Interesting facts about The Carlyle
• Diane Ginsberg Jaffe, the daughter of the hotel’s founder, named The Carlyle after British essayist, Thomas Carlyle.
• U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan have called The Carlyle their “unofficial” New York home.
• Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed at The Carlyle on their first visit to New York City in December 2014.
• During the Kennedy administration, the hotel’s original owner, Robert Dowling, always kept the “Kennedy duplex” empty just in case the President decided to come to New York.
• Composer Richard Rodgers was The Carlyle’s first tenant back in 1930.
• Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn first met at The Carlyle.
• The Carlyle has been the hotel of choice for Hollywood’s elite since Ingrid Bergman checked in after completing Intermezzo.
• The two Jan Weenix murals in the elevator lobby were originally a series of five paintings that were commissioned by a wealthy merchant from Amsterdam in the late 1600s. They were sold to newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst in 1923. The Carlyle has owned the two paintings since the early 1940s and they have been on display in the hotel ever since.
• The Carlyle is a virtual catalog of design history, home to the work of some of the world’s most legendary decorators including Dorothy Draper, Mark Hampton, Renzo Mongiardino and Thierry Despont.
• The Carlyle has a famous soap that was originally produced for the hotel in the early 1990s and has been in the guest rooms ever since. The soap is a special Honeysuckle blend made exclusively for The Carlyle by Gilchrist & Soames. Over 2500 bars are sold to inquiring guests per year.
• The Housekeeping department makes over 1200 Monogrammed pillowcases every year.
• In 2016, Artist Rudolf Stingel created the three Bemelmans-inspired paintings that are currently installed in the Lobby. The artwork features photorealistic depictions of Ludwig Bemelmans’ playful images that adorn the walls of Bemelmans Bar.
• The late Hubert de Givenchy used to own apartment 1706, which only became a part of the hotel’s guest room inventory in 2017.
• Situated at the corner of Madison Avenue and 76th Street, The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel has been a classic landmark of Manhattan’s elegant Upper East Side since 1930. Located just one block from Central Park, The Carlyle is a 35-story, 190-room hotel offering guests a combination of discretion and grace. The Carlyle is surrounded by galleries and designer boutiques on New York’s posh Madison Avenue and is located blocks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the MET Breuer and the Frick. The strong Art Deco influence, introduced by the hotel’s first decorator Dorothy Draper, has been meticulously maintained, from the famed black and white marbled lobby to Art Deco motifs of the hotel’s specialty suites. Many of the accommodations have been updated further with a more contemporary flair from designers such as Alexandra Champalimaud and Thierry Despont. Every American president since Truman has visited and its rich history includes visiting Royals and heads-of-state including HRH, The Prince of Wales; the late Diana, Princess of Wales; TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Kings and Queens of Denmark, Greece, Spain and Sweden.
• The Carlyle is alive with music; over 20 suites have Steinway or Baldwin baby-grand pianos. Many were Bobby Short’s former pianos from Café Carlyle, where he played to sold-out crowds for 36 years.
• Café Carlyle is highlighted by music-themed original murals created by French artist Marcel Vertès, who won two Academy Awards for the 1952 film, Moulin Rouge.
• Café Carlyle, the New York City pillar of classic cabaret entertainment, continues to draw socialites, politicians and celebrities into its distinguished and glamorous setting. Tucked behind a Madison Avenue doorway, Café Carlyle welcomes its guests into a classic cabaret where incredible talent and music are paired with New York elegance and style.
• Originally opened in 1955, Café Carlyle is known for headlining incredible talents in a classic cabaret setting. For over three decades, Café Carlyle was synonymous with the legendary Bobby Short, who thrilled sell-out crowds for 36 years. His spirit lives on through the music at Café Carlyle. Other legendary musicians such as Eartha Kitt, Elaine Stritch and Judy Collins have also performed over the years at the famed venue. More recent acts include Alan Cumming, Isaac Mizrahi, Debbie Harry and Rita Wilson. Sutton Foster, Chita Rivera, Isaac Mizrahi, Alan Cumming, Lena Hall, Judy Collins.
• Seating up to 90 for dinner and a performance, the supper club offers a unique intimate space for guests to feel like they have stepped back in time. It is highlighted by music-themed original murals created by French artist Marcel Vertès, the two-time Oscar-winning art director of the 1952 Moulin Rouge. Vertès was influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the French painter best known for his depictions of the infamous Moulin Rouge in the late 1800s.
• Renowned for its traditional elegance, Café Carlyle infuses modern elements without sacrificing the history and refinement that are hallmarks of The Carlyle. In addition to the whimsical murals, the Café features perimeter banquettes that curve along the edge of the room.
• Since composer Richard Rodgers moved in as The Carlyle’s first tenant, music has been an essential part of the hotel’s experience. No place is that more evident than in Café Carlyle. A romantic and intimate venue for live entertainment, Café Carlyle continues the tradition of the 1930s supper club.
• The Carlyle is a showcase of great art. Bemelmans Bar contains the only surviving public murals of artist/author Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the famed Madeline children’s book series.
• Celebrities such as Bono, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper, Liza Minelli, Billy Joel, John Mayer and Bill Murray have all made impromptu cameo appearances at the piano in the famed Bemelmans Bar.
• A legendary neighborhood bar of Upper East Siders and visitors alike, Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle is a special hideaway where artist and author Ludwig Bemelmans’ whimsical illustrations come to life on its walls. Best remembered for his beloved Madeline series of classic children’s books, Bemelmans was commissioned by the hotel’s Managing Director in the mid-1940s to paint the large-scale murals to depict all four seasons in famed Central Park. In exchange for his work, it is rumored that Bemelmans and his family received accommodations in the hotel for a year-and-a-half.
• Originally opened in 1947, some of New York City’s greatest jazz pianists have graced the piano at Bemelmans Bar over its seventy-two-year history. The iconic bar features live music seven days a week by favorite performers such as Earl Rose, Rob Mosci, Loston Harris, David Budway, Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch. All have an affinity for playing classics from the Great American Songbook, but guests can also occasionally hear songs from more contemporary artists as well.
• Restored in 2002 by renowned designer Thierry Despont, the bar maintains its Art Deco legacy with chocolate-brown leather banquettes, nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops, a dramatic black granite bar and a 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling. Featuring the only surviving Bemelmans’ commission open to the public, the bar combines wit and coziness in a unique New York style.
• Bemelmans is open from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 noon to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from 12:00 noon to midnight. Bar snacks and light meals are available from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Guests can enjoy classic cocktails while swinging to lively music, including live solo performances every Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and a jazz trio every Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings from 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to midnight.
MOVIES & TV
• The Carlyle has made an appearance in many movies and television shows including Hannah & Her Sisters, Hollywood Ending, Sex & The City, Gossip Girl, HBO’s Girls and Bravo’s Younger.
• Netflix’s 2015 Christmas special, entitled “A Very Murray Christmas” starring Bill Murray and written and directed by Sofia Coppola, was filmed entirely at The Carlyle. (With the exception of the dream sequence.)
• In May 2018, Quixotic Endeavors and director Matthew Miele released a fully authorized 90-minute documentary on the legendary property entitled, Always at The Carlyle. The film was released theatrically in the U.S. and Canada and digitally in the U.K. It can now be found on iTunes, Amazon and STARZ.