As I walked into the lobby of the new Marmara Park Avenue hotel, the stark, modern design caught my attention immediately. As soon as I entered through the hand-blown glass and faceted-steel vestibule, I couldn’t help but notice all of the impressive contemporary artwork that adorned the walls, and the cool cascade of suspended sculpted birds that separates the lobby’s lounge from the bar area.
Warm and friendly environment and staff
But as modern and sparse as the lobby is, it has a warm, homey feel thanks to a 14-foot high fireplace, comfortable couches and chairs, and a staff that is eager to please: from the woman behind the tall, free-standing white pod who checked me in, to the concierge who was eager to tell me about all of the hotel’s amenities and help me with my bag (even though I had only one and it wasn’t heavy).
Like a NYC apartment—with incredible views
When we got to my room, the concierge seemed to take pride in showing me everything from the corner office nook with a killer view of the Empire State Building to the iPad Air and wet bar that are in every room. Designer Joe Ginsberg really went all out to make each room feel more like a New York City apartment—a chic but warm pied-a-terre of sorts—than a hotel room. The hardwood floors, stainless-steel appliances in the fully equipped kitchen, high ceilings, and large windows that let in tons of natural light produce a vibe that is inviting and relaxing. My studio suite featured a comfortable king-size bed with fluffy white bedding that made getting up in the morning a lesson in self-discipline.
Private terraces available
Of the 128 guest rooms, 40 have private terraces. Mine did not, but I would like to stay in one that does the next time I visit The Marmara Park Avenue. The office nook is a great touch: It is of course a place to steal away to get some work done on one’s laptop, but it also serves as an extra private changing area. The marble bathroom is well-appointed with high-end Bigelow bath products, but it is small and there is not much space for toiletries. An extra shelf would be helpful.
For those who want to get in some exercise (although I find I get plenty walking around the city), there is a lap pool, as well as a fitness center that serves its purpose despite its small size. There is also a cleansing steam bath/hammam adorned with Iznik tiles and spa exclusively for hotel guests. I didn’t have an opportunity to get a massage, but a guest with whom I spoke over breakfast (there is a continental breakfast served daily off of the lobby) said she had an incredible massage the day before.
Location, location, location
The 21-story building that is now The Marmara Park Avenue was built in 1927. Its location is ideal, as guests need only step out the front door to be a short walk from top tourist sites—including the Empire State Building—as well as the shops on Fifth Avenue and the peaceful Madison Square Park. Grand Central Station is also close by for those traveling by train. While there isn’t a restaurant in the hotel, it is situated near a variety of dining establishments—from fast-food spots to reservations-required high-end restaurants.
And again, the concierge could not have been more helpful when it came to scouting out dining destinations. When I told him I was looking for a good vegan restaurant, he had a list of several highly rated options in close proximity. Service like that is not the norm, which is one of the many reasons I would stay at The Marmara Park Avenue again and recommend it to others.
For more information, visit park.marmaranyc.com. Rooms start at $500.
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