All About The Mark Hotel, Where the Biggest Celebrities Get Glam for the Met Gala – PEOPLE

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If there’s one hotel synonymous with the Met Gala, it’s The Mark.

The five-star hotel located on New York City’s Upper East Side draws a slew of stars to its suites to primp and prep for the biggest night in fashion held on the first Monday in May in each year.

Conveniently located just four blocks away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Mark has served as a luxurious space for celebrities, designers and their glam squads to perfect their looks prior to hitting the museum’s famed steps and heading inside to the Anna Wintour-hosted ball.

This year’s no different! Etienne Haro, general manager of The Mark, tells PEOPLE exclusively that they’re expecting around 60 celebrity guests on May 6 in addition to their respective talent and glam teams. Previous guests on Met Gala day include Cardi B, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade and Gigi Hadid.

“The Mark is booked out well ahead of Met Gala day,” he says, noting that the hotel’s sales team starts “receiving enquiries from the moment the annual theme is revealed.” (The Met Gala’s theme for 2024, titled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” was announced back in November 2023.)

The sixteen-story building offers 106 rooms, 46 suites and 1 penthouse suite — but among the busiest quarters of the nearly-century old hotel is its striking lobby, particularly in the hours leading up to the fashion fête.

“The energy on the day is incredible. It goes crescendo starting with the positioning of the red carpet early in the morning, followed by the delivery of the flowers and the arrival of the glam squads,” Haro says. “As the day progresses, the intensity is palpable.”

Being fashionably late the ball is simply not an option for the Met Gala, which explains why Haro says “there is a real sense of urgency” up until the stars’ head on their way. “Minutes before the first departure, the lobby suddenly clears. What follows is two hours of the most incredible display of fashion.”

Haro adds: “The Met Gala’s reputation as ‘fashion’s biggest night’ is certainly not an overstatement — and nor is ours, as ‘the starriest hotel lobby in the world.’”

Read on for everything to know about The Mark ahead of the highly-anticipated sartorial scene.

The Mark was built nearly a century ago

The Mark Hotel.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

Built in 1926, The Mark was designed in a neo-Italian Renaissance-style and erected by architects Schwartz & Gross. The landmark building blends modern luxury with quintessential charm of old New York.

The hotel is located at 25 East 77th Street, on the corner of 77th Street and Madison Avenue on New York’s Upper East Side. Its neighborhood is perfectly situated near Manhattan hotspots, including the “The Met” and Central Park. Plus, a number of art galleries, restaurants and high-end shops are in the vicinity.

The Mark has hosted Met Gala invitees since 2009

Anna Wintour departs from The Mark Hotel for the 2022 Met Gala.

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Mark

Celebrities grace The Mark red carpet prior to hitting the Met Gala’s covered steps, a tradition that began when the hotel reopened in 2009. It serves as the ultimate sartorial send off of stars following their anticipated outfit reveals.

Haro tells PEOPLE the “natural light, elegance, comfort, privacy and ultra-personalized service” of The Mark are “key attributes” that celebrities and their glam teams enjoy as they prepare for the big night. Plus, he says guests can “rest, dress and celebrate all in the same space.”

The Mark books up months ahead of the Met Gala

The Mark Hotel lobby.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

Snagging an invite to the Met Gala is hard, but booking a room on Met Gala day is equally exclusive! Haro says the hotel is “booked out well ahead” of the ball, with inquiries starting when the “theme is revealed” and the “first guests receive confirmation of their attendance.”

The Mark’s interior houses 106 rooms and 46 suites. “We host about 60 celebrity guests over the period,” Haro tells PEOPLE, noting that the “the finest talents of the fashion world” including designers, make-up artists, facialists, jewelers and more also fill up the space.

“The 153 rooms at The Mark are a rare commodity on Met Gala day,” Haro says. Fortunately, he praises the sales team’s “tremendous job” throughout the booking process to understand their guests’ needs and requirements ahead of the rush to “avoid disappointment.”

The Mark houses the largest penthouse in the U.S.

The Mark Penthouse terrace.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

Parisian interior designer Jacques Grange is the mastermind behind The Mark’s sophisticated, yet vibrant inside. The mesmerizing black and white striped floors synonymous with the hotel were conceived by the French visionary, who’s portfolio of clients includes everyone from late fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent to the Princess of Monaco.

In addition to its 106 rooms and 46 suites, The Mark houses 1 penthouse suite. In fact, it’s the largest penthouse in the United States at more than 10,000 square feet including 2,500 square feet of rooftop terrace overlooking Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and breathtaking cityscape.

“The Mark Penthouse is nothing short of spectacular!” says Haro, noting its five-bedroom suite over two floors and panoramic views over N.Y.C. “It is a highly coveted accommodation on Met Gala [Monday], and one of the first suites we book each year.”

Haro was tight lipped on some of the starriest celebrities who have stayed in the penthouse suite, though he revealed, “The booker has actually been the same for the past few years and it is the venue of one of the Gala’s famous afterparties.”

The Mark room service runs a ‘tight flow’ on Met Gala day

The Mark Hotel restaurant.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

The Mark Restaurant By Jean-Georges and Caviar Kaspia are two high-end dining options in The Mark hotel — and on Met Gala day, they’re on go mode.

“Room Service runs on a tight flow,” Haro says, noting that the majority of the guests remain on the property. Plus, abcV, the plant-forward concept from Jean-Georges will have a pop-up on Met Gala day, offering guests exciting, plant-based dishes.

Haro pointed out a few memorable “special requests” guests had in years past. He said someone once asked for “a continuous flow of fried chicken!”

As for the “most ordered” item on Met Gala day? Surprisingly not champagne, says Haro, rather coffee. “We serve an average of three cups per minute throughout the day!” he reveals.

The Mark elevator traffic is controlled on Met Gala day

Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner depart The Mark Hotel for the 2019 Met Gala.

Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The Mark Hotel

The elevators in The Mark are strategically monitored on Met Gala day. “This is one of the most critical aspects of the day,” Haro says.

From the floors to the streets surrounding the hotel and everywhere in between, he says The Mark has a “core team of forty collaborators” who help coordinate a celebrity’s departure from the building.

“Elevators are operated manually and sent for pick-up as soon as the floor team advises of an imminent departure,” Haro explains. “The celebrity’s journey is monitored so that our transportation coordinators can get the right car in front of the hotel at the right time and ensure the process is flawless.”

Haro says “timing is essential on the day,” so for the system to work seamlessly, he says “it requires a perfect coordination between many stakeholders.”

The Mark amps up security on Met Gala day

Cardi B departs from The Mark Hotel for the 2023 Met Gala.

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Mark

Due to the large number of notable names and prominent figures staying at The Mark during the Met Gala, Haro says “securing the event is critical” to ensure everyone “feels safe and comfortable” as they prepare for the big night.

“On the day itself, the street is cleared and access to The Mark is limited to our guests and their teams,” he explains. “The Mark has established itself as the home of many high-profile guests, so our security team is trained to handle the crowds that such a day brings.”

Haro adds, “We also receive the support of the NYPD, whose officers do an incredible job.”

The Mark is home to a world famous hairstylist

The Mark lobby.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

The Mark has many standout amenities, including a salon home to the flagship of celebrity hairdresser Frederic Fekkai. “He and his team have a very big day,” Haro says in reference to the Met Gala.

The hotel also prides itself in providing guests the quintessential N.Y.C. experience, but making it luxurious at the same time! The Mark Hautedog Cart is among the highlights, serving up guests the classic barbecued dish but prepared in the gourmet kitchen of Jean-Georges.

The Mark is one of the most dog-friendly hotels in N.Y.C.

The Mark Hotel terrace.

Adrian Gaut / The Mark Hotel

All members of a guest’s family are invited to stay at The Mark — dogs, too! Known to be “one of the most dog-friendly hotels in New York,” it offers amenities for your four-legged friends to enjoy (including a special dog menu curated by Jean-Georges!).

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