The Inn at Irving Place
What We Love
- The five-course tea at Lady Mendl’s, one of Manhattan’s premier salons
- The inn’s close proximity to some of the city’s most iconic shops, including The Strand Bookstore and ABC Carpet & Home
- Access to Manhattan’s only private park
- In-room televisions, which are tucked into the mirrored wardrobes
What To Know
- Spring is the best time to visit for the bulbs that bloom throughout the surrounding Gramercy neighborhood
- Complimentary continental breakfast is offered daily
- Interconnecting rooms are available
- There’s no sign outside the property – just an address plaque
This genteel bed and breakfast, a late 19th-century townhouse whose previous incarnations have included a speakeasy, a beauty parlor, and a day spa, is a welcome antidote to flashy, fast-paced Manhattan. Embellishments like fresh-flower wreaths and crackling fireplaces encourage romance; Victorian furnishings, such as Tiffany lamps and Oriental rugs, will transport you back in time. The pièce de résistance, however, is a restored grand spiral staircase, which guests ascend to access the atmospheric rooms. And there are plenty of charming corners to choose from for a momentary escape from city life—including a whimsical tea salon, an enticing lobby, a basement bar aglow with amber lights, or the tranquil 181-year-old park nearby whose wrought-iron gates are only accessible with a special key.
With their four-poster beds, embroidered duvets, and cherry wood floors, Manhattan à la Henry James is brought to life in each of the 12 quarters here. Though it’s another author’s heroine, Madame Olenska (of “The Age of Innocence” fame), who inspired the inn’s most favored room, often dubbed the honeymoon suite, complete with a brocaded sitting nook.
Scones with clotted cream, chocolate-covered strawberries, and artisanal brioche sandwiches make up the royal five-course afternoon tea set at Lady Mendl’s, the inn’s star attraction. Though there isn’t a full restaurant on site, you’re just across the street from Casa Mono, chef Mario Batali’s Michelin-starred tapas joint.
With its proximity to Union Square (and its excellent farmer’s market), a variety of public transportation options, and the East River Greenway, this is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city.
How to Get There
What an absolute gem! Gorgeous decor, so old New York spirit! Just charming! We had the Eloise de Wolfe room, it was bigger than my old NYC studio apartment!!! Couldn't believe how spacious and the attention to detail!!! Just blown away. The staff was so nice and helpful, the breakfast was cute served in an adorable tea room, and the location simply can't be beat. Now that I've found this, it is my go-to New York hotel!!
Outstanding service - great people - an awful room. Terrific location with a charming breakfast. Sadly, the room left much to be desired. First, there is no desk. Second, the couch - more like a settee - seemed to have not been reupholstered since 1900 and the cushions had all aged away. The result was almost torture as you sat on barely covered wood slats. There is no ottoman so the two other equally aged straight-backed chairs were no comfort. The coffee table had a raised edge so that could not even be used for resting your feet. Terribly uncomfortable. Second, the air-conditioner was set to maximum and could not be turned down or off. The remote control was unresponsive. As a result, I had to open all the windows to the 90-degree heat just to get some balance. Third, there was almost no water pressure. It took minutes to fill a glass of water. The shower was a dribble of tepid water. It would take hours to fill the bath. Fourth, when I locked the door, the lock fell out. Finally, there is no elevator and there is no warning of that. I was on the top floor (3rd) in 90-degree weather and did not appreciate that after a long day as the floors are tall. On balance, the terrible room offset the advantages of the terrific period breakfast, outstanding service, and terrific location. I would not stay there again.
I could tell it was going to be good but I had no idea how good. Absolutely beautiful accommodation with loads of authentic period detail. Alfonso looked after us like we were favourite family too. Cannot recommend it enough. And be sure to have a cocktail at the amazing bar in the basement.