Have it All at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

To be in the thick of it all, and to get away from it all. The two desires might seem diametrically opposed. But at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, guests will find that both are met. Located directly across the street from the south entrance to its namesake locale, and surrounded by mid-town energy, the Manhattan hotel gem provides easy access to everything for which the city is known: shopping, cuisine, Broadway, and the expansive greenery of the nation’s most well-known park. On the other hand, the hotel is a sanctuary, one in which guests can escape the city’s freneticism in favor of a bit of pampering. Here’s how I enjoyed 72 hours at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park:

Having visited Manhattan many times over the years (my son lives in the East Village), I no longer feel the urgency to play tourist. I opt to slow down a bit when in town, enjoying my surroundings as might a local. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park proved the ideal hospitality option for my New York state of mind. Though close to all the action, the luxury hotel features a residential ambiance where I felt very at home, whether heading out the door for exploration of Frederick Olmstead’s urban masterpiece, or savoring the New York Times for hours on end over several cups of coffee.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park is located directly across from its namesake locale

The second floor Club Lounge was well worth the additional cost, not only for the daily and nightly presentations of delicious cuisine, global wines, and crafted cocktails, but also for the peaceful chartreuse and chocolate brown environ overlooking the park’s canopy. A background soundtrack of French jazz and the collection of newspapers and coffee table fashion and design books set a cosmopolitan mood. This lounge and its offerings were a lovely and peaceful way to start and end each day, and a quiet spot in which to do a little work. A dedicated concierge provided great restaurant suggestions, though dining out was somewhat superfluous when the varied food presentations included lobster roll, seared salmon, traditional NY pastrami sandwiches, filet mignon, salads, crudité, charcuterie, soups, and decadent desserts.

The refined and relaxing Club Lounge

The glamorous ground floor lobby lounge provided another spot in which to luxuriate. Named Contour, for the fluid Matisse-like decorative forms found throughout the three room space (lobby, bar, and restaurant), people watching here (a favorite New York past time) did not disappoint; the hotel is the NYC choice of many recognizable faces.

A stay at The Ritz Carlton New York, Central Park is not complete without a visit to its La Prairie Spa, the only northeast outpost from the luxurious Swiss skincare brand. For optimal trial of the decadent La Prairie products, I booked the anti-aging Caviar Firming Facial, which harnesses the immediate power of La Prairie’s renowned Skin Caviar Collection, known to support skin metabolism and restore youthful structure. Looking—or at least feeling—years younger, I relaxed post treatment in the spa’s tranquil lounge before heading to dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, recommended by my Club Lounge concierge when I requested al fresco dining suggestions.

The hotel’s La Prairie Spa is the only northeast outpost from the Swiss skincare brand
Experience FitnessOnDemand within the hotel’s Movement Studio

Though I did spend a great deal of time within the Club Lounge, the lobby lounge, and within my spacious Park View King Room (donning my Frette slippers), the Central Park springtime greenery beckoned. Easily reaching my 10,000 steps (and then some) with a stroll through the park’s verdant and vibrant interior, I eschewed the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center and its Movement Studio, though the FitnessOnDemand menu of cardio, meditation, and yoga instruction was definitely intriguing. Had I not spent the next day on a rented Citibike, riding through the park (a dock is located steps from the hotel’s front door), I might have indulged in a session or two. Citibike has added a multitude of electric bikes to its fleet, making a ride around the dedicated Central Park loop a breeze. It’s easy to download the Citibike app, or simply utilize your Lyft account for access. Additional “steps” were acquired with a languid browse of nearby Bergdorf Goodman’s varied floors, another spot-on recommendation from my concierge when I inquired where I might find a particular pair of desired shoes.

The Presidential Suite Living Room provides the ultimate vantage point for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade viewing
The Royal Suite’s rooms allow for unobstructed park views

The hotel boasts 206 rooms, yet it has a boutique quality. Each is expansive by New York standards, especially the stunning suites which are favored during Thanksgiving for their proximity to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Positioned on the southeast corners, these glamorous suites, such as the 1740 square foot Artist Gate Suite, and the 2175 square foot Royal Suite, feature corner windows, just at balloon height, where the parade turns the corner at Central Park South and 6th Ave. It’s understandable that these accommodations—simply magical at holiday season—are booked years in advance. #Goals.

Photos courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Fran Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is an experienced travel, wine, and general feature writer for a variety of luxury lifestyle publications and websites. Prior to her journalism career she established and managed the Golden State Warriors' first official community relations department and efforts. Principled and genuine, she’s known for thoughtfully eloquent writing. When not traveling, she can be found walking her Northern California neighborhood with her beloved golden retriever Nate.