Staying at Midtown’s Hotel Bristol in the 1940s

Today, there’s a Chipotle at the Rockefeller Center address the Hotel Bristol once occupied.

The Bristol, as this postcard shows, was one of dozens of smart, modern city hotels catering to the influx of businessmen and tourists in the early 20th century.


The Bristol appears to have been a happening place through the 1940s. That Pink Elephant restaurant must have been the site of many boozy business dinners.


A 1922 ad showcases the Bristol’s endorsement by the YMCA: “A good hotel that Y men can recommend, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue. 400 rooms, 300 baths. Rooms with bath: single $2 to $4. Double $5, $6, and $7.”

I don’t know if there’s any connection to the Bristol Plaza Hotel in the East 60s today—or if it’s a larger version of the six-story Bristol Hotel at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in the late 19th century.

Cool old phone exchange: Circle!

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5 Responses to “Staying at Midtown’s Hotel Bristol in the 1940s”

  1. Ricky Says:

    Why 500 baths when there are 400 rooms?

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Should be 300 baths–hard to read that tiny 1922 type!

  3. swiveltam Says:

    WOW! Cool postcard and story. I love vintage stuff and the 1940s. I was researching resident hotels for women in the 1940s for a sequel to my novel. Fun to come across this. You know even if I find old original hotels, they’ve always been updated and don’t have the charm and simple elegance they once did. I wish I could spend a week back in time.

    ~ Tam Francis ~

  4. PeteNorth Says:

    In the early 80’s LL Cool J wrote a song called “Bristol Hotel” Room 515!

  5. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I remember that. Jamaica, queens!

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