by Amanda Geronikos
Formerly Hotel St. Moritz, the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park opened its grand doors in 2002. The 33-story palace, located in the cultural center of Midtown Manhattan, majestically overlooks Central Park and the buildings beyond.
Though the hotel is the epitome of luxury (as most Ritz-Carlton properties are), its most prominent feature, in our opinion, is its staff. Each staff member is friendly, knowledgeable and spirited by the hotel, and with good reason: The hotel is a Forbes Five-Star property. Travel + Leisure also named it the No. 1 hotel in New York City in 2011 and 2012, and U.S. News and World Report has recognized it as one of the best hotels in America.
In addition to its incomparable staff, notable features include La Prarie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa; the Club Lounge, which offers five delicious food presentations; and plenty of family-friendly amenities, including goodie-filled backpacks for kids upon arrival.
To learn more about Ritz-Carlton, please visit Ritz-Carlton.
Our Editor Loves
- Luxurious rooms and suites
- Kid-friendly dining and activities
- Picture-perfect location in Central Park
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park offers 259 luxurious rooms and suites. Each unit features high-definition flat-screen TV's, oversized marble bathrooms with Asprey amenities, complimentary bathrobes, in-room safes, DVD players, mini bars and wireless Internet access. All beds have 400-thread count linens, and guests can choose from seven types of pillows. If you're not comfortable, it's your own fault!
Guestrooms range between 425 and 450 square feet in size, and come with various views. Each Parkview room includes a tabletop telescope for an up-close look at Central Park. While these rooms are spacious, there's only one king bed in each unit; unless you're traveling with a new baby (who can sleep in a crib provided by the hotel), you'll want to stay in a suite.
Suites feature much more space, ranging from 790 square feet to 1,980 square feet in size. They also include Bang & Olufsen stereo systems with several CD selections. The Parkview Suite is suitable for a family of four, as it has a separate bedroom for mom and dad, and a pullout sofa bed for the youngsters. It also has one and a half bathrooms, so you won't have to wait hours for your teenager to finish her makeup for lack of enough bathroom space!
The Royal Suite is as good as it gets, with a floor model telescope, library, eight-person dining table, Floris shaving kit, complimentary access to the Club Lounge and a connecting bedroom. Located on the 22nd floor, the lavish suite also provides astounding views of the city.
The housekeeping staff will clean your room or suite in the morning, and provide turndown service at night. Furthermore, they'll deliver a copy of the New York Times to your door each morning. If you'd like to read a different newspaper, the concierge will be happy to provide you with the newspaper of your choice.
The Ritz is always an excellent stay. My only frustration is that because it is a limited Marriott partner, it does not honor Marriotts’ most loyal customers with complementary upgrades, lounge access, and other amenities throughout the majority of the system. The rooms are comfortable and service top rate.
I ran the NYC Marathon this year so I decided to treat myself to a night at The Ritz before the run. Simply put, the service from the employees at The Ritz was absolutely perfect. I had previously emailed with some questions about the marathon. Upon checking in, the front desk staff engaged in conversation about the race I was even given an upgraded room due to Bonvoy status. Didn't even have to ask! They also said that they would like to leave a gift for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful "recovery bag" in my room upon returning from dinner. I also needed an early breakfast which was delivered promptly to the room at the time I requested. I desparately wanted to be at ease before my race and the staff at the Ritz did everything within their power to make it so. For that, I thank you!
You'll obviously explore New York City during your stay at the Ritz, but when the kids need a break, retreat to the hotel for board games and in-room movies; each room offers a menu of flicks, which includes a wide selection of movies just for kids. Depending on the ages of your children, they also might get a kick out of the "world famous" afternoon tea, held in the Star Lounge at either 2 or 3 p.m. daily.
Make it a point to stroll through Central Park, too. It's a hop, skip and a jump (literally) from the hotel.
Auden Bistro & Bar
After an extensive renovation to its former onsite restaurant, the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park opened Auden Bistro & Bar in 2012. At first glance, the restaurant appears too fancy for kids, but that's not the case. Chef Mark Arnao is happy to whip up something your kids will enjoy. Breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner are served.
A beautifully appointed area next to the hotel's lobby, the Star Lounge offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and desserts. Parents will also enjoy refreshing cocktails served by Norman Bukofzer, the hotel's famed bartender.
The hotel offers a fairly extensive room service menu 24 hours a day, with specific entrees just for kids.
Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge
Located on the hotel's second floor, the Club Lounge is a sort of VIP area, only accessible to guests who pay for the privileges offered (or those who stay in the Royal Suite). Five delectable (and complimentary) food and beverage presentations are offered throughout the day, as is a dedicated concierge staff. Guests also enjoy complimentary wireless laptop access and an exclusive collection of DVDs, CDs and children's books. Kids will love the wide assortment of candy jars just inside the lounge's entrance.
Although the lounge is kid-friendly, parents should be aware that it's generally a quiet area, and not one in which kids can run around and play.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting services can be arranged through the hotel's concierge.
The hotel welcomes pets for an additional fee of $250, and provides food bowls, beds, and pet-sitting and dog-walking services. If you want to pamper your pet at a spa, or should your furry friend need immediate medical attention, the hotel's concierge will arrange for that, too.
Located on the ground level of the hotel, the business center offers printers, fax machines and a few computers (which also have children's games on them). Wi-Fi is accessible, but not complimentary.
Next to the lobby, a small gift shop sells souvenir mugs, hats, ties and T-shirts.
The hotel also offers a fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights and fitness classes. If you'd like to meet with a personal trainer or simply want a running partner, the hotel's concierge will make these arrangements.
The Art of Smart Timing
The Ritz-Carlton Central Park is consistently busy, but tends to see fewer guests around holidays (particularly right before Christmas and the 4th of July). Because it overlooks Central Park, and because it's located in a city that never lacks things to do, there isn't a "perfect" time to visit the hotel. If you're lucky enough to be in New York City during a snowfall, you'll enjoy the quintessential views of Central Park from the hotel.
JFK International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport are both about a 45-minute car ride from the hotel, and you can easily catch a taxi from both airports. If you choose to rent a car, the Ritz-Carlton Central Park offers valet parking; for regular-sized vehicles, the rate is $55, and if you drive an oversized vehicle, you'll pay $65.
If you're staying at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park before or after a cruise, the Manhattan Cruise Port is just a 5-minute, $9.00 (with tip) taxi ride to or from the hotel.
The cheapest way (next to walking) to get to and from the hotel and around New York City is via subway or bus, which both cost $2.50 per ride.
For Mom and Dad
Hire a sitter and escape to La Prarie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, even if just for an hour.
You'll have no choice but to relax in the peaceful, quiet ambiance of the spa's six treatment rooms and separate women's and men's steam rooms. Services include massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, as well as treatments just for men. For the ultimate (and most romantic) reprieve, choose the Couples Massage (listed on the In-Room Indulgences menu) to enjoy in your room.