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july 14, 2016

mandarin oriental new york

To finish off our engagement weekend David and I had a little stay-cation in the Mandarin Oriental New York. The hotel was yet another place we used pass by a lot but never frequent. It’s pricey for sure but it was perfection, truly, a blend u. We’ve been lucky enough to stay in a lot of amazing hotels over the years but there was something extra special about the Mandarin.

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The hotel’s main entrance is on 60th street, less than half a block away from Columbus Circle. Even though that thoroughfare is bustling, their bellmen whisked our luggage away painlessly. The street-level lobby is just a glorified elevator bank–you need to go up some fifty floors to get to the main check-in area. That sky lobby is absolutely stunning–all sleek glass and granite, with lots of modern art and understated Asian accents.

We checked in and were personally walked to our room on the fifty-sixth floor by a member of the hotel staff. Tea and cookies were delivered instantly, an incredibly lovely welcome gesture. We sipped and munched and took in the glorious view through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

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The room was perfection and had one of my favorite bathrooms ever (the stall shower had a view of the city I’ll never forget). There was so much attention to detail throughout–a TV in the bathroom, lots of large mirrors, fresh orchids, bath salts near the tub, slippers, robes–and I loved the use of black in all of the decorating.

One of the best parts of the Mandarin New York is that it has a dedicated entrance to the Shops and Columbus Circle, which meant that getting to Per Se for our dinner reservations (read all about that meal here) was as simple as going down a few flights in an elevator and using our room key to enter and exit directly onto one of the upper floors of the mall (we were even able to shop for a few things we’d forgotten to pack).

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After we had dinner (and more phone calls to family and friends), we stopped by the Mandarin’s Lobby Lounge for late night drinks. It was an incredible end to the day, with sparkling views of Columbus Circle, Central Park, mid-town, and the Upper East Side. The cocktails were incredible (a Mandarin Sunset with Absolut, blood orange, lychee, and Lillet for me and a Baby Buddha with Hendrick’s, cucumber, cilantro, lime, and sake for David).

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We came back to the room to find turn-down service had arrived with two bottles of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and more roses than we knew what to do with (some were from family, others from David, and some from the hotel). Again, perfection!

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The next morning we got up early to have breakfast in Asiate, a lovely restaurant inside the hotel’s sky lobby. The amount of food we ordered was embarrassing–and even more so considering we ate it all! The service here was a bit shaky (and completely at odds with the rest of the flawless hotel staff) but the food was very, very good. It was another gorgeous day and the view from our window seat was unreal.

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We headed back to the room, finished packing and checked out. A luggage cart was a must: even though it seemed silly for an overnight stay, it was mostly for all the flowers and leftover champagne!

I’m admittedly very biased (it was a milestone weekend and the area is sentimental to me) but I loved, loved, loved the hotel–I don’t think David and I had one complaint. Everything about the place is luxurious but it manages to never be over-the-top or ostentatious. It’s just good, sensible quality with lots of elegant touches. If you can swing it, don’t hesitate to book a special stay!

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