The spa pool at the Aman New York, designed by Denniston.
Photo: Courtesy of Denniston and Jean-Michel Gathy

These Magnificent New York Apartments Offer Buyers a Permanent Vacation

From the Carlyle to Waldorf Astoria, exceptional design and unparalleled amenities are just a few reasons to check in for good

The Waldorf Astoria in New York is undergoing a $1 billion renovation. Photo: Noë & Associates/The Boundary

A team of trained professionals always there to anticipate your every need, five-star amenities mere steps from your door, and white-glove turndown service every night—such conveniences are hallmarks of a luxury vacation. However, for the small circle of people who own residences in New York’s most notable hotels, like the Plaza, the Carlyle, the Sherry-Netherland, and the Pierre, this is everyday life. “You walk in and people know your name,” says Douglas Elliman’s Lisa Simonsen, who recently had a $65 million listing at the Pierre. “There’s a charming old-world feeling.” 

Adding to the competition is Aman, the sleek hospitality brand known for its restorative resorts around the globe. This year, the group will debut its first New York location within the Crown Building, a 1921 French Renaissance–style gem designed by Grand Central Terminal architects Whitney Warren and Charles Delevan Wetmore, on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue. Renovated by Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston, the firm responsible for resorts like the St. Regis Lhasa and Viceroy Snowmass, the property will include 83 guest rooms and 22 residences—plus a three-level spa, a subterranean jazz club, and a wraparound garden terrace with views of Central Park.

A $65 million unit at the Pierre, recently listed with Douglas Elliman. Photo: Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Then there’s the vaunted Waldorf Astoria, currently undergoing a restoration of over $1 billion; it will reopen in 2022. Above the hospitality floors, designer Jean-Louis Deniot has conceived 375 condominiums, which will hit the market in March with a starting price of $1.7 million for studio apartments. “In addition to over 50,000 square feet of amenities exclusive to residents, there’s a private porte cochere, which is essential to buyers at that level,” says Dan Tubb, senior director of sales. He also notes that each unit will feature a so-called concierge closet, where packages, room service, and laundry will be discreetly delivered. 

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Additionally, buyers are automatically granted “elite resident-owner status” within the entire Hilton network around the world, providing them with access to an exclusive concierge. “They travel quite a bit,” explains Tubb of the condominium’s target audience. “We find that hotel residences give perspective owners a sense of stability, consistency, and a personalized level of service they wish could be incorporated into their daily lives when they return home.”

This $4.5 million residence at the Carlyle is on the market with Sotheby’s. Photo: Denis Vlasov for Sotheby’s International Realty

Of course, residents pay a premium for this array of built-in services, with monthly charges reaching as high as $21 per square foot. And it’s critical to read the fine print to know exactly which benefits are included in the fee. But that hasn’t seemed to put a damper on buyers’ desire to check in for good. 

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Spring issue under the headline “Permanent Vacation.” Subscribe to the magazine.

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