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Hotel RItz-Carlton New York Central Park Hotel 5 star
50 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019 New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

It is difficult not to get excited about hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park as it encapsulates everything one would dream about New York before having visited. With a commanding position right on the city's most famous green space, its services and amenities are amongst the finest in Manhattan: generously proportioned and excellently appointed guest rooms, fine décor and furnishings throughout, a spa very much in the tradition of the hotel and a restaurant which is not, proving that despite the hotel's classic appearance, it can still keep up with modernity and the demands of its guests and neighbours. This is a hotel where quality has a price but if you're going to buy it anywhere, then consider this property before you do.

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    • Hotel RItz-Carlton New York Central Park

      Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

    • Hotel RItz-Carlton New York Central Park

      Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park   -   © Igor Lubinetsky

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    Location 7.25 /10

    The hotel's situation is just one of its many assets being located as it is on Central Park South. Not only is it close to the Upper East Side with its up market boutiques and galleries and museums (Frick Collection, Whitney Museum) but the great shopping opportunities of Madison and Fifth Avenues as well as the theatres of Broadway, Carnegie Hall and MoMA are also within walking distance. A little further away, but still manageable on foot are the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Times Square. Getting to downtown and over to Brooklyn is possible via the two subway stations close to the hotel while walking a little further to Columbus Circle gives you many more options. JFK is 15 miles away, La Guardia 7 miles and Newark 16.

    Accommodation 9.90 /10

    In all, the hotel offers 259 rooms with five categories of guest room and seven types of suite. They are all extremely spacious and very well appointed both in terms of furnishings and amenities. The standard rooms have a small entrance hall with a large bathroom to one side. With sumptuous peach marble and wood finishings, they boast separate bathtub and shower, separate toilets, make up mirror, scales and Etro toiletries. The room itself which looks onto an interior courtyard (one of the small disadvantages of the room compared to some of its rivals) has beautiful cabinetry in the form of the elegant bedside tables, writing desk and storage unit containing the minibar and snacks, drinks tray and flatscreen television and DVD player. The king bed is dressed in 400-thread count Porthault linens while at its foot is an armchair and occasional table and clothes stand. The closet conceals bathrobes, slippers, umbrella, safe and shoe kit. There are of course two telephones and a Bose sound system also to be found in the room. The other guestrooms vary only slightly in size and carry the same amenities. Some have a city view while the largest have vistas if Central Park. The Park view guest room features a telescope and ornithological book.

    The suites, which are all one bedroom, start from 73m² and all boast view of the Park (event he City view suite which has oblique views). They all have at least one and a half bathrooms and look either onto the city or Central Park. Each boasts separate living rooms and extra amenities such as CD collections. The larger suites have even bigger flatscreen televisions, libraries, dining tables for between six and eight, televisions in the bathrooms and can be connected to another bedroom. As well as the extra space and incredible views of the speciality suites, extras including luxury bed linens, shaving kits, Frette candles and pantries are also present.

    Overview 9.90 /10

    Walking into the hotel was a little intimidating due to the number of members of staff there to greet - while it's certainly a pleasant experience to have someone wish you good morning as you enter a hotel, this seemed more like an inspection committee than a welcome party. This though is quickly forgotten as you notice the beautiful lounge area that takes up most of the entrance hall, full of guests and locals catching up or completing business dealings upon exquisite armchairs and sofas against a backdrop of wood panelled walls and Halpert originals. Staff at both the reception and concierge desk is delightful and extremely polite and you'll find someone available at all times to address if need be. To the right hand side are the stunning lifts for which you need your key card to operate.

    One of the hotel's unique features it its Club Lounge, a private area accessible to guests residing in the hotel's suites, or to those who have chosen to buy into this option (prices range from around $100-$200 depending on the time of year). This cosy, intimate space, perfect for private meetings or relaxation away from the relative hubbub of the main lobby, boasts impregnable views of Central Park and offers five food 'presentations' per day. The high level of service provided is accompanied by a business centre, private concierge and security.

    La Prairie is the hotel's brilliantly in-house run spa and fitness centre and which is unlike any other facility we have seen in the sense that it is not immediately obvious that is it a wellness centre, even once inside. Very much in tune with the rest of the hotel's public spaces, it is only when installed in one of the six treatment rooms that its use becomes evident. The separate men's and women's locker rooms feature refreshments, marble bathrooms, books instead of magazines and a music menu from which guests can choose their preferred background sounds. Alternatively, you can bring your own iPod along with you to your treatment. A full range of massages, wraps, facials and aesthetic treatments are available, some using products containing gold, caviar or platinum which help with anti-ageing. Packages and in-room options are also available. A fully equipped fitness centre is adjacent to the spa and offers complimentary water, fruit, towels, magazines and headphones. Unfortunately there is no view from the room.

    Food and drink 9.20 /10

    In total contrast to the rest of the hotel's décor and feeling is the restaurant BLT. Standing for Bistrot Laurent Tourondel, this is a bright, 'country chic' style eatery which gives on to the Park opposite and which serves an American cuisine using the freshest of produce. The décor includes huge prints of fruit and vegetables, antique farm tools and fresh coffee and cream surfaces. The room's furniture is a mixture of reclaimed wooden pieces as well as velvet banquettes along the walls. Plants in rustic receptacles, framed mirrors and suspended lamps with glass shades above each table complete the picture. One corner of the restaurant is given over to a display of some of the products used in the food's preparation as well as the chef's latest cookbook, all available to purchase. The menu changes monthly according to the season and each week the blackboard is updated with specials using first-of-the-season produce. Breakfast is served between 7am and 11am and includes four breakfast formulas as well as continental offerings, waffles and pancakes, eggs how you like them and hot options too. The dinner menu features a selection of salads for appetisers, soups, pastas and risottos for starters and fish and meat dishes for mains. Listed to one side of the menu are all the ingredients which are in peak season at that time of year. Wine-lovers will find their calling here with over 700 bottles on the menu from both the old and new worlds. A pre-theatre dinner menu at $48 is also offered. There is no lunch service. The Star Lounge located in the lobby, along with its stand-up bar, is the place to relax with a cocktail or indulge in a light snack or afternoon tea. As well as signature cocktails, dishes such as mezes, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas are served until midnight. Afternoon tea is served at 2.30pm or 3pm.

    To know

    For years the building now home to the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park was occupied by another luxury hotel, the St. Moritz. This closed in the late 1990s before the new owners opened up in 2000. Every Ritz-Carlton has a 'scenography', a theme running through the hotel which reflects the city and location in which it finds itself. Here, at Central Park, it is 'Home on the Park' and there are several features which remind us where we are. For example, the glass apples placed on the rooms' desks, the horse head bookends which prop up the reading material in the suites and the tradition of feeding the horses which draw the carriages outside the park opposite. Every day at noon, the hotel's chef crosses the lobby, exit's the hotel and ventures the other side of the street to give nourishment to the horses which take tourists on tours of Central Park, a great spectacle for the kids. Another feature of this particular Ritz Carlton is that its owner has the largest private collection of Samuel Halpert paintings in the world, many of which are displayed around the hotel.


    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      beauty salon, hammam, massage, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness, tennis, gym, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Barber
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room


    • Location
    • Room size
    • Décor/furnishings
    • Service
    • Views
    • Restaurant/bar
    • Spa
    • Club Lounge


    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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