Mother Daughter Weekend: The Carlyle Hotel

I cried for joy when I found out I was having a girl. I was 23 years old and naive enough to think that our days would be filled with manicures, eating cupcakes, and dancing to our favorite music. It took years, but I'm happy to say painting nails, cupcakes, and dance parties are in effect. We made sure to do it all when the Carlyle Hotel asked me to review their Sophie & the City Package. Click through to read more . . .

i forgot to bring a brush.
For one night Ella got to live like Sophie, of the book series The Super Adventures of Sophie and the City: All in a Day's Work by children's author Kelly Florio Kasouf. We made every minute count.

As we entered the deluxe tower room, we gawked at our uninterrupted vista of the Manhattan skyline. We felt like we were on top of the world. The room was filled with cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, signed copies of Kasouf’s books, a mini iPad to loan, fresh bouquets of flowers, and a Sophie pillow designed by luxury linen designer Matouk. There was even classical music playing on the radio to make our entrance feel like a movie.

After we settled in, we wondered what to do first. Eating the cupcake won out, followed by coloring the Sophie paper doll with the crayons the hotel provided for us. Ella used the books for reference, but put her own spin on it. Then, she surprised me by requesting the Strokes radio station on Pandora for a dance party. Such a great choice. We totally rocked out.
We were tempted to explore the Upper East Side before bed, but loved our accommodations so much we didn’t want to leave the hotel just yet. We painted our nails as we watched the sunset behind Central Park and ordered room service for dinner. Before it arrived, a maid stopped by for our turn down service. Ella beamed each time she was called “Little Princess.” Soon after, our meal was delivered and we watched a few of Ella’s favorite shows on TV as we ate. It didn’t take long before we climbed into bed while chatting about all sorts of stuff. We decided we didn’t want the day to end just yet so we took a bubble bath with jets!

The next morning we took another bubble bath and then went down to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast. We were treated like royalty. As I sat there, I knew our time at the Carlyle was ending. Check out was at 12pm. As soon as the clock struck noon, everything would disappear Cinderella style. But the good news is, we can always go back to feel like princesses again. The Carlyle is a NYC classic that’s never going away. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to make this a yearly tradition? Think about all the mother-daughter bonding! I couldn't put a price on that.
While I love the idea of the Carlyle creating a package for moms and daughters, I’m not crazy about the Sophie book series that inspired this one. Ella adored them, but when a book starts off with, "[Sophie] slipped on her favorite Ralph Lauren seersucker dress and her Tory Burch Reva flats, and slid downstairs on the railing where she headed to the kitchen to enjoy pastries from Balthazar," and continues on like that page after page, I can’t help but make these Jim Halpert facial reactions. The storyline was sweet, but the branding was distracting and unnecessary. I did, however, like the Sophie NYC app. Especially the water color feature. That was adorable.
she got to keep that purple pillow! 
Before checking out, Ella took a minute to enjoy the lobby and reread the books one last time. She never wanted to leave the hotel—and neither did I. There were so many details I was going to miss after we left the Carlyle Hotel: the gorgeous fresh flower arrangements, the cheerful and helpful staff, and most of all, escaping into another world for a night. To think we were just 10 minutes from our apartment!

See more pictures on Instagram: Ella on the windowsill, view of the room, Ella in her reading chair, and Ella the photographer. 
The Sophie Experience at the Carlyle is available now through December 31, 2013. The package starts at $540 for the first night. Book online. May it be a night you and your daughter will never forget. 


  1. What a lovely experience, though you're right, those books sound AWFUL, and it really squicks me out to think of young girls reading them. It's not enough to market toys and breakfast cereals to kids, now it's designer clothes and lifestyles of the rich and famous? Sigh.

  2. this sounds like such a fun night! my mom used to take us on weekend trips one by one when we were little. but really, all i cared about was the hotel room with the bubble bath:)

  3. Wow, that sounds amazing! And the photos are beautiful. It's so special that you got to share that with Ella!

  4. wow, what a lovely experience, I hope I have a girl one day so I can do something like that with her. :)

  5. Sounds like a fairytale. You're kids are so lucky you're their mom. :)

  6. What a perfect weekend, these photos are darling!

  7. I just adore her, what a special experience.

  8. The pictures are beautiful! What a great way to spend a day.
    I'm glad you said that about that book. I'm a fashion editor and my daughter's name is Sophia so I thought she would love the book. (She knows about the fun of visiting mom at the office of a magazine!) But I found it a little ridiculous and out of touch. We prefer Birdie's Big Girl Shoes for a great story about a little girl dreaming of being like her fashionable mom!

  9. Wow - that book sounds ghastly. However, the package sounds ah-mazing...and I admit to crying a bit over the pictures; they're too sweet. One day, when my daughter is old enough, we will share experiences like that. I can't wait. =)

  10. Looks amazing, what a night ... The Sophie book on the other hand sounds like vomit material!

  11. So sweet Sharon.What a dream that would be ! I love your reference to Jim Halpert,very spot on haha.

  12. This is so lovely- that mother daughter tradition would be such a great thing! She looks like she's having a whale of a time too xx

  13. that is awesome they asked you to review the package. what a treat! you and ella looked like you had an enchanting weekend. you deserve to be pampered.

  14. ps the pictures you took, tell the story so well. i feel like i went to the Carlyle with you. nice imagery storytelling.

  15. What an awesome experience! I dream of having a daughter one day for this, among many other reasons(I have two boys). And I love all your pictures, Ella is so beautiful and has awesome dance moves :).


  16. What a beautiful experience! While I really don't like the sounds of that book, I love the idea of having a tradition like this one day.

    We're just starting to think about starting a family and while all I really want is a healthy happy baby I'm secretly keeping my fingers crossed for at least one girl to have cupcakes and dance parties with :0)

  17. I am 28 and would love to go do that with my mom too! You are both so lucky to have times like that!

  18. Ha, I would be making a Jim Halpert face about that book too. It sounds like trying to train little girls to be total snobs.

    The mother daughter getaway sounds perfect, thought. I love that you guys just hung out the whole night, doing girlie stuff and bonding! I'm sure there will be some challenging times as Ella gets older, but hopefully still lots of wonderful times like this!

  19. It was nice reading this blog. Thanks for sharing

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  20. Totally agree with you; I skimmed thru the book and while it's a great message, it's a terrible approach; setting luxury as a standard would make any non-upper class girl feel deprived. I don't have a daughter, but just counting the # of times designer names were dropped in these pages steers me away from buying this book for any young lady.

  21. I absolutely love the pictures of your daughter jamming out in front of the window. Pure joy! (ps. your daughter is gorgeous)

  22. Love the pictures too but rates starting at $540 a night? Who can afford that - only the kind of mom's who buy Tory Burch Reva flats for their preteens.

  23. What an amazing time! Makes me happy just looking at the pictures.

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