SUITE LIFE - CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK
Suite life - Central Park, New York - Luxury Travel Magazine
Suite life - Central Park, New York
|By: Ben Crawford, Issue 44 – Spring 2010|
|(Mandarin Oriental, Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, 6 Columbus, The Mark, The Surrey, The Four Seasons Hotel, New York)|
|FOR MANY VISITORS, CENTRAL PARK IS AS IMPORTANT TO NEW YORK AS THE HARBOUR IS TO SYDNEY. BEN CRAWFORD REVIEWS A SELECTION OF THE LUXURY HOTEL SUITES THAT OFFER THE BEST VIEWS AND EASIEST ACCESS TO THE WORLD’S GREATEST URBAN OASIS.|
|If staying in a New York suite away from Central Park seems unconscionable, and you are a stickler for quality over glitz, here are some hotels particularly worthy of your consideration. |
|The Mandarin Oriental is a spectacular property, perched 35 stories above the Time Warner Center, New York’s most upmarket mall featuring two of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants, Per Se and Masa. The hotel’s own restaurant, Asiate, combines fine fusion cuisine using locally-sourced produce with one of the best views of any eatery in the city.|
The 46 suites come equipped with cutting edge entertainment technology (including $100,000 worth of Bang & Olufsen gear in the Oriental and the Presidential Suites), however they also come with binoculars, needed to take full advantage of the floor-to-ceiling panoramas of Central Park and, from the Mandarin Executive Suites, the view up the Hudson River as far as the George Washington Bridge.
The Premier Central Park View Suites (A$3,600 per night) are especially elegant, combining art deco lines with Asian cherry wood furniture, their beds surrounded by picture windows, so you feel you are floating in the sky. The chic two-bedroom Taipan Suite, which features a wet bar in Bisazza tile is available at A$8,500 a night. The richly decorated Oriental Suite at A$9,500 a night includes a study, dining area and kitchen, as does the golden-hued two bedroom Presidential Suite on the 53rd floor, at A$16,000 per night.
|Trump International Hotel & Tower New York offers magnificent views of both Central Park and Columbus Circle through the floor-to-ceiling windows of its 89 one-bedroom and 40 two-bedroom suites. Spacious and featuring Sub Zero-equipped full kitchens, the recently-renovated suites exhibit an elevated level of taste that is a million miles from the questionable ostentation once associated with the Trump name. They range in cost from A$1,100 to A$2,200 for a one bedroom suite, while two-bedroom suites are A$2,900 per night. |
The Trump’s Attache service goes beyond the norm for concierges, even stocking your fridge to your own shopping list pre-arrival. Attache was actually able to obtain a publication I needed and deliver it to my door, all within twenty minutes. Equally impressive are the restaurants on-site: Jean Georges, one of New York’s great dining experiences, and Nougatine, which serves food from the Jean Georges kitchen for a fraction of the price, attracting a discerning crowd - a bearded Conan O”Brien came over from his table to check out our delightful baby daughter.
For a downtown feel on Columbus Circle, 6 Columbus offers a duplex penthouse for A$5,000 a night and a loft featuring dramatic steel beams at A$4,500 per night. Each has high ceilings, full-length windows, terraces, kinky art by photographer Guy Bourdin and room service from the hotel’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill – their fried chicken with wasabi and honey is truly without peer.
|The Mark on New York’s upper east side used to be a very good hotel. Not any more. Now, it’s exceptional. It has been gutted and fully redecorated in immaculate neo-Deco style by Jacques Grange, interior designer for the residences of Yves St Laurent, Princess Caroline and Francois Pinault (Chairman of PPR, which owns Gucci and Christie’s). |
The suites are equipped with either black granite bars featuring Sub Zero refrigerated drawers or superb full-sized Boffi kitchens. In fact, 30 per cent of the suites have been sold as condos, and for the 50 managed by the hotel, a number are leased long term, typically by locals having their apartments redecorated, by families traveling with patients being treated at the many nearby hospitals, or by patients themselves, recovering from surgery (often of the cosmetic kind).
The new restaurant, once again by Jean-Georges, has fast become a beacon attracting ladies who lunch by day, and at dinner time until late, it’s jammed with Upper East Side families, business diners and dinner party groups, as well as the well-heeled visitors from Europe and South America who one finds throughout the hotel. One bedroom suites range from A$1,230 to A$2,050 and two bedrooms from A$3,680 to A$4,500 per night.
|The Surrey is a new boutique hotel created by remodeling a Beaux-arts residential building from 1926 that was once home to JFK and Bette Davis, among other notables. The redesign by Lauren Rottet combines fine and tasteful custom furnishing in a somber palette, with muted lighting, together with a commitment to contemporary art. The latter is immediately evident from the giant portrait of Kate Moss by Chuck Close in the foyer by the lifts, and next to it a graffiti-ed armoire by British duo Jimmie Martin. |
The Penthouse Suite, at A$6,000 a night, features a ceiling-mounted TV projector and retractable screen, as well as a marble fireplace surrounded by book-laden shelves. The lounge lends itself well to entertaining, as does the dining room, serviced by a kitchen, and the large wrap-around terrace. The two-bedroom Presidential Suite, at A$7,500 per night, also has the feel of a comfortable apartment ideal for entertaining, complete with a baby grand piano, a formal dining room seating ten and a kitchen. Following the hotel’s whimsical “cocktail” theme, all rooms include bars, and mixologists are available to make cocktails in your room.
Best known in Australia for housing the triplex residence of Lady Mary Fairfax, sold in 1996 for a then-record price of A$21.5 million, The Pierre houses ten stunning grand suites, many with Central Park views to match. The two-bedroom Raiput Suite brings the aesthetics of the Maharajas to Manhattan with actual palace furnishings at A$5,800 a night. The Grand Suite 2111 is a unique environment created by architect Piero Lissoni in collaboration with Poltrona Frau, who furnished it with iconic pieces from masters of 20th century design. It features a large terrace with a Park view and costs A$10,000 per night. At A$20,000 a night, the two-bedroom Presidential Suite has majestic views of the entire length of the Park, and up to four additional bedrooms can be added (at an additional cost) under the one key to accommodate your family or entourage.
|The Four Seasons Hotel, purpose-designed by IM Pei (architect of the glass pyramid outside the Louvre), is the quintessential modern grand hotel, with facilities including New York’s branch of gourmet destination L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, as well as the new Garden venue, which serves breakfast and brunch on weekends and 200 wines by the glass and delectable small sharing plates in the evenings. |
The Four Seasons houses suites ranging from A$2,750 per night, with the tone set by its crowning Ty Warner Penthouse, which at A$35,000 a night (“non-negotiable”) is billed as the World’s Most Expensive Hotel Suite.
A A$50 million, seven-year labour of love for the hotel’s proprietor, Beanie Baby mogul Ty Warner, and Peter Marino, the world’s leading designer of flagship stores for luxury brands, the nine-room Penthouse offers a level of luxury that surpasses most palaces. Whilst the design is modern and understated, everything is hand made by master craftsmen from the finest materials – surfaces of semi-precious stone, walls of hand-applied marquetry, custom fabrics woven with threads of platinum, gold and silver, specifically commissioned one-of-a-kind furniture, even a A$69,500 Hastens Vividus mattress from Sweden, built entirely by hand using 100 per cent natural materials.
The hotel’s less grand suites offer world class accommodation with bathrooms and walk-in closets ample enough to satisfy the likes of Kim Kardashian, who was our neighbour there.