The Peninsula New York
There's Posh and then there's The Peninsula New York.
Our brood recently spent a Saturday night at the luxury Manhattan hotel during a quick trip to New York. We are all still ooohing and aahhing over it! The Peninsula is very, very special: the hotel combines exceptional comfort and personalized service along with family-friendly amenities and activities.
When we checked in, the girls were all antsy from the three-hour train ride and over-excited to be in such a gorgeous hotel. The staff were efficient, friendly and immediately made suggestions about activities for the kids, nearby parks and reminded us the pool was open if the kids needed physical activity. (A gracious understatement). We were quickly whisked up to our suite. We're a well-traveled bunch and still our jaws dropped. (See Penelope doing her "happy dance" in the suite's living room!)
The suite looked like a fabulous pied-à-terre in Elle Decor, not a hotel suite. Our accommodation was a 1,530 square foot two-bedroom Deluxe Suite. Our gorgeous two-bedroom, two and a half bath Upper East Side apartment. We overlooked 5th Avenue and had a foyer, dressing area and living/dining area (where we entertained friends that evening for late night drinks -- très posh!)
The three girls were in one bedroom with a very large king bed and a rollaway for the toddler. They had a huge marble bathroom with dual sinks, separate shower, water closet and the favorite -- a huge tub with a flat screen TV. Tub + Disney Channel = squeeky clean kids! Not long after check in, we received two deliveries: three custom-sized Frette Peninsula robes for the three girls.
Soon after there was another knock and voilà! The most beautiful welcome snack and kid-welcome pack arrived including: Peninsula cupcakes, tiny M&M's, a cookie, a Peninsula coloring book, crayons and a stuffed Peninsula Mini-Cooper car. (Super Posh Perk for Peninsula guests in suites: Up to 3 hours of use of a Peninsula Mini Cooper with driver. LOVE!) Each girl got their own welcome amenity and you would have thought it was Christmas morning.
After our snack, we padded up to the rooftop pool for some exercise and water fun. The glass enclosed pool area offers spectacular views of the city. Although the pool is adjacent to the award-winning Peninsula Spa, it is not a tranquility pool and the hotel welcomes little guests with floaties, noodles and other pool toys. Poolside dining is also available.
There are no excuses for not getting to the hotel's high-tech fitness center -- if you forget workout clothes, the hotel can provide you appropriate attire and shoes in your size!
On our way down from the pool, dripping wet with girls in their mini luxe robes, we were joined by a celebrity guest. Ryan Seacrest hopped on our elevator, (looking very handsome and taller than expected I might add...) with no entourage or handler. 4 year old Penelope began pulling on his jacket and telling him how she can swim "all by herself!" He was so gracious, chatting the girls up, and we told him how lovely the family friendly benes were at Peninsula and asked him if he was lucky enough to get Peninsula cupcakes. He did not get the fancy cupcakes but before you feel too sorry for him, Seacrest is #44 on Forbes' top 100 celebrity earners' list for 2010, pulling in a cool $51 million dollars. Separately, when we were dressing for dinner, one of the girls said, "Oh my gosh, Mom! That man in the elevator was Justin Bieber's Dad!" I told them they were probably right...the Biebs is much more exciting for the little girl set.
That night we went to dinner in the hotel at The Bar at Fives. Fives is the upscale hotel restaurant but can be a bit subdued so the bar/lounge area is a better fit for families. Again, the staff was so kind. Two girls rushed to get the same seats and bonked heads. Hard. They were both sobbing minutes after we arrived. The staff brought ice for the eggs on each head and a Shirley Temple for all three. What a way to start an evening in a chic NYC restaurant!
The kids' menu is AMAZING.
The girls were riveted by the cartoons and the food was delish. These are not your typical chicken nuggets. Our picky eater likes pasta and butter, which they made off the menu and also steamed some broccoli for us as well. Again, they had Peninsula coloring and activity books for the girls to keep them busy while mom and dad tried to have a couple adult minutes over glasses of wine.
Wanting to spend as much time in our princess palace as possible, we went back to the suite and tucked the girls in bed. We had New York City friends over later for cocktails and they too had the open jaw reaction to the beautiful accommodations. We had to kick them out around midnight. I'm pretty sure they would have slept on the pullout if they could.
The next morning, I had work to do and so Daddy took the girls nearby for a continental breakfast. We then met our chauffeured Mini Coopers for a ride to the 72nd Street Playground in Central Park. (LOVE.) Here is our littlel Lucy in her Mini Cooper.
Aye Dios Mios! Of all the days to visit, we were there for the Puerto Rican Day Parade which basically holds Manhattan hostage the entire Sunday. We meandered over to the park Carousel, had a ride, had ice cream and were able to marvel and all the enthusiastic and scantilly clad parade goers.
We then went to brunch at Brasserie with some NYC friends and their girls -- party of 9, please! The restaurant is super sleek, loud, fun and had great food -- perfect for families. Back at the hotel, we watched a movie and were a tad lazy (thank you late check out) before packing up and heading home. With a heavy heart we left our Upper East Side oasis. The hotel tucked us into one of their sedans for a quick trip to Penn Station.
This brood ADORES The Peninsula New York. It is a five-star luxury hotel but don't automatically think it's out of your budget range. This summer, the hotel is offering a "Value Your Weekend Package" with complimentary meals for kids' under 10, daily breakfast for adults, a daily $50 spa or hotel credit for incidentials from $545 a night. Considering many chain and boutique hotels in NYC can be $300 and $400 a night, this is a no-brainer!
Summer rates begin at $595 a night for a superior room. Check the website for special offers and promotions.