My Four Seasons Mercedes was waiting for me at JFK. Traffic was bad driving into Manhattan but, with WiFi and a chatty driver, it was a perfect one hour journey.
At the hotel Robert was waiting outside in the cold drizzle to welcome me. We chatted on our way up to my room about the former New York GM now in Hong Kong and Jeff at Four Seasons Koh Samui. Robert was a joy to meet.
In the room there was a beautiful sugar sculpture dedicated to Issy. There was also some doll's furniture by the bed but it was too small for Issy. Nathan (the hotel Manager) also came to introduce himself.
I was in a rush and hardly noticed the room was smaller than any I have been given at Four Seasons New York before. I tried to check the view but black paper had been taped across all the windows.
I went off to meet my friend Ed and had an incredible evening with him on the Upper East side.
Back at the room I emailed Nathan about my disappointment over the room.
New Year's Eve
It started with me ordering Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, hot chocolate and orange juice. The server claimed I had requested my windows to be blacked out. I replied that, combined with the incredible bed, it had led to a perfect night's sleep but I wanted to see the view and had not asked for this.
Guys quickly came and removed all the black paper, to reveal stunning views of Central Park and The Plaza hotel. The room was on the 37th floor on a corner, which meant you got the same views as with the suites I was given on my last few stays at this hotel.
I lazed around watching The Kardashians in bed before Nathan called to explain the hotel's current refurbishment meant there were few suites available.
Then it was off to wander around 5th Avenue, see my New Year's Eve post.
Back at the room New Year's Eve clothes had been delivered for Issy but no Veuve Clicquot. Luckily I had brought a bottle my brother gave me at Christmas.
I complained to Four Seasons about the Veuve Clicquot and was told it was going to be brought at bed turndown. I pointed out this would be after I went out and so it was agreed to send it up straight away.
That evening I met Ed in Club A Steakhouse. I was pleasantly surprised to find an open fire in their bar.
The place is looking a bit worn, and service was inattentive but my oysters and strip steak were delicious.
We then went to a nearby Manhattan bar where I saw in New Year drinking perfect martinis and making new friends. I even met a young lady who collects Beanie Babies!
I have had some incredible New Years (eg the Four Seasons Gresham Palace in Budapest with my Texas friends) but this was one of my best. I did not get to bed until after 3:30am!
New Year's Day
I got up late and took 'phone calls from Texas before packing. I had hoped for a late check out but my email to Nathan did not get a reply.
At checkout staff were disappointed with my comment that the stay was only OK and a manager said he would make Four Seasons Executive Management aware.
🐻🐻🐻 (3 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - Robert's welcome was perfect and I loved the sugar sculpture & the New Year Eve hat for Issy. However, the lack of a suite, not being able to see the view on the first night and the late Veuve Clicquot mean I really miss the former GM, will not be staying at Four Seasons New York again and so have had to give it this poor score.
Four Seasons New York's high prices mean you expect perfection and, on this occasion, they failed to deliver this. A real shame as I love Four Seasons & New York.
New York screams New Year and so, despite all my travel in the last few months, I booked Four Seasons New York to see in the New Year in perfect style.
Si Frew has lived in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar, Cyprus & the Cayman Islands. During this time he met Whoopi Goldberg (in Claridge's), Mike Tyson (in the Concorde Lounge at JFK) , Gordon Ramsay (in the Doha Four Seasons), Chris Eubanks (in The Dorchester), Cherie Blair (in Bermuda & again in the Doha Four Seasons) etc. There are funny stories attached to all these interactions, feel free to ask Si about them when you meet him.