Fodor's Expert Review JW Marriott Essex House
160 Central Park S, between 6th and 7th Aves., New York, New York 10019, USA See on Map
With Central Park views and an Art Deco masterpiece of a lobby, this Marriott property is a comfortable--ahem, fancy--Midtown hotel that is full of character. It first opened its doors in 1931 but now offers contemporary amenities including a well-equipped fitness center and a spa with saunas and steam rooms.
Sizeable rooms are Art Deco inspired with plush, modern furniture. Some of them have lovely Central Park views and all of them have spacious work desks with ergonomic chairs. You can very comfortably get some work done here.
Some of the suites have charming extras including separate living areas with fireplaces. Other suites have large terraces with full dining tables. You can even more comfortably get some work done in these places.
Marble bathrooms have Aromatherapy bath products, shower/tub combos, and spacious vanities plus robes and slippers. Needless to say, the bathrooms are quite luxurious.
The property’s stately design is at its best in the elegant lobby, with inlaid marble floors and bas-relief elevator doors. They even do an afternoon tea in the lobby lounge. Can this place get any fancier? Probably not.
Okay, it can get fancier. The Southgate restaurant draws a European crowd with its design-conscious, comfortable interior, and extensive wine list. Food is served all day--they do everything from breakfast to late-night bites at the bar.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The restaurant and bar are on the expensive side—breakfast is particularly punchy. This shouldn’t surprise you at this point, though.
This hotel is just south of Central Park and the perfect place to stay if you’re interested in exploring it. Landmarks and theaters of Midtown are also close by. Subway access is available with the N, Q, R, and W trains at 57th Street or the E, B, and D trains at 7th Avenue/53rd Street. Taxis and Uber are widely available in the neighborhood, but traffic congestion is common during prime hours.
Beyond a busy, street-facing bar, Kingside (4-minute walk) is also an American restaurant serving oysters, steaks, and a whole roasted chicken for two. Seeing as though the hotel is so close to Central Park, a picnic might just be in order during your stay. You’re in luck-- you can pick up supplies at Maison Kayser (4-minute walk), a bakery with sandwiches on fresh baguettes. One of New York’s classic burgers is hidden away in the lobby of the Le Parker Meridien hotel. Go behind a literal curtain for burgers and fries at the unfussy Burger Joint (5-minute walk).
Redcork Wine Bar (6-minute walk) is a sleek, low-lit bar with spacious wood tables and a range of wines available by the glass (Stumptown coffee is also served). Tanner Smith’s (5-minute walk) is a prohibition-inspired bar serving craft beers, cocktails, and wine.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Art Deco character gives this Marriott property a lot of personality. We love the location across the street from Central Park and the super elegant afternoon tea in the lobby lounge. For the Midtown location, rooms are surprisingly spacious (by New York standards) and offer big work desks with ergonomic chairs. This place is a lovely luxury.
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