The Peninsula New York, hotel review: Heart of Manhattan

Our rating

4.5 out of 5

Highlights

A terrific location, beautiful rooms, a sun terrace with awesome views … the list goes on.

Lowlights

It's not cheap - for your average traveller, a stay at the Peninsula is likely to be a 'spoil yourself' treat rather than a week-long stay.

THE PLACE

The Peninsula New York 

One of the best-located luxury hotels in Manhattan. You're on 5th Avenue, just a couple of blocks away from Central Park to the north, Times Square and Broadway to the west, with the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Radio City Music Hall on the adjacent block.

THE SPACE

Set in a 23-storey, 1905 building, the Peninsula, which celebrated its 25th anniversary at the location last year, retains many of its original architectural features, mixing mod-cons with old-world elegance. There are 239 rooms including 54 suites. I stay in a Junior Executive Suite, though there is little that feels "junior" about it – there's a large living room, a beautiful marble bathroom and an enormous bed in the separate bedroom. 

I'm one floor below the spa, pool and gym, which also leads to the sun terrace – a spectacular spot where you can soak up the sun while enjoying views over Manhattan and down 5th Avenue to Central Park. 

COMFORT

The bedroom, separated from the living area by a short corridor, means noise from the hotel is at a minimum, allowing me a long sleep-in after my final night in New York, which was a late one. There's plenty of space to relax in the living room and watch the 46-inch TV (though watching TV while holidaying in New York seems like an awful waste of time) and the large desk is useful for those of us working while on the road. The marble bathroom, with separate shower and bath, features a television above the latter for entertainment while you're enjoying a soak. 

FOOD

The hotel's restaurant, Clement, is relatively new, having opened in October 2013, but it has quickly established a reputation as fine-dining hotspot. The cuisine is classed "modern American", which is just as vague as the Australian equivalent but, whatever its classification, it is delicious. The menu is limited to a few key choices but each is done exceptionally well. I partake in the tasting menu, selecting five dishes including Cape Cod black sea bass in roasted duck broth with maitake mushrooms and scallop with yuzukoshu (a Japanese chili paste). The restaurant is also open for breakfast and the service is uniformly excellent. 

For after-dinner drinks, visiting the hotel's rooftop bar, Salon de Ning, is a must-do. Popular with guests and visitors alike, the Chinese-influenced bar makes the most of its location with two large outdoor terraces. It's a magical New York moment straight out of Sex And The City to enjoy a cocktail while looking out at the lights of Manhattan. 

STEPPING OUT

Everything is on your doorstep from this location. Times Square and Broadway are just a couple of blocks away, but much closer is the aforementioned MOMA with its outstanding collection of famous works from the likes of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollack. 

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The Peninsula is also in the heart of 5th Avenue's shopping district, with luxury goods galore, as well as flagship stores from the likes of Uniqlo (the world's largest), H+M, Gap and Zara, making it a shopper's paradise regardless of your budget. 

Central Park is a short walk north and a great place to people-watch and see New Yorkers looking a little more relaxed than you find on the crowded, bustling streets. 

THE VERDICT

Stays at hotels such as the Peninsula don't come cheap, but the location, the comfort, the service and the amenities make this a top-notch place for visitors to experience in one of the world's greatest cities. Combined with the food of Clement and drinks on the rooftop, this is a perfect place for a blowout couple of nights to finish your visit to New York. 

ESSENTIALS

Qantas, Virgin Australia, Delta Airways, United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines all fly from Australia into US cities with connections to New York either on the same carrier or with codeshare partners.

Rooms start from $US595 a night for a Superior Room. My Junior Executive Suite is from $895 a night. See http://newyork.peninsula.com.

The writer stayed as a guest of the Peninsula New York.