K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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Central Park is one of many cultural icons in New York and an attraction in itself. The crown jewel of Manhattan, the area around it is one of the most desirable in the city. A hotel stay here not only means being steps away from great people watching and picnicking in the park but from the best of this bustling metropolis. When you want to visit a world-class museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is right there- and want to see a Broadway show? The Theater District is only a few blocks south.
If you aren’t already a Manhattan millionaire, you’ll feel like one by booking a stay at Park Hyatt, one of the most luxurious spots in NYC. Located in one of the city’s most expensive and tallest residential buildings, One57, just two blocks south of Central Park across the street from Carnegie Hall, rooms are some of the largest in town. The sprawling suites boast spectacular skyline views and lavish bathrooms with soaking tubs and rain showers. When you’re in need of room service or want to make a special request, you can do so via an iPad. For the ultimate in relaxation and stress relief, head to the onsite Spa Nalai for a pampering treatment and enjoy a soak in the hot tub or a swim in the indoor pool. The hotel also hosts The Living Room, a bar and restaurant popular for cocktails, steak and oysters.
Located directly across from Central Park within blocks of Fifth Avenue Shopping, the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park is a classic luxury hotel in one of NYC’s most prime locations. Its rooms and suites are spacious, with large marble bathrooms that include sumptuous tubs, and many offer picturesque views of the park. Some include Club Lounge access, and for an extra fee, butler service is available. Take advantage of extravagant treatments like the caviar facial in the La Prairie spa and enjoy dining at Contour for small plates with locally sourced ingredients and refined cocktails. Its glamorous Star Lounge offers afternoon tea and cocktails.
The iconic Plaza sits at the southeast corner of Central Park, a standout since it opened its doors back in 1907. It’s not only been used as an iconic setting for countless novels and films, but it hosted a long list of the rich and famous, from the Beatles, who stayed during their first trip to the U.S., to Kennedy families, princesses and ambassadors. Rooms are huge and include gold-plated bathroom fixtures, although most overlooking Central Park have been converted into privately owned residences. But with 24-hour butler service, an extraordinary spa and such a storied history, it’s worth the splurge to book here.
While The Mark may not be an NYC icon like the Plaza, there are many reasons to stay at this Upper East Side hotel, including its location only a block from Central Park and within walking distance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It houses the celebrity-favorite restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of New York’s most famous chefs, and also offers picnic baskets and 24-hour room service. Guests can borrow Republic Bikes that come with custom-illustrated Central Park maps for exploring or hop on one of The Mark Pedicabs for a stylish ride to the park and the museums. Even the smallest rooms here include gorgeous spa-like marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs along, heated towel racks and super soft robes.
1 Hotel Central Park offers an oasis in the heart of bustling midtown only a block from the south entrance of Central Park. The interior boasts lots of greenery with a magical forest-like feel, including some 24,000 plants that dangle from the lobby ceiling and ivy growing up the building’s exterior. Rooms have a nature-meets-city look with reclaimed wood, brick accents and green succulents. Marble bathrooms feature huge walk-in showers with rainforest showerheads, all-natural signature bath products and cotton robes. The hotel’s Jams restaurant is on the ground floor and serves a seasonally-driven menu with everything from steaks and roasted chicken to vegetarian options.
Located across the 35th to 54th floors of Time Warner Center’s north tower, the Mandarin Oriental New York offers breathtaking views of Central Park below and plenty of modern luxuries. One of the most luxurious hotels in Manhattan, it attracts numerous celebrities and socialites who are looking for an idyllic location and world-class service. Its 75-foot indoor lap pool is just another one of its many standout features. City View rooms, with Asian cherry wood furnishings and marble bathrooms, look out to the Manhattan skyline from the 38th and 39th floors and include floor-to-ceiling windows where you can watch the sunrise over the park from a comfy king-size bed every morning.
Nestled in the Upper East Side between Park and Madison Avenues, The Lowell is a high-end boutique hotel with a serene oasis only a block from Central Park’s edge near the pond and the zoo, a short walk from the designer boutiques along Madison and Fifth avenues. It offers old-world glamour, highlighted in the renowned Pembroke Room, a New York institution that serves afternoon tea. Rooms are large and elegant, most coming with a fully-stocked kitchen, expansive living space and wood-burning fireplace. Some also include a furnished terrace.