Exterior window with an interior view in winter ©Author Adventures
Vintage tapestry, a clock, and a chest of drawers at Hotel Elysee ©Author Adventures

The Hotel Elysee, For Literature Lovers

The Hotel Elysee at 60 East 54th Street, near Central Park in Midtown Manhattan, has hosted many popular writers, most notably playwright Tennessee Williams and travel history writer James A. Michener. It offers a spectacular “Tennessee Williams Presidential Suite,” which features a 900-foot living space that includes memorabilia of the playwright who resided there.

According to hotelnewsnow.com: “Founded in 1926, The Hotel Elysée has a storied history, which includes connections with several celebrities. Actress Tallulah Bankhead, an 18-year resident at the hotel, threw a days-long party celebrating President Harry Truman’s victory over Thomas Dewey in the accompanying Monkey Bar. Writer Tennessee Williams (who has a presidential suite in the hotel named after him) lived in the hotel for 15 years before his death in the ‘Sunset Suite’ in 1983.”

Read more about the final chapter of his life here: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/02/25.

Hotel Ownership

Upscale Hotel Elysee was sold to new owners for $55 million in 2016, according to nypost.com.

An Artistic Highlight

To see a mural by Ed Sorel that includes famous writers with a connection to this historic establishment, see Monkey Bar Mural at Hotel Elysee. Its whimsical Jazz Age style provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable dining experience at this restaurant inside the hotel. Examples of television series that were filmed there include Sex and the City and Mad Men.

About the Writers

Read more about Tennessee Williams through our Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi website sections and about James A. Michener through our Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas website sections.

“I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.” — Tennessee Williams

“I have only one bit of advice to the beginning writer: Be sure your novel is read by Rodgers and Hammerstein.” James A. Michener

On the Path

The Hotel Elysee is the fourth stop on our New York Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart