Travel Advisor Review
1 Hotel Central Park
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, 1 Hotel Central Park is the perfect home base in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. A one-of-a-kind urban retreat that is inspired by nature, the hotel offers travelers a unique experience that puts sustainability and wellness front and center. Located steps from Central Park and within close walking distance to top art and cultural institutions, world-class shopping, top-rated restaurants, and transportation hubs, the best of New York City awaits.
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1 Hotels’ Midtown Manhattan outpost is located on the corner of 58th Street and 6th Avenue, just one block from New York City’s legendary 843-acre Central Park. A stay at 1 Hotel Central Park places travelers within a three-minute walk to one of the city’s most visited attractions, which welcomes about 38 million visitors annually. The hotel is also situated near art and cultural attractions like Carnegie Hall, the designer shopping of Fifth Avenue, as well as highly-rated bars and restaurants. Despite its enviable location, the property’s entrance on 58th Street ensures less hectic arrivals and departures.
1 Hotel Central Park greeted us with one of the most welcoming and memorable arrival experiences. As soon as we pulled up to the property in our car, we were met by a member of their team who was the complete opposite of the usual New York stereotype. With a warm, infectious smile, we were encouraged to leave our car street side with their team while we were checked in, which was a relief because it allowed us time to get our bearings before figuring out parking. During check-in, we were told all about the property and given insider tips. Throughout the arrival process, their team seemed genuinely interested in learning about us, including what brought us to the city and what we were interested in doing during our time there, so it made us feel really special, rather than just another guest staying at their hotel.
Of course, things were a little different because we arrived during a pandemic. We were presented with amenity kits, which included masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes, and required to fill out a contact tracing form to ensure the safety of all guests and staff members.
We stayed in one of 1 Hotel Central Park’s Cityscape King Rooms, which at about 250 square feet is considered a standard size for its Midtown Manhattan location. Since we were in an 8th-floor corner unit, we were able to enjoy a partial view of Central Park, which allowed us to admire the contrasts of the green landscape and bustling streets. Keeping in line with the 1 Hotels’ brand, every detail in our guestroom focused on providing a sustainable experience inspired by nature, including a helpful five-minute shower timer aimed at reducing water waste. From the layout of the space adorned with plants and wood accents to the window-nook daybed offered in most rooms throughout the hotel that are perfect for meditating or enjoying a tranquil moment, their team put a lot of thought into ensuring a comfortable stay. Each room features a comfortable custom organic mattress and blackout curtains, so catching up on sleep after a busy day in the city will not be an issue. For those traveling with a friend or family member, keep in mind that some rooms feature an exposed glass shower, but the curtain can be drawn for privacy.
During our visit, we had the pleasure of touring the hotel’s Greenhouse Suite, a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath retreat that also includes a living room, media room, dining room, and kitchen. The master bathroom boasts an inviting copper tub with views of Central Park. Guests of the suite enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of New York City, as well as a living green wall of ferns and ivy that brings the beauty of nature inside.
4) Food and Beverage
Dining at 1 Hotel Central Park is centered around James Beard award-winning Chef Jonathan Waxman’s Jams Café. Lauded as “Best Chef in New York City,” Waxman’s café on the first floor of the hotel is a popular spot for area residents and guests. Typically, Jams Café offers a dynamic menu featuring masterfully created dishes that showcase seasonal ingredients in a vibrant setting that features an open kitchen, exposed brick, and reclaimed oak. Under normal circumstances, it is a popular location for power breakfasts, midday meetups, and tasty brunches for in-the-know locals.
Due to the pandemic, the café transitioned to a cafeteria-style service with a variety of pre-packaged grab-and-go options. Choose from light bites, pastries, coffee, juices, smoothies, cocktails, beer, and wine. During our stay, we enjoyed several healthy snacks on-the-go, including a satisfying parfait and a refreshing smoothie. In-room dining from Jams Café and the Lobby Farmstand, which normally features a variety of fresh fruits, were also temporarily closed during our visit.
Amenities: Gym (group and individual classes available), house car, business center.
Parking: Valet Parking
6) Lifestyle Experiences
1 Hotel Central Park offers all of the conveniences a traveler would expect from a Midtown Manhattan hotel. However, what makes the property truly unique are the special touches afforded to guests and its holistic approach to wellbeing and nature that translates to a one-of-a-kind experience.
Food made from locally sourced ingredients and thoughtful touches in-room ensure that the well-being of each guest is the main focus at the hotel. The friendly service provided by staff also heightens the experience, making travelers feel warm, welcome, and cared for while in the middle of a busy city.
1 Hotel Central Park stands out from the crowd in terms of design, service, amenities, and location due to its unwavering focus on wellness and nature. From the outside, those walking by the hotel immediately notice that the U.S. Green Building Council Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified building features a lush green façade that is a stark contrast to the sea of gray high rises that surround it.
Upon entering, travelers feel as if they are in a private retreat surrounded by nature, bringing the aura of Central Park into the hotel's four walls. The reclaimed wood accents, fresh scent, cheerful and lively staff, views of Central Park, plants and sustainable features in each room, and living walls, evokes a sense of serenity that is rare in New York City.
8) Parking and Transportation
Since we were familiar with New York City, we prepared ourselves for Midtown traffic congestion. However, the team at 1 Hotel Central Park did an excellent job at minimizing any inconvenience by greeting us curbside for a seamless check-in experience and offering the use of valet parking next door. We opted to park ourselves to avoid the daily $75 fee and luckily within 15-minutes we were able to find a spot-on Park Avenue, which was about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. This may be the best option for people looking to access their car during their stay since the hotel’s valet parking does not allow for in-and-out privileges. Another alternative for getting around would be to use the hotel’s house car for short distances, which is an environmentally friendly electric vehicle.
The hotel is also within short walking distance to most of the city’s subway lines via the 57th Street, 5th Avenue, and Columbus Circle stations. Its location within the heart of Midtown Manhattan on the corner of 58th Street and 6th Avenue makes catching a rideshare vehicle easy via your preferred app. Of course, the property’s proximity to Central Park places guests within a few steps from several Citi Bike stations.
Service was top-notch. We were able to experience the extra mile that 1 Hotel Central Park goes for their guests before we arrived as the concierge reached out to us before check-in to provide tips on what to do during our visit, share insights on how to stay safe during our travels, give restaurant recommendations, and offer to assist with getting reservations due to limited outdoor seating available at area dining establishments in the city during the pandemic. Throughout the property, we were warmly welcomed and greeted with smiles, which made us feel right at home in a city where it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
From check-in to departure, the team at 1 Hotel Central Park provided peace of mind that all measures were being taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety. We were greeted with a personal amenity kit that included all the essentials: a face mask, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Before our arrival our guestroom was sanitized and sealed, so we knew we were stepping into a safe space. The property suspended daily housekeeping services to avoid unnecessary traffic in and out of guestrooms for the health and safety of guests and staff. However, we did request housekeeping one night and were pleased with how thoroughly and quickly they cleaned our room. Members of the hotel staff paid special attention to all of the public spaces, especially the high-touch and high-traffic locations. At any given moment, we observed at least one member of their team cleaning these areas.
Nightly rates at 1 Hotel Central Park start at $390 and vary by season, room type, and availability. As a newer property with distinct lifestyle experiences one block from Central Park, it offers true value. Considering the hotel’s prime location, the amenities and experiences it provides guests, as well as the level of service offered by staff, especially when compared to surrounding properties, we consider it one of the best deals in New York City.
12) Why we chose it
1 Hotel Central Park is in a class of its own, which makes it a natural pick for our shortlist of top hotels in New York City. It delivers a trifecta of nature and tranquility, an enviable location, and standout service. In many ways, the hotel itself is an extension of Central Park, embracing the essence of nature in its interior spaces and offering guests incredible views, as well as new ways to experience the famed destination through fitness classes and tours. Known as one of the most filmed locations in the world, cinephiles can re-create a scene from their favorite film during a stroll through Central Park.
Guests enjoy thoughtful amenities that enhance their well-being, including Zen-like surroundings and healthy cuisine. When it comes to service, there’s no sign of a big-city attitude, since every member of staff that we encountered genuinely cared about providing us with a warm and welcoming stay. This approach to service and attention to detail carries over to the uncompromising health, safety, and cleanliness standards that the property put into place, which is one of the most important factors travelers consider when selecting a property.
Disclaimer: As an independent travel company dedicated to handpicking the most stylish and quality hotels for every budget, our review is based on firsthand experience. While we were invited by 1 Hotel Central Park as guests, we were not compensated for this post and all opinions are our own.