Concierge.com's insider take:
On the 35th through 54th floors of the Time Warner complex on Columbus Circle, the Mandarin Oriental New York competes with the Four Seasons across town as the best-situated, most modern luxury hotel in the city. But whereas the Four Seasons is cool austerity, the Mandarin is all Asian opulence, starting with the Dale Chihuly crystal sculpture (dramatic but oddly reminiscent of a flock of decapitated flamingos) rising from a moss garden in the middle of the marble and granite entry. Elsewhere, there are framed kimonos on the walls, silver inserts in the floor, and upstairs in the 248 rooms and suites, raw silk bedspreads and pillows in Chinese red and saffron. Elegance and comfort aside, the accommodations can seem small for the price, especially if you're on the building's west side (consolation prize: spectacular sunset views over the Hudson from the soaking tub). The "Central Park view" rooms are sometimes blocked by buildings in front—notably the Trump International Hotel—but that barely diminishes the captain-of-the-universe aura. Go for the corners, particularly the 00 and 16 series suites, for more space and the best vistas. The other prize view is from the shimmering restaurant, Asiate, which serves superb Japanese-inflected food (order the soba noodles with caviar, wasabi crème fraîche, and a poached egg). The hotel's Time Warner Center location leaves you spoiled for other restaurant choices (Per Se, one of the city's top tables, is just an elevator ride away), not to mention shopping and Lincoln Center's jazz outpost under the same roof. But be sure to save time for the Mandarin's other offerings: tea in the lobby lounge, which has a sensational park view; laps in the 75-foot pool, with glass walls overlooking the Hudson; and the 14,500-square-foot spa, an oasis of Asian serenity that makes you forget you're in a city at all.—Laurie Werner; updated by Peter J. Frank
P.S. The Mandarin makes a cameo appearance in our exclusive video, 24 Hours in…New York City.
From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 90.7
- Design: 93.0
- Food: 86.9
- Location: 95.3
- Rooms: 92.6
- Service: 85.6
Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
Amenities: Pool, SpaSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler ›
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