New YorkLuxury HotelsCity

Central Park hotels: luxury stays in the city's back garden

By , 17th May 2018

Eric from NewYork.co.uk has once again lent us his local expertise to uncover the best New York hotels with incredible views over Central Park.

When you close your eyes and think of New York City, what comes to mind: the bright lights and billboards of Times Square, skyscrapers, and the green open spaces of Central Park? Whether you’re looking for museums, shopping or beautiful architecture, there is something for everyone; and we’ve found the best hotels within a stone’s throw from the park in the centre of it all.

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New York Hotels on the Upper West Side

From Columbus Circle to the Cathedral of St John the Divine, the western side of Central Park has something for everyone. Go designer shopping at The Shops at Columbus Circle, enjoy a quaint high tea at Alice’s Tea Cup, inject some culture in to your trip with a Ballet or Opera performance at Lincoln Center or pay a visit to the impressive American Museum of Natural History and stand among the prehistoric bones of giant dinosaurs. Whilst this side of the park offers an array of interesting activities, it is lacking in accommodations, there is but one that makes the cut for it’s views of Central Park, and it unlikely to disappoint….

Five star luxury at The Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is connected to The Shops at Columbus Circle, a modern shopping centre and home to designer stores such as J Crew, Hugo Boss and Sephora. In the basement you can find a huge Whole Foods; I like to grab some breakfast or lunch here and then stroll over to the park for a picnic. Connected to the shopping center via a lift is The Mandarin Oriental.

This five star hotel is known for its incredible views; the real height of luxury. If you can, request a room on the eastern side of the hotel, with floor to ceiling windows for the most breathtaking views of the park and the New York skyline. Amenities at the Mandarin Oriental include an indoor rooftop swimming pool, a spa, fine dining at Asiate, a bar up on the 35th floor and even its own speakeasy!

A short stroll away from the Mandarin Oriental lies a New York cultural icon: the Lincoln Center. This is home to The Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The New York City Ballet, and The New York Philharmonic.

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New York Hotels on the Upper East Side

If you are looking for a quieter, more low profile stay in New York or are planning to visit as many museums as possible, the Upper East Side is a great place to base yourself. The Museum Mile, running parallel to Central Park on the Eastern side of the city offers history and art fans all they need. Make sure to visit the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt and the Jewish Museum. On this side of the park you can also find Central Park Zoo, the Loeb Boat house where you can rent boats to row on the lake and also the Alice in Wonderland Statue.

Celeb-spotting by Central Park at The Carlyle Hotel

The Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue is part of the Rosewood hotel collection. Offering Central Park views from their two bedroom Premium Suite, the Central Park View Suite, the Central Park Tower Suite and the Empire Suite. Other hotel amenities include a gourmet restaurant, fitness center and spa. With a reputation for high profile guests like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Carlyle is certainly fit for royalty. Madison Avenue is home to an array of high end designer stores and close to the Carlyle, you are amongst some premium brands, such as Vera Wang Bridal, Apple, Acne Studios and Ralph Lauren.

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Rooftop views of Central Park at Hotel Wales

Further uptown in the prestigious neighborhood of Carnegie Hill, you can find Hotel Wales. Situated opposite the Jewish Museum, a charming ten story building houses this boutique hotel. Amenities include a well equipped fitness centre and two popular restaurants: one serving Italian dishes and the other American comfort food. To top it off, Hotel Wales also boasts a relaxing rooftop garden with views over Central Park. The hotel offers offers 87 well appointed guest rooms: book the premium king suite for views of the park from your bedroom.

If you are a runner, crossing over to Central Park from the Hotel Wales you can find popular running spot, the Shuman Running Track which takes you around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

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Glamour and Michelin dining at The Surrey

Once a residential building, home to the likes of JFK and Bette Davis, The Surrey is now an exclusive, modern hotel keeping the buildings reputation for glamour and discretion alive. New York’s only Relais & Chateaux hotel offers an abundance of amenities and extras. With Michelin Star dining at Café Boulud, a private rooftop garden with views over Central Park, it’s own mini art collection, a luxury spa and even it’s own signature scent (in the form of a candle so you can take your experience home with you), there’s almost no reason to venture outside of this hotel!

