'Always At The Carlyle': From secret tunnels to Jackie Kennedy's favorite meal, 5 best moments from the film
'Always at the Carlyle' takes The iconic Carlyle Hotel in New York city head-on as it tries to reveal the secrets lives that its clientele live within its legendary walls
Art, culture, elite parties, and secrets we can only wish we knew, the walls of The Carlyle on Madison Avenue, New York City, have, for the last 87 years been a mystery of sorts. It isn't your garden variety luxury hotel — it boasts of a clientele that ranges from the likes of the late Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Will and Kate, to a number of presidents, including John F Kennedy. It also boasts of keeping their secrets safe — any escapades, love affairs and rendezvous stay within the walls of the building.
"What happens at The Carlyle, stays at The Carlyle," they say but it looks like writer/director Matthew Miele refuses to believe that. Quite frankly, neither do we. 'Always at the Carlyle', Miele's first documentary on the iconic hotel tries to uncover the secrets that live within from the mouth of the employees as well as its influential clientele.
George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, Tommy Lee Jones, Vera Wang, Anthony Bourdain, Roger Federer, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Jon Hamm, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, and Elaine Stritch are just among the few who tell us what it really means to be in The Carlyle.
Here are our five favorite moments from the film.
1. Did Marilyn Munroe really come through a tunnel to meet JFK?
Through the course of the film, there's a huge myth that was debunked about the affair between JFK and Munroe. Although never confirmed, it is believed that the two met up at The Carlyle during the heights of their romance. There were photos of JFK exiting and entering the hotel but we never really see Munroe. In fact, John F. Kennedy is said to have had an apartment at the Carlyle Hotel before and during his presidency. It was often called the New York White House. Rumor had it that the hotel created a special tunnel for her so that she could meet him in secret. When the bellman was asked if there really was such a tunnel, he said a little too casually, "I'm still looking for the tunnel and I cannot find it. I've worked here for 51 years, I haven't found the tunnel yet." He then walked away from the camera laughing. Hmm.
2. George Clooney reveals Amal's favorite place to stay in New York
Clooney has been a huge part of the hotel's clientele. Turns out, his wife loves them too. George and his wife Amal have lived there many times over the course of their marriage, he revealed. "It's like family for her here. She loves this place. She loves the view," he mentioned while talking about his own love for the hotel. He also seemed to be a favorite among the staff, many of who mentioned how nice and humble he is. There's a reason Clooney is the ruler of hearts — it's more than just his super sexy voice. You can book a stay here.
3. Jaqueline Kennedy's favorite meal at Carlyle
The world has been obsessed with Jackie Kennedy. A fashion icon, the former first lady lived most of her public life in the glaring spotlight. The Carlyle provided the most perfect place for her to unwind and be left alone, away from the paparazzi. Her favorite meal while she was on the premises? "She would always eat a cobb salad, every time," said an employee of the hotel. "She liked to drink a gin and tonic and smoke one cigarette along with it," he added.
4. John Hamm's take on the steep prices
It looks like not everyone likes to spend big bucks on hotels. When asked about the prices at the hotel, he confesses that he's never lived there. "That much money could pay for someone's education," he says laughing. John Hamm really does like to prioritize. In case you are wondering, The Empire Suite will cost you about $20,000 a night on an average. A duplex located on the 28th and 29th floor is about 2,600 square feet and overlooks Central Park. It also has an art collection that is specially curated by The Met Museum. On Will and Kate's first ever visit to NYC, they stayed at this suite. Will's mum Princess Diana is also said to have loved the suite.
5. Donald Trump called it a joke, allegedly
One of the hotel staff, in a conversation about the presidents who have stayed there, mentioned that Trump didn't like the hotel. At first, he said that Trump was overheard saying, "It is such an honor to be here" but on a further probe by the interviewer, he gave in and laughed, saying, "he called it a joke". The truth behind the matter remains unconfirmed but it appears as though president Trump only likes one building in New York — Trump Tower.
The documentary releases on STARZ on Monday, December 3, at 9 pm ET/PT.
Watch the trailer below: