Friday, June 1, 2018

Always at the Carlyle - Documentary Review

The Documentary: Always at the Carlyle

The Director: Matthew Miele

The Story: The iconic Carlyle hotel has been an international destination for a particular jet-set as well as a favorite haunt of the most discernible New Yorkers.

The Review:
If the walls of this iconic New York hotel could talk, the stories would be wondrous, scandalous, and as historically significant as any building could ever produce. Director Matthew Miele attempts to get as many stories as he can from the staff, the guests, and the celebrities who frequent the establishment although most manage to keep their secrets locked away in a history book that will never be read or even seen by mere mortals. One of the keys to hotel's continued success is the impeccable quality of the staff from the front desk to the back laundry, every single person is excellent at what they do and each of them truly cares about the hotel and every guest that walks into a room.

What Miele gets absolutely right is the way the hotel feels and the old world style it exudes to the point where you feel like some form of time travel is involved as you walk through the hotel's revolving door. He shows you every detail from top to bottom without making it feel like a virtual tour and the personalities he chats with have no problem expressing how much they love being there. The list of people we get to see in the hotel is a who's who of A-listers including George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Anjelica Huston, Anthony Bourdain, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, and Jeff Goldblum.

A few of the juicier tidbits that leak out during the interviews come from talking about the dining and drinking establishments in the hotel, mot notably the Carlyle Cafe which features nightly performances from some of the world's top performers and you never know who you might see behind the piano or belting out a tune. Alan Cumming was more than happy to show off a photo of an impromptu pose that involved nudity and a champagne bottle at the cafe's front door which eventually became the cover for an album he put out.

Yes, we are offered just enough of a taste to pique our interests and wish that one day we might be worthy to walk these hallowed halls. Honestly, I pulled up the hotel's website to see just just how extravagant a stay here might be. Let's just say, I've now got this on my bucket list of experiences I would love to have the pleasure of being able to enjoy although not any time in the immediate future. Watching this fabulously filmed documentary will have to do for now and oh is it worth every moment.

The Verdict:
Always at the Carlyle is a fun, stylish, and extravagant look at one of New York's most iconic hotels and it offers just a little bit of a peak behind the curtain without giving away any of its cherished secrets.

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