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.