Matthew Miele’s Always at the Carlyle is a delightful lighthearted outing about the iconic landmark hotel in Manhattan. The hotel’s old world beauty and charm, the lovely personalities of the staff, and the platinum experience for the well-heeled are incredible, but not unique for New York City. What sets the Carlyle apart is its well-earned reputation for providing a safe and secure experience for celebrities and heads of state where the staff is absolutely committed to protecting their privacy.
This walled garden environment makes for a perfect place to breed wonderful stories about celebrity encounters and shenanigans.
If it looks familiar to you, but you swear you never stayed there, you’re not crazy: as it turns out Bill Murray used the hotel as the setting for his 2017 Christmas special A Very Murray Christmas.
“…fascinating watching the various interviews with celebrities who have (and who have not) been guests…”
There are over-the-top moments of grandeur, such as when we meet the Carlyle seamstress who hand-sews monograms onto pillowcases for the highest tier of guest service. Think royals and billionaires.
It is fascinating watching the various interviews with celebrities who have (and who have not) been guests. Jon Hamm is particularly noteworthy. They brought him to the Carlyle to tell stories about visiting, but he says he’s never stayed there. He seemed shocked at how much it costs and how wastefully excessive that conspicuous consumption is. Something about putting someone through school with those funds… right. He comes across righteously indignant, uptight, and nebbishy. Don Draper he is not.
I highly recommend spending time with Always at the Carlyle. There’s great joy in the history with the Carlyle staff, music over the years, and fun times had in one of the most amazing of places. If for none of those reasons, then just watch to see how the 1% do their 1% thing in absolute style and absolute comfort.
Always at the Carlyle (2018). Written and directed by Matthew Miele. Starring Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Anthony Bourdain.
8 out of 10