Luxury Hotels

NEW YORK – 4

But a fine hotel must do more than offer fine snack-type food. Mandarin Oriental New York has well-equipped Technogym fitness, 24-hours and lots of fruit and 36th floor views. A pair of black city bikes are down at ground level, with helmets for safety and wire baskets for all that shopping you might bring back from little boutiques up Madison. And of course there’s a hotel spa, though sadly in her short stay Girlahead wasn’t able to give it a go (it’s always good to have an excuse to go back!).

Not that any excuse is needed. Obviously India’s savvy Ambani family realised this place’s worth. In 2021 their Reliance Industries handed over $270 million, namely for 73.3% of the hotel plus $115 million of debt. Interestingly after three years of their participation there is not the slightest hint of Indian intrusion. Probably just as they bought Stoke Park near Heathrow for its Englishness they realise Mandarin Oriental New York oozes Manhattan. (Thought, what is the minimum number of moves to turn the word Mandarin into Manhattan, one letter change at a time and real words throughout?)

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is undoubtedly rising the brand ladder fast. Marcel Thoma oversees all East Coast properties, including residences. He wanted to show off the latest residences, Fifth Avenue within a stone’s throw of Trump Tower. The one on show is absolutely luscious, a Miele kitchen and sunny off-white and palest taupe throughout, including upholstery. These are very adult dwellings, for the house-proud, although Mandarin Oriental handles housekeeping, and conciergerie.

As at the hotel, the gym is seriously well-equipped. But this is a residential product, not for transitory overnighters. The 63 apartments have a veritable ‘private members club’ in the form of a Boulud Privé, on the 27 th floor. See below. Full service, Daniel Boulud at his best, and exclusive to the residences. Even hotel guests cannot dine there, unless they are invited by a residence owner.