66 Park Ave., at 38th St., New York, New York 10016, USA
The Kitano imports much of its sensibility from Japan, with cultural touches including a bilingual concierge and a high-concept Japanese restaurant, while also ensuring a notable service-oriented stay. This property attracts music enthusiasts with Jazz at Kitano, a restaurant by day and (no surprise) a jazz club by night.
Bright, large rooms are decorated in tones of beige and gold. Ergonomic work desks, mahogany furniture, and cozy down comforters are all nice details. The Tatami Suite offers a genuine Japanese experience with tatami mats and a traditional bathroom with a big soaking tub.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Views from lower-floor rooms are quite limited.
Marble bathrooms have a combination deep tub and shower; some suites have separate soaking tubs.
A Fernando Botero rotund sculpture of a dog, the hotel’s mascot, is a focal point of the refined lobby. This open space with marble floors and wood-paneled walls leads to the Hakubai restaurant.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at Jazz at Kitano (also home to live music performances), but the special dining experience here is found at Hakubai. Experience a taste of Japanese culinary traditions in this restaurant; private tatami rooms are also available, if that's up your alley.
From this upscale position on Park Avenue, the bustle of Midtown Manhattan is just a short walk away. The location also borders other neighborhoods worth exploring on foot, including Murray Hill and NoMad. Subway service is nearby at Grand Central Terminal (4, 5, 6, 7, and S trains) and at 33rd Street (6 train). Traffic during rush hour can be dense; leave yourself plenty of time to travel if you’re opting for a taxi or Uber.
Make a meal out of Turkish mezes, from smoked eggplant to warm hummus at Pera Mediterranean Brasserie (6-minute walk), a sleek restaurant on Madison Avenue. For comfort food with a healthy twist, check out Spoon Table and Bar (5-minute walk); we love the whole branzino and the meatball skillet. Or, if you're into something way more causal, taste the burgers and milkshakes that New Yorkers happily wait in line for at Shake Shack (6-minute walk) on 3rd Avenue.
A former antiques store is the setting of Middle Branch (7-minute walk), a bi-level cocktail bar from the team behind renowned watering hole Milk & Honey. With its exposed brick walls and lots of bar stools, Park Avenue Tavern (2-minute walk) is a cozy place to kick back with a draught beer or two.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There are many restaurants in New York where you can get a taste of Japan, but this is the only hotel in the city that offers a genuine Japanese-inspired experience. It's also the only hotel in the city that features a gigantic dog statue in the lobby. We love the attention to detail, exceptional service, and quality live jazz performances. If you can swing a night in the Tatami Suite, it delivers a unique stay.
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