Polished marble, pristine monochrome fabrics, striking modern art… So far, so glamorous and grown-up, right? Parents, seeking style, be assured: The Surrey is as sophisticated as Manhattan luxury hotels get – but lucky for those with little ones, this Upper East Side establishment is also as family-friendly as it is fabulous.
A skip from Central Park, a clutch of the city’s finest museums, The Surrey is the ideal address for families, as we discovered on a recent stay in this upmarket part of town. With its grand avenues and distinguished brownstone buildings, the UES is an especially filmic part of town familiar even if you haven’t been to NYC before., and this hotel couldn’t spoil you more.
As our gang of three fell out of a yellow taxi at The Surrey’s respectable black-canopied entrance on East 76th Street at Madison Avenue with a pushchair and paraphernalia, the doormen couldn’t have been friendlier. Rather than turning up their noses at a boisterous toddler, they made us feel as welcome, and as at home, as could be. (The service at this hotel is celebrated for its nothing-is-too-much-trouble professionalism yet friendly and relaxed delivery.) Checked-in, and within moments we were up close and personal with Kate Moss: care of the giant black-and-white Chuck Close portrait by the elevators. Then it was up to our room. Well, I say ‘room’ – but this was like having our own Manhattan apartment…
Our Ultra Deluxe Salon had two queen-size beds and also a sitting room area where our three-year-old Miss Smith immediately took to leafing through the slick coffee-table design books. A tiny kitchenette discretely contained a maxi-minibar too: all you’d need to rustle up some snacks. As for the bathroom – you almost don’t care what you have on your doorstep when you amble into this marble beauty. Time could easily slip through your fingers when you have a tub that size to soak in. As for madam, it was more like a plunge pool for her.
But we did venture out. And what a neighbourhood! Stumbling out, we only needed to turn left and amble a block and we were at one of the world’s greatest parks.
– Central Park is 843 acres – just walking through its leafy lawn-flanked lanes is fun. But if you’ve got littlies, make sure you especially add Central Park Zoo between 63rd and 66th to your hit list, and the Alice in Wonderland statue at East 74th.
– The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s most magnificent art spaces, has a host of things for families to do. Our top tips: head to the roof terrace for the best panoramic view of that skyline. Pause for another photo opp: eating a hot dog, while sitting on the steps of the museum.
– The Ancient Playground at 85th (pictured) is about as exciting as slides and swings get! Open 8am until dusk every day. Our top tip: Stop by the Dean & Deluca near to The Surrey on Madison Ave at 85th, and pick up some coffees and snacks to enjoy in the park.
– FAO Schwartz on Fifth Ave right across from the Plaza hotel is this world-famous toy shop with the floor piano that Tom Hanks danced on in ‘Big’ (see left).
Booking a stay The Surrey, with free cots and extra beds for $40. Babysitting can be arranged, for $25 an hour (based on a four-hour minimum; there will be an extra charge for the babysitter’s transport to the hotel). After all, there’s a glamorous bar and restaurant and also a spa, so you’ll also want plenty of adult time too.
Special family offer One-bedroom suites have a king-size bed and can be booked with a complimentary Deluxe Salon ideal for the little ones or your babysitter. Book as a family and your little ones will also be kept busy with a NYC colouring book and also a family pass for the Metropolitan Museum.
When speaking to the Smith24 team, just mention you want the ‘family offer’ to request a complimentary Deluxe Salon and the colouring book and museum pass.