Excellent Midtown location, two blocks from Central Park
42nd-floor indoor pool and rooftop sundeck with views of Central Park
Smart, spacious rooms -- many with fabulous city or park views
Four diverse and high quality eateries -- including a super popular hidden burger joint
Phenomenal, state-of-the-art gym with a range of classes available
Full floor devoted to wellness and beauty
Rooms lack coffeemakers and some show wear
Daily facilities fee for Wi-Fi, and access to gym/ pool
Neighborhood is quiet at night
The upscale Le Parker Meridien packs in plenty of features and quirk, along with a prime Manhattan location just below Central Park and handy to MoMa and Fifth Avenue. Le Parker offers more amenities than many of its pricier neighboring competitors, with a 42nd-story indoor pool, roof deck, hidden burger restaurant, phenomenal fitness center, and a full (underground) floor dedicated to pampering and wellness in partnership with DryBar and Tenoverten. Higher-level rooms come with gorgeous Park or Manhattan skyline views -- but signs of wear in some rooms can disappoint and there's a daily facilities fee. The elegant look and hip vibe attract all sorts of travelers, including families and celebrities. Travelers seeking a similarly central hotel with updated rooms (and fewer families) could try the Dream Midtown.
An upscale, high-rise Midtown hotel that’s more quirky than pretentious
Despite the name, there's nothing French about this place. Originally founded in 1972 by Air France, the Le Meridien brand was bought in 2005 by Starwood, and is now one of its upscale chains (thus, you can use or accumulate Starwood Preferred Guest points by staying here). That said, there are plenty of quirks that set this place apart from everywhere else -- even the sister property in Palm Springs.
With 727 rooms the Meridien is large, but because those rooms are spread out over 42 floors, the lobby is so spacious, and amenities are spread out, the hotel rarely feels crowded or overwhelming. When guests (a healthy mix of tourists, scenesters, celebs, and business travelers) do happen to be on-site, they're scattered among the Meridien's many features: the sky-high pool, sundeck, enormous fitness center, underground wellness hub, and four eateries. One of those, Knave, is really more of a cafe-cum-cocktail bar, but it's an elegant space to relax with a cocktail or a coffee after a hard day of sightseeing or deal-making. The hidden Burger Joint (behind a red curtain in the lobby) comes as a fun surprise to many, for its graffiti diner-like interior, and old school burgers that attract huge lunchtime lines.
Despite its amenities, Midtown setting, and fancy name, the Meridien carries refreshingly little pretense. The imposing lobby -- with its marble floors and Neoclassical columns and arches -- creates a more refined complexion. Not to mention the upmarket restaurants and chic contemporary art. All together, it's an odd amalgam of quirk and class, positioning the Meridien among the best of Midtown's second-tier properties.
In the center of Manhattan, two blocks from Central Park, and near Fifth Avenue shopping and five subway lines
The Meridien is smack in the middle of Manhattan, near the eastern border of Midtown West. It's a busy area during the day because the address forms a nexus of sorts: corporate skyscrapers coexist with a number of prominent hotels, while Central Park and Fifth Avenue shopping are within an eight-minute walk. At night, the area quiets down a bit. Upper Midtown's vibe is fairly pretentious. Instead of intimate bistros and trendy lounges and nightclubs (head downtown for all that), you have swanky happy-hour taverns like De La Concha cigar bar and legendary restaurants like Per Se. Walkable highlights include Times Square (11 minutes), Columbus Circle (eight minutes), Carnegie Hall (three minutes), MoMa (six minutes), St Patrick’s Cathedral (12 minutes), and Bryant Park (16 minutes). The hotel sits within three minutes’ walk of five subway lines, so guests have easy access to the F, N, Q, R, and W trains which travel up and downtown. John F. Kennedy International Airport is about an hour by car. LaGuardia Airport is about a 45-minute drive.
Midcentury Modern design and higher levels come with amazing views -- though some rooms show wear
The Parker's rooms are pretty generous for NYC, at a minimum of 300 square feet. The higher the category, the bigger the floor plan, and the higher the level, the better the view -- many rooms take in sweeping Park and city skyline views.Cherry wood walls, bedside tables, and work desks (with Aeron chairs) create a smart foundation for crisp white bedding, pleated cream lamp shades, and lounge fabrics in earthy tones. Work desks are nice and spacious, facing the window (a treat for rooms with views); and Midcentury swivel chairs are set in the corners. Suites have separate living areas and provide bathrobes; while the fanciest suites, like the Central Park Suite and the Diplomatic Suite, add kitchens to the mix. All rooms feature flat-screen TVs, refrigerated minibars, safes, irons, ironing boards, and free daily newspapers. However, coffeemakers are nowhere to be seen. Bathrooms are sleek, with a slate gray color palette, wide granite vanities, shower/tub combos, or big walk-in frameless glass showers (depending on category). Lovely Moonshine toiletries are available from the hotel’s spa. While the rooms we photographed seemed near flawless, past guests often comment on wear and tear.
A rooftop indoor pool and sun deck, sensational two-story gym, wellness hub, and four eateries -- but a daily Facilities Fee applies
Le Parker Meridien offers a solid list of appealing features that begin with the 42nd-story indoor pool with beautiful views of Central Park, and access to a rooftop sundeck draped in more views.
Food is another highlight. Iconic Norma’s serves breakfast and brunch every day. It’s also home to the world’s most expensive omelette, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Made with lobster and caviar, it’ll set guests back around $1,000. For lunch (or a very late dinner), it's pretty much mandatory to grab a patty at the famous Burger Joint off the lobby. The name -- or rather, the lack thereof -- reveals everything you need to know about the unpretentious vibe. Knave, the coffee bar at the 57th Street entrance, specializes in espresso coffee, fabulous cocktails, and gourmet snacks in a classical candle-lit setting, though it’s not operated by the hotel (so guests can’t charge meals there to their rooms). Indian Accent is a popular, upmarket dining destination that’s also located on-site.
The Underground space below the lobby is somewhat of a wellness hub with a range of treatments and services on offer. The primary feature here is Gravity fitness center, with two floors of cardio equipment, and extensive state-of-the-art weights training equipment. There are yoga and spin rooms, and a range of classes that include meditation, Pilates, and kickboxing alongside workouts like Asskicker and Commando. Moonshine Spa offers massages, facials, and waxing services in cave-like treatment rooms named after Prohibition-era cocktails. Drybar offers blowouts, both in-room and at the hair salon. Tenoverten is a non-toxic nail salon offering manis/ pedis, Blushington provides make-up services, and Skin Laundry specializes in cutting edge face treatments. Located off the lobby, Sharps Barber and Shop is an old school barbershop with a new school twist, serving free drinks. It's welcoming of walk-ins. There’s a small business center with all of the basics. Meeting and party space abounds, both up high on the penthouse floor, and down low on the second and third floors. The mandatory daily facilities fee covers access to the pool, fitness center, Wi-Fi, and local calls.
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