When I began researching where to stay in NYC, I had a suggestion on Instagram from a lovely follower (@reneegizmo63), who said, “I love The Kimberly Hotel – small but elegant in the heart of the city. Two great restaurants plus a rooftop bar – it makes work trips feel like a vacation!”
Fast forward to end of September and there we are: walking into The Kimberly Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It doesn’t feel small at all, in reality.
We arrive just after 12p to drop off our bags until check-in, but the gentleman at the front desk greets us that he’s swapped rooms for us and we can check in early.
The elevator buzzes us up to the 21st floor, where a huge one bedroom suite with a private terrace awaits us.
Back in the ’80s, the building was originally constructed to be an apartment building, but the owner changed his mind. Instead, he opened The Kimberly in 1985: a European-style boutique hotel. Because of this, the suites feel more like apartment homes than small, utilitarian hotel rooms.
Our room has its own living room as well as a kitchenette and bar. The light shifts around the room beautifully (and photogenically) in the proceeding hours.
Lunch calls our name, so we go downstairs to Bistango, the Italian restaurant accessible from the lobby. We opt for the outdoor dining area. It may be late September, but we brought the California heat with us. Inside is lush with its crimson walls and nature inspired windows. Outdoors feels removed enough from the street to be private, shaded, and relaxed.
Bistango boasts plenty of gluten free options – and they weren’t lying. For someone intolerant, it’s always a relief to find a restaurant like this. And Italian! Be still my beating heart. Our server is super friendly and knowledgeable, and we order GF flatbread pizza and eggs benedict (when you can’t decide if it’s brunch or lunch).
We also met one of the many valets that helped us during our stay:
If you choose to eat inside:
So, we finish brunch and it’s time to walk the streets. The Kimberly is incredibly close to the Chrysler Building (as seen from their rooftop bar, which we’ll get to) and Grand Central Terminal.
Did I mention it’s TJ’s first trip to NYC? What a way to experience it. We both share a mild infatuation (is it mild, though? I’m beginning to think not) with the Chrysler Building, so it was a real geek out moment to even walk into the lobby. There is no observation deck, and tourist can’t get past the lobby. Want to go up to the top floors? There’s a dentist on the 69th floor, or so the online rumor mill says. There’s also a really cheesy 1982 movie called “Q: The Winged Serpent” you can watch, about a monster on top of the Chrysler Building, and it’s pretty entertaining.
Back to The Kimberly, and we have 6:00p reservations at the rooftop bar Upstairs. The 360 views of Manhattan completely envelope us and yet again, Chrysler is there to make it feel like an essential NYC experience.
I ask the waitress what she recommends for gin because I haven’t had a good gin and tonic since Scotland’s rhubarb gin. She brings out a pretty damn good replacement, called the Watson, and I sip two glasses down before we leave. We can also recommend the cheese board, which was a great pre-dinner appetizer.
I wish we’d had time to do brunch here as well, I can only imagine (for now) that it’s gotta be an amazing breakfast spot.
The sun has set and it’s time for dinner. The concierge has made us reservations for the Empire Steakhouse, which is also accessible right off the lobby at The Kimberly.
If you’re going to splurge on dinner, this is the place to do it. It’s Sunday night, so there’s us and only a handful of other guests. The hostess walks us past the bar and the space opens up to a gorgeous opera themed dining room. Turns out, it used to be just that.
Our server is about the nicest guy you’ll ever be lucky enough to serve you. He tells us Empire is known for its famous USDA PrimeDry Aged Porterhouse steak. Oh, and also 400 plus wine list and a ridiculously amazing Single Malt Scotch list, with over 100 selections (many of which made us feel right at Scottish home, names we hadn’t seen much anywhere else other than Scotland. We’re sold. This place rocks).
TJ decides he better go big or go home. So, he orders a huge $60 steak and awaits in anticipation.
It’s monstrous. He’s delighted. He dives in and his eyes light up. “This is worth every single penny,” with maybe a select colorful words as he continues to enjoy it. I gotta say, I’ve probably never seen him so happy over a meal.
If you want to watch us geek out over the meal, go to my instagram where I have stories of The Kimberly on my profile.
So now we’re stuffed, we take a stroll around the neighborhood, and then the night is at a close. We return to our room, and are surprised to see that the concierge has gifted us a snack tray and left us a welcome note. Our bellies are full, but we eat it anyway, because it’s too thoughtful and good to pass up.
I want to show TJ the Brooklyn Bridge, but our time is limited, and we hate crowds. So, we wake up at 6a and take the subway to Chambers St to the pedestrian walkway entrance. The bridge is nearly empty, except for some runners, some patrol officers, and a few photographers.
We walk the entire length while the sun rises, cross over to Dumbo, and have coffee at the Brooklyn Roasting Company on Washington St (gluten free cookies for breakfast, not guilty at all).
We watch the instagrammers and their photographers block the intersection at Washington and Water, made famous by its pretty spectacular view of the Manhattan Bridge. One dude makes himself right at home, lying on the ground to snap his photo while a patient morning commuter waits for him instead of driving over him. Photographers, you really don’t need to be this obnoxious.
We walk along the water, down to the carousel, and back through the park. This isn’t the Brooklyn TJ was expecting. It’s clean, it’s safe. NYC in general has been a huge surprise for him in that regard. It’s not those ’80s movies he watches so much.
We hop back on the subway, back to the Kimberly, and it’s time to check-out (amazing they have 12p check-out).
The same bell hop that we chatted with yesterday about the 1913 Ford roadster outside the entrance is working again this morning. He greets us and helps us hail a cab. Everyone who works at The Kimberly is a loyal and long-time employee it seems like. It’s a lovely, welcoming hotel and we couldn’t recommend it enough. The thoughtful touches, like the cosy robes and the bin of umbrellas, just shows that The Kimberly wants you to feel prepared and looked after, whether you’re staying in or braving the weather.
And away we go, onto our next NYC adventure…
Thank you to Cristina Rodriguez at the Lou Hammond Group for assisting us the entire way and the staff at The Kimberly. Also thank you to Marcia Skyers-James!
It was definitely wonderful: