What's more? It is home to one of New York's coolest cocktail bars, The Aviary NYC
17 October 2018
The Mandarin Oriental may be positioned on one of New York’s busiest intersections, but you could hear a pin drop from my room on the 46th floor. I observe the silence while gazing out of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, experiencing waves of vertigo and astonishment. From this height, traffic glides around Columbus Circle; yellow taxis look like lemon drops, flitting by Central Park. At the other side of the hotel, guests take in views of Hudson River and the Empire State Building.
Mandarin Oriental New York lays claim to the best views in the city, occupying floors 35 to 54 of Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Akin to the hotel group’s signature aesthetic, sumptuous décor is flourished with Asian influences, from silk wallcoverings and cherry wood furnishings to orchids at every turn. Muted tones are offset by lustrous wasabi-green and golden hues, while the much-regaled Suite 5000 houses a private art collection and a super-sparkling Swarovski wall. There is a lavish spa in the basement with an amethyst crystal steam room.
Guests are drawn to the sleek décor, soundproof slumber and outstanding views, but it is really the superlative service that keeps visitors returning year upon year. Lifts arrive within seconds; as do porters, menus and greetings.
The Aviary NYC
There is no shortage of cool bars in New York, but The Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental has been hailed as one of the city’s finest since opening in September 2017, favoured by locals as well as tourists. Located on the 35th floor, unfolding from the lobby, it delivers stomach-flipping views and theatrical concoctions, which marry alchemy with showmanship.
The Aviary was first launched in Chicago by Grant Achatz as a ‘restaurant for drinks’, where pun-heavy cocktails are created with lab-like precision. A dramatic Boom goes the Dynamite cocktail is served literally smoking hot, while the Wake and Bake is infused with coffee and orange and presented in a sealed, bagel-scented bag.
Interactive libations are complemented by razor-sharp and equally theatrical small plates, spanning tempura shrimp, wagyu beef and Achatz ‘s renowned ‘black truffle explosion’ (just as it sounds). While sipping my second drink, a man with an ice sculpture towers towards me. It is in fact my gargantuan crispy pork scratching, flavoured with salt and vinegar.
The unique menu is rivalled only by the sweeping views of Central Park and Manhattan, which light up as night falls. Book a window seat and enjoy the show.
The only problem with the Mandarin Oriental New York is that it is very hard to leave. But if you must, then you couldn’t be better located to explore the city’s boutiques, restaurants and galleries, one Manhattan moment at a time.
Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental New York start from £650 per room per night
Mandarin Oriental New York
Three Course Prixe Fixe at The Aviary is priced at $110 per person for food and drinks ($65 for drinks only)