It is rare to find moments of perfect tranquillity in this increasingly tense world, but the Mandarin Oriental offers a treasure trove of them. A stay at this iconic property needs no introduction, and it is one of the Big Apple’s quintessential luxury experiences. The hotel group operates an array of the world’s best hotels, in cities that typically draw five-star-seeking leisure travellers and C-suite jetsetters: think Paris, London, Dubai, Singapore, and, of course, Hong Kong. Just steps from Central Park – the city’s most iconic oasis – the Mandarin Oriental, New York takes up the 35th to 80th floor, with its own dedicated entrance on West 60th. Sharp-suited doormen stand poised, ready to lead guests to the hotel’s dedicated lift – and what an entrance. As the doors ping open, you’re greeted with a marble-clad lobby that hums with the overawed delight of guests poring over the floor-to-ceiling widescreen panoramas of the city below.
Yes, a stay at this stunning luxury hotel with its amazing suites, half with a tranquil view looking down onto Central Park, the other cityline side, facing bustling Hudson River and apartment blocks, is an extravagance, but it's hard to put a price on finding your 'happy place' in the middle of New York, during a global pandemic.
Spread over a few floors in the Columbus Circle building, the sleek rooms are furnished with bespoke European fittings and natural materials, with that subtle Asian flair running through each and every detail. Purple and beige dominate, with golden-coloured armchairs and deep purple textiles – complemented by the lacquered furniture. The property has 198 guestrooms and 46 suites, with four specialty suites – one of these being ‘Suite 5000’ – which go for $36,000 per night.
Each guestroom comes with floor-to-ceiling windows offering premium views of the Hudson River or Central Park; views that few New Yorkers lay claim to. I stayed in the Premier Central Park View Suite, which boasts an insane pad with a view to boot.
The Premier Central Park View Suite
My suite was fitted with a living room and dining area and a separate bedroom with a king bed. The bathroom was fully fitted with marble his-and-her sinks, glass-fronted rain showers and a bathtub. Amenities were Diptyque. The bedroom came fitted with heavy blackout curtains for extra privacy; but who needs curtains in a room like this? I went to bed with the glittery city beneath my feet and woke up to the rich sky and sun rising over Manhattan. Just magical.
Images courtesy of Eva Piskadlo | CSP Times
The hotel has a firm commitment to sustainability and aims to remove single-use plastic by the end of March 2022. This is evident in the reusable soap bottles, glass water jug, and greener offerings throughout the hotel.
The MO Lounge is the ideal spot for no-fuss yet classy fare, with options ranging from pâté en croûte to black cod. You’ll find a relaxed, pre and post-dinner crowd engaged in sophisticated chatter here.
The casual atmosphere switches at dusk to a more moody affair, where the view is best enjoyed with an espresso martini.
Breakfast in the MO Lounge
Meanwhile, the restaurant's breakfast contains the most mind-blowing tropical french toast and acai bowls. So sit back, relax, and enjoy The New York Times over a cappuccino overlooking Central Park.
The Mandarin Oriental is also a major draw for its world-class facilities – offering the full suite of a fitness centre, indoor pool and spa. Combining the best of Eastern and Western therapies, the elegant wellness center has also earned one of the highest accolades in the city. The gym features the latest Technogym equipment, and there’s an attractive heated indoor swimming pool with a view of the Hudson River, as well as male and female saunas and steam rooms.
So in short, is it worth it? Perhaps you could rephrase the question. Are you worth it? This is a beguiling mixture of opulence and splendour, and not for just ‘any’ guest. This joint is not one thing but many, like the city itself. It is now my favourite hotel in Manhattan, and I cannot wait to return in the Summer.
Mandarin Oriental, New York, 80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, United States, +1 212-805-8800
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