Have you ever noticed that New York City hotels are often buried in a jumble of surrounding architecture, obfuscated by a frenzy street activity? Without signage, you'd walk right past many of their entrances without noticing. Sofitel NYC is an exception to this scenario, rising 30 stories above 44th and 45th streets and sheathed in a contemporary pattern of limestone and glass among midtown Manhattan's concrete canyons.
Upon stepping through their doorman-attended large plate glass front doors, you have entered a level of refinement that you've come to expect with Sofitel. The brand’s signature French art de vivre is on display before even reaching the reception desk. Upon entering the enormous lobby, guests are met with five individual seating areas lined with velvet couches, clusters of sumptuous leather club chairs and copious vases of fresh cut flowers. Pierre-Yves Rochon, a Paris-based French designer, created this setting along with all 398 guest room interiors that showcase a twist on classic Parisian décor and a 1940’s Manhattan Art Deco ambiance.
Perhaps the most definitive feature of staying at the property is how the hotel bridges French culture with NYC’s displays of Americana. Bilingual France- Amérique magazine is prominently on display in the lobby and rooms, classic close-up photographs of the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty line the walls, and most notably, the menu at Gaby Brasserie Francaise invites you to luxuriate in French cuisine.
Named after a Parisian model who found inspiration and an eventual home in 1920’s New York, Gaby's menu features classic French dishes ranging from coq au vin to steak frites as well as foie gras au torchon and caille en crapaudine. The dishes represent Executive Chef Sylvain Harribey's individual approach to flavors and seasonal ingredients. “I look for new ways to refine classic French recipes and techniques, trying new combinations of ingredients, experimenting with culinary traditions, and procuring only the freshest products from local farms when possible” says Harribey. LeNôtre trained, Harribey's culinary achievements include winning first prize on Food Network's hit show Chopped and helming Philadelphia’s renowned Chez Colette before arriving at Sofitel in 2009.
With all of Sofitel NYC's comforts and French cultural inspiration at your finger tips,it's extremely tempting to relish your newly-found pied-à-terre and not venture outside the hotel, especially if you're staying one night or are already familiar with the city. But keep in mind that Bryant Park's picnic-perfect grassy lawns, Broadway's theater district, and Madison Avenue shopping are all within a three block radius of your doorstep