The Empire Hotel is a luxury hotel located in Midtown West, just a few blocks south of Columbus Circle and across the street from Lincoln Center. The Empire has been made famous thanks to its appearance on The CW’s hit show Gossip Girl; the show’s resident villain with a heart of gold, Chuck Bass, owns the hotel and throws many a large party there. Even more recently, The Empire became a jumping off point for fashion’s elite in September 2010, as New York Fashion Week left Bryant Park behind and moved uptown to Lincoln Center. The Empire Hotel has been around for over 100 years, and was purchased then left behind by Radisson. Revitalized as recently as 2007, The Empire Hotel subscribes to the boutique philosophy of many a luxury New York hotel despite its size (it boats 407 guestrooms).
Features and Amenities
The keyword at the Empire Hotel is design: The lobby and mezzanine levels are a dusky, jazz-club-like mix of prints and textures; the rooms reflect mid-century modernism with simple shapes enlivened by plush fabrics and abstract art; even bathrooms are small but spa-grade with teak showers. There are more than a couple of room types, but the standouts at the high end are the corner one-bedroom suites, which offer plenty of space (a large seating area and work/dining table in the main room; a king bed in the bedroom), and panoramic views of Lincoln Center.
The standard rooms are no less luxurious, with the exact same finishes and textures, although the smallest of them (located throughout the hotel), are very small indeed – even by New York standards (which, for out of towners who are unaware – are low). Each room assimilates earth tones from Central Park and the dignified modernism of Lincoln Center to provide effortlessly sophisticated comfort. Beds draped in Belgian linen embody restful elegance, while animal-print cushions contribute edgy accents. The views of Lincoln Center, it might be said, are incredible – you’re literally towering over the New York landmark.
When it comes to drinking and dining, the Empire offers many options. There’s the lobby bar, a rooftop, a pool deck, and the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Ed’s Chowder House. The Empire Lobby Bar offers a hip and romantic setting for that before or after dinner drink. Try the hotel’s signature cocktails, which have, since the popularity of Gossip Girl soared, been named after characters from the hit show, or select from the menu of outstanding wine and champagne available at this distinctive New York City hotel bar.
The sun, moon and stars are our canopy and the pleasures are all yours on the Empire Hotel’s impressive pool deck. Refresh yourself in the rooftop plunge pool or just bask in the warmth of the sun. The hotel offers private cabana rentals featuring flat screen TV’s, mini refrigerators, iPod docking stations with speakers, ceiling fans and daybeds. The Pool Deck menu has refreshing food and beverage options as well as spa services. On the 12th floor of the hotel, you’ll find the Empire’s roof deck, a dazzling, chic bar space. Here, you will find incredible views, candlelit tables and great cocktails-not bad.
Expanding his talents south from his restaurant eighty one, Chef Ed Brown created a new casual-but-chic sea shack concept to debut at the Empire Hotel. Ed’s Chowder House offers traditional East Coast seafood fare at its best. Highlights include Tuna Steak Frites, Lobster Rolls, Crab Cakes, signature Chowders from the Chowder Bar and a wonderful assortment of Oysters and more from the ultimate Raw Bar. Ed’s Chowder House is designed to take guests away from the bustling city streets and make them feel as though they walked in right off the shore! The Empire Hotel also boasts an in-house spa, the Jeunesse Spa, which offers a full line of all-natural treatments, wellness therapy and full salon services for men and women.
Nestled in a private corner of West 63rd Street between two legendary New York City landmarks – Lincoln Center and Central Park, The Empire Hotel provides luxury accommodations overlooking the Broadway / Columbus Avenue gateway to the Upper West Side. Lincoln Center has always been an impressive city landmark, but thanks to this year’s Oscar-winning film, Black Swan, in which Natalie Portman plays a tortured ballerina dancing Swan Lake on Lincoln Center’s stage, plus New York Fashion Week’s move from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, the area has gotten a whole lot more popular.
Truth be told, the Empire Hotel’s location has always been impeccable, even before the movie or the proliferation of fashion folk in the area. The Upper West Side location is undeniably centralized – you’re within walking distance from all the great shopping, wining and dining that comes with those places. While you’re not far from the hustle and bustle of Midtown and Times Square, the Empire Hotel’s location is decidedly quieter than you’d find downtown, which will make for a better night of sleep after a long day of sightseeing. The 1 train, which goes up and down Seventh Avenue on the west side of the city, is located right on the corner across the street from the hotel, making transportation a cinch.