is divided into four sections — La Tradition (classic French cuisine); La Saison (seasonally inspired dishes); Le Potager (the vegetable garden); and Le Voyage (international delicacies) — that highlight the scope and depth of Boulud’s culinary training.
  • The sleek Bar Pleiades, whose entrance is right off the main lobby, takes its design cue from Coco Chanel and the Art Deco era (think quilted walls à la the designer’s famous clutch and geometric lines). Slip into a banquette or sidle up to the bar and enjoy one of head bartender Darryl Chan’s Rose to the Bottom (Nolet’s gin, Lillet Rose, rose petal jam and coriander bitters) or any other creative concoction.
24-hour room service
House car
Meeting rooms
Pet friendly
Getting There
20 East 76th Street, New York, New York 10021
JFK (28-45 min)   LGA (18-28 min)   EWR (35-50 min)  
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