Cultural Cocktail Hour

The Sherry-Netherland: A welcome dose of Beauty and Civility

 Review: The Sherry-Netherland

A welcome dose of Beauty and Civility in Manhattan


 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City is a place that embodies civility at its finest: The Sherry-Netherland. If you find yourself lost, a sidewalk clock on Fifth Avenue bearing the hotel’s name lets you that you have arrived.

The resplendent lobby ceiling harkens back to the Vatican. In fact, the artist who created the ceiling, Joseph Aruta found inspiration for his glorious mural in Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican Palace.

Many of the details of this gilded building, including the walls, mosaic floors, and panels inside the elevator were originally part of the Vanderbilt mansion. White-gloved attendants lead you to the elevator, squiring you to your room where fresh flowers await. The joyful white flowers are accompanied by handwritten welcome note from the hotel management and a box of Louis Sherry Chocolates. This confectionary detail evokes the hotel’s history, as the hotel was named for Louis Sherry, a Gilded Age businessman and candy maker, whose company acquired the hotel. The Netherland component of the hotel’s name harkens back to its original name, the New Netherland. (The Dutch Republic had named a portion of the East Coast “The New Netherland,” and its capital was New Amsterdam, located at the southern tip of Manhattan.)The detail of the flowers and chocolates underscores perhaps the most memorable detail of the Sherry-Netherland: the graciousness of its first rate staff.

I was intrigued to discover that the Sherry-Netherland is also home to private residences. The hotel staff is equally attentive to its residents and hotel guests.

On my first stay at the Sherry, when my son was 2 years-old, Lenny, one of the bell captains, greeted him with an adorable toy giraffe and book, which Julian Giraffe Sherry Netherlandmade his day.

Then, on this visit two years later, when my son was 4 years-old, Pedro, one of the elevator attendants, kindly entertained my son in the splendid Vanderbilt elevator by making rabbit ears on the shadows of the elevator wall. He, then showed my son the figure of a rabbit etched into the wall of the lobby. The staff at the hotel’s world class restaurant, Harry Cipriani, is also superb.  Moreover, one of the drivers at the Sherry-Netherland, George, drove us to JFK on what proved to be my smoothest drive to the airport ever.

The elegance and refinement of the Sherry-Netherland building make it exceptional and the warm, gracious staff make it unforgettable.

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