The Pierre, A Taj Hotel New York Review: A Slick High-Society Gem
— Updated on 17 September 2023

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel New York Review: A Slick High-Society Gem

— Updated on 17 September 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

I step into The Rotunda and get a slight sense of displacement. This iconic space, the scene of many high-society soirees, makes me feel like I’m in a fantastical French castle. The painted sky-blue ceiling with cartoonish clouds looms over me while I – jaw well and truly dropped – examine the intricate panoramic mural by Kentucky-born artist Edward Melcarth. It’s the most beautiful dining room I’ve ever seen.

And it’s the emblematic heart of The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in New York City. A hotel, mind you, that’s renowned as one of the most beloved properties for high society. Black and white portraits of famous people like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Charlize Theron, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent line the magnificent lobby while a hidden museum beneath the reception is a treasure trove of Big Apple history.

The Pierre, which opened in 1930, faces the southeast corner of Central Park and has ostensibly hosted some of New York’s most definitive parties. Just about everyone of note would have walked through those doors at some point so it’s hard not to feel self-important when shuffling across the beautiful black-and-white marble floors of the lobby.

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Pops of Italian and French accents can be found throughout the hotel but this is very much a sketch of Indian luxury on top of NY’s power-moves-only shtick. I’ll make an attempt at a fair evaluation of the New York property in the below hotel review of The Pierre.

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel





  • Fascinating connection to high society
  • The Rotunda is one of New York’s most beautiful spaces
  • Comfortable rooms
  • Exceptional service
  • Great location opposite Central Park
  • Hidden museum adds a huge sense of place


  • Rooms are on the small side
  • Bathrooms are very cramped in entry level rooms

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel Review


The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
The Pierre is positioned so well for New York that it even has its own hidden museum, which had to be a part of this review. (Photo by Chris Singh)

The Pierre faces the southeast corner of Central Park, which means it’s just a stone’s throw from The Plaza. I’d say it’s equally just as glamorous as New York’s most iconic hotel, with a history that runs just as deep.

Being on the Upper East Side means you’ve got a lot of boutiques and high-end restaurants potted around the surrounding streets, plus easy access to Fifth Avenue and just about every subway station you could hope for.

As I’ve mentioned on Boss Hunting before, getting around New York City is never a pain yet it’s always nice, especially after a big night, knowing that you aren’t going to have to put much effort into getting back between your swanky high-end linens.

Design & Features

Having a Santa Maria Novella boutique in your hotel is a real flex (Photo by Chris Singh)

The Pierre is prolifically grand despite its boutique size. There are 189 rooms and suites in the 44-storey building, which blends an obvious love of neoclassical architecture with a nod to the hotel group’s Indian heritage. The exterior isn’t as dramatic as some of New York’s other grand dames, but walk inside and you’re greeted with a palatial lobby full of fresh flowers popping colours against the sightly black-and-white marble floors.

To your left when you enter is, to my knowledge, the city’s only Santa Maria Novella boutique. The famed Florentine perfumery, which was founded in 1360, fills the immediate area with a squeaky-clean aroma and helps give the lobby some personality.

The aforementioned black-and-white portraits of celebrity parties are spread neatly through the hallways but if you really want to get a feel of the hotel’s history then head on down to the secret museum. Yes, the hotel has seen enough to justify having a small museum dedicated to the property and its many, many parties.

You’ll find the diminutive museum beneath the reception, accessible via a hidden stairway near the cocktail lounge. It’s a bit chaotic and disorganised but there’s a lot of memorabilia and information about the hotel’s history that you can cobble together from the disparate postcards, newspaper clippings and plaques. It’s a nice touch and I only wish more of New York City’s grand dames would introduce something similar. It helps you feel more connected to the city that has never once slept.


(Photo by Chris Singh)
The Pierre, A Taj Hotel new york
(Photo by Chris Singh)

My superior room is on the small side at 27 square metres but there’s little to complain about with the puffy, supremely comfortable bed. I’d go so far as to say it’s up there with the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on.

A working desk, window and antique cabinet make up the living space. Yes, that’s quite plain, but The Pierre’s air of sophistication is expressed well. However, the Turkish marble bathrooms in these entry-level rooms are outrageously small. Lifted by premium amenities as they may be, having a cramped bathroom in a hotel of such repute does chip away at the grandiosity of it all.

Food & Drink

Always take your meals in The Rotunda (Photo by Chris Singh)

The classy Two E Bar & Lounge is the most eye-catching of The Pierre’s two F&B spaces, but restaurant Perinne is famously one of New York City’s finest hotel restaurants. The French-leaning kitchen practices restraint when it comes to fresh, seasonal produce, whipping dishes up with classic techniques.

The dining room, however, is nowhere near as impressive as The Rotunda so a good tip is to actually ask if you can take your meals in the fantastical space instead.

Two E Bar & Lounge is the kind of place where you’d expect live jazz. And you’d get it as well; from Thursday through Saturday, there is a full jazz band that takes the corner of the stylish, Mad Men-esque space. It might not have the same reputation as the stunning Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, but this late-night spot is a true gem.


The Pierre NEw York review
White-gloved elevator operators: a novelty for most regular guests. This is where they sit all day (Photo by Chris Singh)

I’ve never been, despite my heritage, but I know that India is similar to South Africa in that luxury sits on a level unseen by many parts of the world. Hospitality sits at the centre, so you can expect some truly exceptional service from check-in to check-out.

The concierge team is a small army of problem-solvers. Yet, there’s a limit. If you wanted to make a booking at The Polo Club or another one of New York’s powerful venues, there’s little doubt this team could make it happen. However, if you wanted to book yourself around Brooklyn there seem to be some limitations.

New York’s concierges are well-connected and pride themselves on their close relationships with venues. They can unlock parts of the city you’d never find as a guest of a lesser hotel. So when I rock up and ask them to book somewhere in Brooklyn, they have to contend with the website like everyone else. This is because their relationships are often dictated by the usual clientele. The usual clientele doesn’t really bother with Brooklyn.

Yet there’s a clear attempt to score a win at all costs. The concierge team keep me updated regularly about any bookings via WhatsApp. I feel extremely well taken care of.

You’ll find great service all across the hotel. The turn-down service is immaculate, and those white-gloved elevator operators will remember your name each and every time. For a very un-rich Australian journalist, having someone sit in an elevator all day (there are chairs in there) waiting to press a button for you is the kind of culture shock I don’t want to get used to. But I have little doubt regulars to The Pierre are very satisfied.

Verdict & Value

According to Google, the average rate for a night at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is a bit over AU$1,800. Expensive from my perspective no doubt but quite reasonable for someone who frequents luxury hotels. The problem here is that a rate like this is only getting you the lead-in room, and I could see many being disappointed with the size despite the bed being one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on.

The Plaza, which is right around the corner, is often around the same price but on a good day you could score a room for around AU$1,200. Is The Pierre $600 better? Not really. But there’s a lot to be said about the laser-focused, personable service and how it can truly elevate your stay if you’re posted up at the hotel for more than a few nights.

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel – Details

Address: 2 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065
Contact: +1 212-838-8000

Rates at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel start from around AU$ per night.

The author, Chris Singh, stayed as a guest of The Pierre, A Taj Hotel.

Enjoyed our review of The Pierre in New York? Check out our other NYC content below:

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel Review, New York – Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a night at The Pierre in New York?

You’re looking at an average rate of around AU$1,800 for a night at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel.

Where is The Pierre located in New York?

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is located on East 61st Street, opposite the southeast corner of Central Park.

Who owns The Pierre in New York?

The Pierre has been owned by India’s Taj Hotel Group since 2005.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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