Although, if you do, pay a visit to the Met Breuer, a short walk away. This extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses exhibitions with a focus on 20th and 21st Century art from all over the world. The art program includes exhibitions, performances, residencies and educational initiatives.

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New York Hotels in Midtown – Middle Ground

If you are looking to be close enough to the billboards of Times Square to feel like a true New York tourist, yet far enough away to escape to the peace of Central Park with ease, then there are plenty of hotels for you. Between 8th Avenue and Fifth Avenue there are an array of luxury lodgings offering the ‘three c’s:’ class, convenience and Central Park views.

Incredible Central Park views at JW Marriott Essex House

JW Marriott Essex House is a landmark building towering over Central Park South. With rooms and suites offering elegant decor and modern comfort, the Park View rooms and suites also include a feast for the eyes. The full-service hotel also provides luxuries such as a spa, a modern American restaurant and a fitness centre. Just a short walk away from Essex House, you can find New York’s most famous concert venue, Carnegie Hall. Even if you are not planning to see a concert, make sure you pop in for a visit and see the impressive interior, or book a guided tour.

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Classic New York Luxury at The Plaza Hotel

To many, The Plaza Hotel is synonymous with New York City: many classic films and very lavish events have ensured the reputation of The Plaza be one of luxury, glamour and class. Facilities are abundant and include a shopping centre, a food court, champagne bar, spa and the iconic Palm Court for Afternoon tea. Along with 282 guest accommodations Boasting the largest square footage in the city, you can’t go wrong with this hotel. Rooms are classic yet up to date with marble bathrooms and sitting areas. Choose a Legacy Suite for picture postcard views of Central Park.

Right under the hotel you can find a lovely food court with stalls selling an array of delicious fayre. From huge sandwiches to tiny pastries, fruity cocktails and strong coffee, this is a great spot to grab a bite for lunch.

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A boutique Central Park Hotel: The Viceroy Central Park

This 29-storey boutique hotel located on West 57th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues is a modern luxury hotel. with Clean lines and modern decor, The Viceroy Central Park offers simply, yet beautifully appointed guest accommodations in a ‘residential style’ to make you feel right at home. With a well equipped gym, trendy restaurant, Kingside, on the ground floor and lively rooftop lounge, you can work(out), rest, and play at the Viceroy.

This hotel offers comfort, class and a great location, with views over Central Park available from their ‘Park View’ rooms and suites and from the rooftop terrace on the 29th floor. The Viceroy is also very well located for a night out on Broadway, within walking distance from the hotel’s location on West 57th street, spend an evening enjoying a musical spectacular in New York.

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Directly across the road from the 6th Avenue entrance to Central Park you can find The Ritz Carlton Central Park. An elegant hotel offering a unique location in the heart of the city. Within walking distance of Fifth Avenue, Broadway shows and lazy days in Central Park. Along with a luxury spa and four dining options, rooms at the Ritz Carlton Central Park offer contemporary elegance. For the best Central Park views choose a Park View Guest Room, suite or the Deluxe Park View Suite.

If you happen to be staying here during the winter months and are looking for a festive activity, be sure to walk in to the park to skate on world famous ice rink, the Wollman Rink.

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Eric from NewYork.co.uk is our New York expert, bringing you an insider’s guide on where to stay, what to eat and where to explore in the Big Apple. Keep up with the latest info about NY on Eric’s Facebook page. Going to New York soon? Download Eric’s New York App (available for Apple and Android) and have Eric as your personal guide around the city with offline maps, tips, tricks, and tickets for everything you want to do in New York. Have a question about your trip? Give Eric a shout at eric@newyork.co.uk.

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