There's nothing like grabbing a good ol' fashioned slice of $1 pizza or letting the hunt for a great New York-style cheesecake lead your tour of the Big Apple. And as good as a cheap and cheerful trip to the city can be, it might be worth paying the extra to experience it in a whole new way.
On a recent say in NYC, located in Columbus Circle's Time Warner Center, I was surprised to learn my room at the 5-star Mandarin Oriental had been upgraded to a Premier Central Park View Suite. Here's why you'll never look at a hotel as just somewhere to sleep after staying here and with rates starting at $2,595, I should hope so.
You can see two of NYC's most iconic things from one room
The hotel has 244 guest rooms and suites — all with breathtaking views of Manhattan but the Premier Central Park View Suite makes you feel like you're in the middle of it all, without being disturbed by the hustle and bustle from the streets below (these suites are between floors 39 and 54). Located in the south-east corner of the hotel, I could see both Central Park and the Hudson River from the suite, so you definitely won't wake up forgetting where you are.
It's a great place to dine
If you can bear to leave the suite (otherwise room service is beautifully presented at the dining able), breakfast is served in Asiate, a restaurant with two walls lined with floor-to-ceiling windows. It's also a great option for lunch or dinner, and features unforgettably pretty pink decor and incredible views. Otherwise, grab a drink at the Aviary NYC or check out The Office NYC from Chef Grant Achatz.
The bathroom is so great, you won't need to go to the spa
Despite the Mandarin Oriental offering relaxing treatments and pools in the 14,500 square-foot spa and gym, I found the bathroom in my one-bedroom suite was enough to make me zen out. With a bathtub facing out to the city skyline and the park, you could spend hours wondering until the water turns cold. Filled with all the products you could ever need, including moisturizer and soap from Fresh, there's also a walk-in shower and in true Asian style, the toilet functions at the press of several buttons. Rear cleaning, front cleansing or even drying, why do it manually, right?
Even the rooms encourage you to chill out
I noticed plenty of measures where put in place to make sure I enjoyed "me time" at MO; There was a meditation pillow, something I regarded almost as a sign I needed to take a few moments to breathe in all the excitement of the Big Apple, and plenty of bedside and lounge area reading materials. Then at night, even the chocolates left on my pillow cared that I got a good night's rest, with a zingy Orange with Valerian Extract piece, plus Tranquil Ginger with Passion flower Dark Chocolate to send me off to slumber.
One of the worst parts about staying in hotel rooms in New York can be how small they are. But if need be, you can totally have some time away from your travel partner in this suite. As well as plenty of storage in the hallways, living room and bedroom, which are adorned with glorious art pieces, there are two TVs so no need to battle over what to watch. And if people-watching is more your thing, don't worry about not being able to see all the action from so high up because binoculars are provided. They really have thought of everything.