The Knickerbocker hotel, built in 1906 by one of America’s wealthiest men, John Jacob Astor IV, was the epitome of opulence and glamour in New York City at the debut of the 20th century.
Male guests were required to wear tuxedos upon arrival to its many occasions, and “Champagne Only” signs adorned the hotel’s walls. Parties cost $500 a plate while the rooms went for a mere $2 a night. And legend has it that the first gin martini was born in its celebrated barroom, nicknamed "The 42nd Street Country Club," after John D. Rockefeller expressed a thirst for something not yet on the menu to bartender, Martini di Arma di Taggia. But in 1921, with the onset of Prohibition, and following the death of the founder, who sunk aboard the ill-fated Titanic nine years prior, the hotel was forced to shutter its doors.
Now, restored to its former glory as a chic, modern oasis at the edge of Times Square, The Knickerbocker invites guests to explore its glamorous past on a private in-depth tour of the hotel led by an expert guide.
The iconic Knickerbocker hotel is housed inside a Beaux-Arts masterpiece—reflective of the opulence of the era in which it was built.
While its 330 remodeled guest rooms are shiny and new, the iconic Knickerbocker building is a Beaux-Arts landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Guests are invited to learn more about the hotel’s grand beginnings during a special tour of The Knickerbocker's architectural treasures. Discover fascinating tidbits of New York City history, like what made Times Square a buzzing tourist destination and how John Jacob Astor helped create the modern subway system. You might even find the hotel’s secret barroom entrance underground at the 42nd street station.
At the end of the tour, enjoy an ice-cold gin martini, stirred the way Rockefeller would have required it, at the St. Cloud rooftop bar overlooking Times Square. Relax and imagine how the early 20th century's titans of industry would have sat in the same spot, with an eye toward the bustling city below, as kings surveying their domain.
To learn more about The Knickerbocker, or to arrange for a design tour of the hotel, please contact the concierge upon making a reservation.