The Helmsley Carlton House

680 Madison Ave, Google Maps
Telephone 212-838-3000
Trip Advisor review of The Helmsley Carlton House


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What to expect: This handsome brick hotel was built in the 1950s as an apartment building, and staying here is like visiting the home of an affluent Upper East Side aunt. With white-gloved elevator attendants, phone messages delivered by staff, and a lobby that exudes European refinement, it attracts sophisticated international travelers—often repeat visitors—who appreciate the superb location and traditional, residential-style ambience.

Amenity highlights: This New York hotel is on upper Madison Avenue, one of the world’s most exclusive shopping districts. Dozens of designer boutiques offer covet-worthy clothing, jewelry, and linens. On the building’s street level, stores include Christofle, esteemed for silverware and crystal, and Aaron Basha, famed for enamel-and-gemstone baby-shoe pendants, exquisitely crafted in Italy. Givenchy, Chanel, Valentino, Hermès, Armani, and Ungaro are just a few of the couturier shops lining Madison Avenue and within 10 blocks of the hotel.

Insider tip: Two stately giraffe statues flank the entrance to Clyde’s, a boutique pharmacy popular with Upper East Siders. Located at Madison and East 74th Street, Clyde’s features a fantastic array of beauty products, including hard-to-find European lines. The store’s private-label Pink Grapefruit bath and body products make great gifts, and the giraffe-motif shopping bags are a delightful bonus.