Nestled between the New York Public Library’s flagship location, and Grand Central Station, The Library Hotel is a book nerd’s paradise. The ivy and brick glad building rests on the corner of Madison Ave and 41st, in all of its neo-gothic glory, and is surrounded by the 100 bronze literary plates that line the infamous “Library Way.”
What’s fun about this hotel is the delightful lengths they take their theme. The rooms are organized based on the Dewey Decimal system. There are ten floors represented by ten Decimal categories and comprising of sixty unique rooms. For instance, the “General Knowledge” floor will have a “new media” room, while “The Arts” floor will have a “music” room. The subject assigned to the room will dictate the art and books available in that room. The hotel proudly holds over 6,000 hardcover books, stocked by one of Manhattan’s oldest bookstore, The Strand.
The library theme is further expanded upon in the common rooms. The Reading Room features an always open snack bar, a complimentary continentatl breakfast, and a nightly wine and cheese bar. The hotel’s rooftop retreat features the Writer’s Den, Bookmark Bar, and the guest favorite Poetry Garden. Each unique area exists in an open wrap around terrace as well as a glass enclosed garden terrace making it perfect for reading, socializing, or holding events. If the weather is clear enough, as you and your friends are relaxing on one of the many zebra print bench cushins, sipping a Tea S. Eliot, or Tequila Mockingbird, you may even be able to see 100 blocks straight into Harlem.
The Library Hotel, of course, wouldn’t be a book lover’s retreat if it didn’t have some literary and celebrity guest power. David Baldacci, Nelson Demille, John Grisham, Amy Tan, Erica Jong, Dava Sobel and Diane Ackerman have all been known to stay there. Astronaut Neil Armstrong has claimed this hotel as a favorite preferring the astronomy and biography rooms. Famed fashion designer, Vera Wang consulted on the fashion themed room, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer curated the love room.
Finally, the hotel’s resident restaurant Madison & Vine features all American fare consisting of mouth- watering dishes. Examples include Roasted Diver Scallops drizzled with orange confit dressing parsnip puree, endive garnish; The Vine Burger topped with Gruyere cheese, beefsteak tomato, butter lettuce, red onions and Madison mayo on a toasted brioche roll with seasoned fries; and Maine Peekytoe Crab Cake double roasted red peppers, micro greens and yogurt sauce.
If you are looking for a delightful stay in blocks from Times Square, the Empire State Building, Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue, then the Library Hotel should be at the top of your list.