Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York

the lux score


the lux score explained

Service 10
Rooms 9  
Food & Beverage 8  
Ambience 10
Attention to Detail 10
Generosity & Value 8  
Wow / Hip Factor 10
Facilities 9  
Location 10
Fit to Promise 9  

The five-star Mandarin Oriental has a spectacular location sitting 90 metres above ground as part of the elegant Time Warner Centre on Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park. This is the point from which all distances to and from Manhattan are measured.


It offers a serene combination of Asian elegance and calm with all the buzz of being in Manhattan and sensational views to match.



Arrival and Location


Splendid location near Central Park allows guests to walk to Lincoln Center, Time Square and many of New York’s great museums.


The bellman and door staff are very helpful and accommodating and go to great lengths to get taxis and deliver bags as promptly as possible. The entrance area is dominated by a spectacular Waterford Crystal Dale Chihuly chandelier.


The lobby and reception are on the 35th floor with spectacular views over Central Park. All rooms have either Central Park, Manhattan skyline or Hudson River views, which add a sense of grandeur to any hotel stay.





There are 244 elegant guest rooms and suites in a muted colour scheme with blue and gold accents.


We had a spacious superior room with floor-to-ceiling windows offering a remarkable view over Central Park. It had a king bed with the most divinely comfortable bedding, a couch set along the windows where you could lie for hours drinking in the views.



There was a large working desk with all the right connectivity, a large screen television and mini bar with loads of (expensive) goodies.


Our beige Spanish marble bathroom had a cherry vanity topped with Italian granite, a shower and soaking tub and a separate toilet. The bathrobes were sublime and the toiletries top notch.



You can also arrange to have your window’s opened a crack to let in that very precious commodity: fresh air!


I also looked at some very spacious suites, all of which are located in the corners of the hotel to give fabulous park and river views. I was told that the inspiration for the suites came from Manhattan apartments and there are a number of different designs and colour schemes including silver and rose; gold, cream and black; and saffron and copper. Individual Chinese-influenced artwork is found throughout the rooms and suites.



Meals and Drinks


In one corner of the lobby and overlooking Central Park is the hotel’s stunningly designed Asiate Restaurant, which serves Modern American cuisine with a creative twist. A large metal and glass ‘tree branch’ sculpture hangs from the ceiling reflecting Central Park’s trees in winter. At its entrance is a wall of wine from the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. The prices are very high so this is really a ‘special occasion’ location. It really is more about the view than the food.



The spacious Lobby Lounge is the place to enjoy an Asian fusion afternoon tea (a Mandarin Oriental speciality) and cocktails with a view. It also offers terrific tapas and light dishes throughout the day. On Thursday evenings students from the nearby Juilliard School play jazz here. Evening cocktails with a view of New York lights are magical at the Lobby Lounge.



The sleek, dark MObar, with its tooled 1930s-style nickel and silver bar and buttery leather lounge banquets, offers an intimate and very stylish place for a drink.

We enjoyed a late-night room-service snack of wonton soup that was served very elegantly on a white table cloth roll-in dining table with all the trimmings.




The Mandarin Oriental is perfectly located at the Time Warner Center which is also the location of Jazz at Lincoln Center. It is also an easy walk to the main Lincoln Center (to take in the best classical music, opera and ballet the city has to offer) and a few more blocks to Carnegie Hall and the Broadway Theatres. The concierge desk is staffed by some very connected individuals. They know who to call to get reservations at the hottest New York restaurants and they work with a network of insiders to can get theatre tickets and give hot tips on what to see and do around NYC depending on the time of year. They are very good for shopping tips, such as where the sales are and what pop up stores are happening. They also offer running maps, tips on local delis and the latest celebrity hangouts.




The expansive and serene Five-Star Spa at Mandarin Oriental features 25-metre lap pool with floor to ceiling windows that let it oodles of light and offer terrific views of the Hudson River. There is also a spacious state-of-the-art fitness centre.



The Mandarin Oriental spa offerings have been developed in consultation with specialists in Traditional Chinese Medicine and master aromatherapists. There are separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges, vitality pools with oxygen-enriched water and amethyst crystal steam rooms. Their signature Time Rituals are the best. You book a one hour 50 minute or two hour 50 minute session and the treatment is bespoke according to how you feel on the day.



The Lux Traveller Loves:


The magnificent views over Central Park and the New York City skyline.

The attentive and thoughtful service from all the staff who always remember your name.

The supremely comfortable bedding and the spacious well-appointed bedrooms and bathrooms.

The Asian sensibility in all the spa treatments.



Splitting hairs


I understand that the MObar has been designed to be sleek, moody and intimate but it doesn’t take advantage of the Mandarin Oriental’s sensational position above Central Park. I much prefer the lobby bar because it is more expansive and offers those splendid vistas over the Manhattan skyline.

About the Author
Sue Henly

Sue Gough Henly is an award winning travel writer, photographer and blogger at Genuine Journeys. She specialises in luxury travel, soft adventure and food and wine stories. Her app Australia’s Best Places gives the lowdown on the best there is Down Under.