Before the paparazzi discovered the Duchess of Sussex’s location, it was a regular weekend at The Mark Hotel. The snow was falling and rose bouquets were lined up on the flower cart at the entrance alongside Bergdorf Goodman rickshaws. Guests flowed in and out of the lobby donning red-soled shoes and Chanel bags – markers of Manhattan’s glossy Upper East Side. The standard celebrity hustle was nowhere to be seen, and that’s part of the charm of this iconic New York destination, discreetly positioned on Madison Avenue and 77th Street.
Since opening in 2009, The Mark has become a Met Gala prep-centre and has hosted high-profile guests arriving in the city for everything from New York Fashion Week to United Nations Summits. The hotel’s owner, Izak Senbahar, told The New York Times in 2015 that it’s a place where “fashion people and celebrities feel liberated” – and it’s easy to see why, thanks to its impressive list of collaborators. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten; a salon by Frédéric Fekkai; and interior design led by Jacques Granges, with bespoke creations from the likes of Todd Eberle and the late Karl Lagerfeld.