Spotlight: The Pierre, New York

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

There’s something special about each and every luxury hotel. In our Spotlight series we showcase one property and highlight its most fantastic features—both the latest and longstanding. This week, we explore The Pierre.

Spot: Perched next to Central Park on Fifth Avenue, this Grande Dame of Manhattan has hosted a glamorous list of guest in its 82-year history, including Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor and the Rolling Stones. In 2009, the hotel received a $100 million renovation and married its Upper West Side elegance with the exoticism of the Taj Hotel name. Like their location, their service is second to none, with a three to one staff-to-guest ratio.

Highlight: The food choices put forth by Executive Chef Ashfer Biju. Just as the hotel blends classic and current, so too does Biji, overseeing the menus for the Two E Bar/Lounge, in-room dining, weddings and banquets.
Cooking since he was 16 and raised in a family of restaurateurs in Kerala, India, he serves up his mother’s Malabar Prawn Curry alongside European, Latin American, Southeast Asian and the Middle Eastern-inspired dishes to please a diverse palate. While the menu is international, Biji sources as many ingredients as he can locally. The newest thrills for the tongue come across the board, including a new Two E Dinner menu “Evening Bites” and a Wellness Menu which offers healthy choices such as a beetroot and ginger drink to help rid the body of toxins. Come April, in-room dining gets a mouth-watering revamp too. Good thing the Kiwi Advantage gets you a $50 food and beverage credit.

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