Located in Midtown East, The Kimberly Hotel is the perfect base for luxury travelers to explore Manhattan. The Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Museum of Modern Art and the Broadway theater district are all within walking distance of the property — although the unheard-of-in-NYC spacious rooms (seriously larger than my entire apartment) and experiential amenities mean you never have to leave.
Wandering down East 50th Street, your first interaction with The Kimberly is the stylish script logo, doors flanked in gold and well-dressed doormen who will take your bags and open the gates to what feels like a glamorous trip back in time. Antiques permeate the lobby: flickering candelabras, marble walls, Roman statues, baroque accents, a large pendulum clock and plush vintage pattern chairs trimmed in gold.
Walk through the arched doorways that divide the lobby in half, and you’ll come to the one piece that doesn’t quite fit the old world feel but certainly the luxury ideal: a 2,000-gallon cylindrical aquarium built right into a hotel column. Fish and coral of all different colors swim slowly through the water, and guests can pull up a chair to just relax and lose themselves in the sounds of tiny bubbles and the aquarium’s soft glow.
It’s on this main floor where you’ll also satiate your hunger. On one side, after walking through a short hallway lined with globally- and locally-sourced wine bottles, there’s Bistango, a cozy Italian eatery with staples like pastas, salads and a flatbread bar, not to mention many gluten free options. There’s a warmth to the eatery, partially from the open kitchen and the wafting pizza aromas and also from the red and brown decorative hues, the fresh florist-curated table accents and the faux windows showcasing painted outdoor woodland scenes.
On the other side of the lobby is Ibis, a historical restaurant where Desi Arnaz used to perform — it’s said he called Lucille Ball from here to propose — and where Bill Clinton jammed out on the saxophone when running for president. Keeping with the old Hollywood glamour theme, the Mediterranean eatery features a stylish front pub for the after-work crowd with black and white photos of mid-20th Century stars. Toward the back you’ll come to an Art Deco-style dining room with a cathedral dome ceiling, a mix of small tables and large banquettes all sitting under a large chandelier.
Of course, one of the most important aspects of any stay is the room itself. While The Kimberly Hotel is mainly comprised of 162 luxury suites in five different categories, situated in the property’s main tower along with nine studio rooms, they also have an adjoining Townhouse section with 30 rooms. As with the suites, rooms feature antique furnishings with modern amenities like flatscreen TVs and iPod docks. You’ll also find Neutrogena bath products, Wolfgang Puck artisan coffees, microwaves, mini fridges and, possibly the best part, the hotel’s uber comfortable beds. Picture a mattress topped with a feather bed and gowned in Frette linens, a plush down comforter inside the duvet with goose down pillows to boot. It’s literally the stuff dreams are made of.
In the unique individualized suites — no two are alike — the luxury factory gets turned up a notch with private balconies, amazing aerial views, sinks, and living room spaces that range from 160 to 338 square feet alone. While they have a separate room for private meetings and conferences in the hotel, it’s completely possible to have meetings and events right in your suite.
The Kimberly Hotel isn’t entirely old time luxe, though, as riding the carpeted marble elevators to the very top brings you to Upstairs at the Kimberly. This trendy rooftop lounge serves up farm-to-fork tapas and craft libations, which you can enjoy on black leather couches under strings of dangling bulbs, all paired with front row views of the Chrysler Building, the General Electric Building and the East River.
While in the winter the translucent glass walls remain closed, during warmer months the walls and roof are completely retractable, supplementing the attached laid-back heated outdoor lounge that is open year round with comfortable red couches, low tables and skyscrapers so close you feel like you can touch them. During the day, Upstairs at the Kimberly serves as a quiet, naturally lit spot to savor a breakfast buffet or the offered all-day pastries, fruits and hot drinks.
Are you the type of traveler who likes to stay fit on the road? Along with a simple 24-hour onsite gym with basic equipment, the Kimberly Hotel has a partnership with New York Health & Racquet Club, allowing all guests to use any of their nine gyms and all amenities, including 30-60-foot saltwater pools and classes ranging from Candlelit Yoga Flow to Kickboxing and beyond.