From the Sherry-Netherland to the Pierre, from the Mandarin to the Mark, Manhattan’s legendary hotels are becoming home to more and more people. Just imagine the luxury of living in a timeless landmark such as the Plaza. In these elegant apartments, which can occupy an entire floor or more, amenities like turn-down service and dry cleaning are standard. Chef-crafted tapas and bottles of champagne are part of the room-service specialties only a phone call away, and sweeping skyline views add to the impressive, all-inclusive packages. Celebrities, foreign travelers and born-and-bred New Yorkers alike have purchased real estate in establishments where their private homes reside high above rooms filled with just-for-the-week guests. Here’s a close-up look at a few of these gracious residences.
Located at 781 Fifth Avenue, the Sherry-Netherland is a 100 percent co-operative. While some of the apartments can be purchased or leased through the hotel, others are owned by an investment group, which rents out some units as well. The top 10 to 15 floors of the hotel comprise the Tower Units: 2,500-square-foot, full-floor apartments with 11-foot ceilings that are owned by individual buyers. Roger Erickson, senior managing director and associate broker for Sotheby’s International Real Estate, recently sold a unit on the 31st floor with an asking price of $9 million.
Views from the apartment’s windows include Central Park South, the George Washington Bridge, and the Empire State Building. The units are sold unfurnished, so those moving in can add modern or vintage décor as desired. Aside from the usual daily linens changing and nightly turn-down service, residents can expect a once-a-month general cleaning of the rugs and windows. Each apartment retains a dedicated housekeeper to ensure that everything from the marble bathrooms to the furniture stays spotless. Limousine service, a state-of-the-art on-site fitness center, and beauty salon all cater to the owners’ sophisticated tastes, while the Harry Cipriani restaurant below always offers dining delights. “If you want risotto tonight, just call down,” says Erickson. “Fifteen minutes later, it’ll be at your door.”
Two blocks away sits another 100 percent co-op, the Pierre. At this particular hotel, the Taj owns many shares and rents them out. Buyers who purchase Taj units benefit because the company is responsible for all renovations and repairs. Another perk is the grand hotel lobby, which boasts strict, 24-hour security. As Erickson puts it, “No one enters without security knowing who they are or what they are doing.” Similar to the Sherry-Netherland, residents receive twice-daily maid services, a monthly general clean of the apartment, and the Le Cirque team offers guests Sirio Ristorante, a Tuscan-inspired dining option.
Some of the hotel’s higher end apartments include a full-tower floor apartment on the 29th floor, on the market for $25 million—with very high ceilings and 5,000 square feet of space, it’s one of the larger units. Most of the Tower units are 2,500 square feet, according to Erickson, and there are larger and smaller options. A one-bedroom on the 26th floor is available for $3 million and offers enchanting views of Central Park.
One of the most breathtaking off-the-market residences is on the 21st floor. This apartment, which was one of the first designed by architectural guru Richard Meier, has a terrace high above Central Park. Erickson sold the apartment to an Argentinean woman, and when the 20th floor also became available, she purchased the floor below, connecting the two units with a staircase. Including the terrace, Erickson says the apartment is well over 6,000 square feet. Eventually the 90-year-old woman put the duplex on the market for $19.5 million and received two full-price bids after only a week. “I have sold a bunch in the both the Sherry and the Pierre,” says Erickson. “People only leave if they cannot manage to stay anymore. I have never had anyone resell except once, due to divorce.”
A La Carte Amenities
Guests at hotels often revel in the daily attention from the staff, but those who buy in the hotel may not require all the same services. Enter hotels like the Mandarin Oriental or The Mark, where owners can hand-select and pay for the amenities they can’t live without while passing up the ones they can. This is perfect for international buyers who may only stay a few mont
hs each year and would prefer daily maid services during that time. “They will do everything that you need, like booking impossible-to-get theatre tickets,” says Erickson. “They will take care of you. People get to a certain point where they love that they are living in an apartment building with the same service as a hotel.”
Currently listed as the most expensive condominium co-op apartment in New York City, The Mark’s $60 million penthouse comes with 26-foot ceilings, a private 2,400-square-foot roof deck overlooking Central Park, and a personal elevator. Add five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two powder rooms, a sky-lit conservatory, and plenty of space for entertaining and the place more than earns its price tag. Other perks include: Gaggenau, Sub-Zero, and Miele kitchen appliances and accessories; a mirrored television integrated into the vanity, and a heated towel bar in the master bathroom; and an exercise studio with steam room inside the apartment.
Travel to the lobby to dine at The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges, order a sidecar at The Bar Mark, and get pampered in the Frédéric Fekkai Salon. “The hotel is very European-chic,” says Elida Jacobsen Justo, director of ownership sales for The Mark. “You don’t have another building looking down on you. It’s a serene feeling, like you are all alone and not in a fishbowl.”
The ultimate in luxury hotel stays, The Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel provides dreamlike accomodations in New York City not only for guests, but for residents looking for the prime skyline spectacle in town. With units located above the five-star-rated hotel, residents can receive hotel services, including housekeeping, valet parking, in-home dining and catering, and linen and turn-down services, which are available at an additional cost. Homeowners also have access to the 3,000-square-foot Technogym Fitness Center and business center with private conference room. The hotel restaurant serves dishes crafted by celebrity chef Michael White.
The residences at 400 Fifth Avenue offer buyers views of the entire city, with the homes beginning on the 31st floor. “Residents of 400 Fifth Avenue enjoy the true luxury lifestyle – not only does the building boast flawless design and spectacular views, but it also offers an exceptional array of world-class amenities that only The Setai Fifth Avenue can provide,” says Karen Mansour, Executive Vice President of DE Development Marketing, the property’s exclusive sales and marketing firm. “400 Fifth Avenue is the ultimate Manhattan address and, with sales velocity soaring into fall, now is the time to claim a piece of the dream.” The price point for the homes range from just under $1.5 million for a one-bedroom residence to $32 million for a penthouse with north/south and east/west exposures that create a breathtaking 360-degree view from the top. Because of its central location, Rossi says the building is attracting a global audience.