The Roosevelt Hotel might have taken its name from one of many New York Roosevelts, but it was President Theodore Roosevelt who was honored with that distinction in 1924 when this Midtown icon opened up.
Another personality who spent quite a bit of time in the hotel and whose photo is honored in one of the hotel's walkways is Guy Lombardo. The bandleader (and once host of the New Year's Eve Countdown) took up residency in the hotel from 1929 and called it his creative home for a good 30 years. It was from the Roosevelt that the New Year's Eve shows were broadcast on the radio and people became accustomed to hearing the song Auld Lang Syne as Lombardo's signature closing number. The tradition of singing the song to welcome in the New Year started at this hotel
Many people come through the hotel today from tourists looking for a central place to stay to gawking passersby who want to see the landmark's stunning lobby to business people here for a conference.
The hotel is located just steps away from Grand Central Terminal and is sometimes a stop on our Midtown Sights & Bites tour.
It has 1,015 rooms (including 54 suites) and a very elegant lobby with a central chandelier that is worth seeing. Part of its magnificence is the result of a n extensive renovation in the late 1990's.
When the Roosevelt opened, it was in the middle of Prohibition (which we delve into in detail on our Craft Cocktail Tour) and they were not legally allowed to open a bar in the lobby. So instead, they began renting retail space below the lobby and through a series of tunnels that once linked the hotel to Grand Central Terminal.
More recently, the hotel opened a trendy rooftop bar (Mad46), but if you hang out at the lobby bar you can easily convince yourself you've traveled back in time a few decades.
You can stay at the big name hotels (Marriott, Hilton, etc.) anywhere in the world. But there is only one Roosevelt and it is just off Madison Avenue in Midtown. And when you stay here, you truly feel like you're staying in New York City. It harkens back to a more glamorous time and you feel the heartbeat of the city around you. The big chains are sterile and sadly shut the city out.
And amazingly, you can get good deals at The Roosevelt Hotel and it's not much more expensive than other mid-range hotels in the incredible expensive Midtown area.
The Roosevelt Hotel
45 East 45th Street
New York, New York 10017