The flight from San Diego to New York City lands at dusk so our first item of business after checking into the Four Seasons Hotel New York was to ask the concierge for a dinner reservation within a short walk of the hotel.

It took only a few steps outside the gorgeous lobby for me to get my bearings. I spotted Fao Schwarz about a block away and seconds later the Madison Avenue Street sign caught my eye. Is that Bergdorf Goodman? Oh my, there’s Baccarat and Tod’s (also both uncommon where I live). And even though Christmas had just passed, the famous holiday window displays sparkled under the city lights. It was like I had been transplanted into my own personal paradise.

Location matters in New York City and this luxury hotel has a perfect one for those who want to be in the thick of it or explore Carrie Bradshaw style.

New York City holiday shopping

But the real intent of our family vacation was to experience the magic of the holiday season in New York City, a trip I would highly recommend adding to the bucket list using Four Seasons Hotel New York as your base.

Four Seasons Hotel New York Location

Simply put—the location is awesome. The Midtown East hotel has entrances on E 57th Street and E 58th Street. Both are convenient depending on which direction you’re headed. We walked to:

  • Central Park
  • Rockefeller Center
  • 5th Avenue shopping
  • FAO Schwarz (1 block away)
  • Bergdorf Goodman (1 block away)
  • Times Square (maybe 20 minutes walk… we stopped along the way)
  • Madison Avenue shopping
  • Bloomingdales
  • Momofuku Kitchen (I die for their corn cookies)

MoMA and Carnegie Hall are also walkable as is the Empire State Building, albeit further afield. My shopping-averse husband happily ticked everything off of his cultural bucket list and my daughter couldn’t be happier. In addition to sightseeing, she reveled in belated Christmas gifts from the world’s largest Build-A-Bear store and American Girl, both on 5th Avenue.

The journey in from JFK airport took just over an hour with traffic but it should average about 45 minutes. Four Seasons Hotel New York has a house car that chauffeurs guests within a short radius from the hotel on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Luxe Like the Louvre, Literally

The Four Seasons Hotel New York is the only I.M. Pei-designed hotel in the western hemisphere. Considered a master of modern architecture, Mr. Pei was appointed by Francios Mitterand to join the team responsible for renovating the Louvre Museum in Paris. The honey-coloured French Magny “Le Louvre” limestone that covers the interior and exterior of the hotel is the same limestone used by Mr. Pei in the renovation of the Louvre.

At 52 stories, the Four Seasons Hotel New York is the tallest hotel in New York City. The luxury hotel also boasts the largest standard guest rooms in the city, averaging 600 square feet.

Rooms that Feel Like Home

Four Seasons Hotel New York suite is perfect for a family

The abundance of living space in our one bedroom corner suite (a welcome upgrade) made it feel more like an apartment than a hotel room. As you can see, it takes a New York minute for us to make any space a home.

After living in a Four Seasons and traveling to five-star properties around the world, I appreciate small or unusual details—like the big sturdy wine glasses in the bar area that feel more like something you’d use at home. Service here was impeccable, storage plentiful and the bed was, of course, oh-so-comfortable.

The sofa turned into a nice bed and since we’re a family of three, someone winds up there (never me). Unlike many one-bedroom suites, I couldn’t hear a peep from the living room in the master bedroom which is nice for light sleepers like myself.

Four Seasons Hotel New York City room
And, Bvlgari amenities win me over every single time. My daughter’s first experience with these L’Occitane bath bombs at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita set us off on a wild goose chase to buy them (not for retail sale) or try to make our own. We used one on the first night so housekeeping left us a few extra the following day, which was thoughtful.

Bulgari amenities at Four Seasons Hotel New York

Four Seasons Hotel New York donates all leftover bars of soap and partially used bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion to Clean the World Foundation, who recycles the items into hygiene kits to distribute to homeless shelters in the U.S. and 45 other countries around the world.

Many rooms and suites boast city views and the winter sky during sunset put on a show during our stay.

The view from our corner suite at Four Seasons Hotel New York

Pair that with a glass of wine and it’s truly a fabulous way to unwind. Speaking of drinks, morning coffee is available just outside The Garden restaurant as it’s not in your room (I’ve never had in-room coffee in any NYC hotel that I can think of).

Family-Friendly Dining

Breakfast under a canopy of enormous African acacia trees at the aptly-named The Garden restaurant is the perfect way to start the day.

The Garden restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel New York has an enchanted forest feel with giant acacia trees.

All-day dining (I highly recommend the lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast) including weekend brunch is offered at The Garden, located adjacent to the lobby. My daughter opted for generously-portioned items off of the children’s menu. Most ingredients are locally-sourced within 100 miles of the hotel.

The in-room dining menu featured a wide variety of American and international favorites. The second we lasered in on the nasi goreng (unattainable in San Diego), I knew we had to order it.

in room dining four seasons new york

The warmth and spice of the dish hit the spot after a morning ice skating at Rockefeller center. Though it was December and colder than San Diego, we lucked out with mild winter weather.

In-room dining at Four Seasons Hotel New York has a wide range of international options

I regret not stopping into the Ty Bar, which looked like a fabulous place to unwind with a custom cocktail or good glass of wine. Next time.

Christmas at Four Seasons Hotel New York

Decor all over the hotel was beautiful and I immediately regretted not hiring a Flytographer to snap a family photo in front of the lobby’s massive, show-stopping Christmas tree.

Four Seasons New York Christmas tree

Upon check-in, my daughter received two little Beanie Baby Christmas ornaments that she adores. Once, we came in from the cold to find complimentary warm cider on offer for guests in the lobby. Not to mention, a gigantic gingerbread house welcomed guests into The Garden restaurant.

And, seriously, the after-Christmas sales on 5th and Madison Avenues were mind-bogglingly good. I hit Bergdorf Goodman on December 30 and there were still tons of Charlotte Olympia and other designer shoes on racks in my size. Where I live, the selection is so small that they’d be gone within hours. I spent every ounce of free time shopping.

Good to Know

Christmas in New York City is truly special between the seasonal activities, decor and an overall festive vibe that even the kids will appreciate. Just go.

Next time, we’ll plan more time to relax in the hotel. Because there are so many things to do in New York City and we don’t get out there enough, we felt the pressure to go, go, go. I would have liked to have tried the spa, but we packed our sightseeing itinerary way too full.

If you really want to splash out, the 4300-square-foot Ty Warner Penthouse is the most expensive hotel accommodation in the entire world, setting guests back a mere $50,000 per night.

Did anything go wrong? Nope. Will we be back? Most definitely! Have you stayed at Four Seasons Hotel New York?

(Four Seasons Hotel New York is one of the luxury hotels I can book for you with agent-exclusive amenities that will enhance and add value to your stay. Please send me your dates and I’ll tell you what’s on offer.)

Four Seasons Hotel New York
57 East 57th Street
New York, NY
(212) 758-5700

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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