The JW Marriott Essex House is everything you want from a Manhattan getaway. Located on Central Park South in New York City, it has possibly the best location one could ask for. It’s in the center of it all, with easy access to both the East and West sides. Situated on the edge of Central Park, it’s an extremely short walk to Columbus Circle. It’s also not far from Times Square and other popular midtown attractions. You can opt for the quietness of the Upper East Side, or head to Broadway, all literally steps from your hotel room.
The hotel is currently undergoing a massive guest room renovation. They are hoping to complete it by the end of this year. Lucky for us, we got to experience one of their new rooms. They reflect the glamour of a more fashionable era by blending contemporary style with Art Deco, and simply put, it’s a rehab that is both beautiful and well done.
One can’t mention the JW Marriott Essex House without referencing it’s history. As one of the Historic Hotels of America, the Essex House dates back to the Roaring 20’s. Construction started the day after the stock market crash in 1929, but it didn’t open it’s doors until 1931. The red Essex House sign quickly became an iconic part of the New York City skyline. While the hotel has changed hands many times before coming into what it is today, you can sense the glamour of yesteryear mixed with modern amenities from the moment you enter.
Traveling with a little one in tow is certainly different than life pre-baby. One of my main concerns is sacrificing luxury for baby-friendly. I don’t know where that fear came from, because with places like the JW Marriott Essex House you can have both. It’s an amazing getaway for couples – I can’t think of a more romantic stay than in one of their Central Park view rooms (see below), or relaxing with an in room couples massage.
But it’s also a wonderful place for families (FYI it’s pet friendly, so you can even bring the dog). We stayed in one of their family suites, which is 600 square feet of pure spaciousness. With a separate bedroom, and a living room with sofa bed, it’s perfect for families that want privacy, as well as room to spread out.
I can’t even begin to tell you how great it was to be able to put the baby to bed in her pack and play and not have to go to sleep just because she did. We didn’t have to worry about noise, because we were able to go into a separate room once she fell asleep. The family suite is for sure the way to go.
For those looking for even more room, the hotel offers many different kinds of suites. A unique one is their Central Park Terrace Suite. It’s a massive 2,000 square feet and overlooks the park via a private outdoor space.
Anyway, we were lucky enough to get some amazing welcome amenities (OMG the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever), and it was so sweet that they didn’t leave out our littlest traveler.
Marriott Reward members of course get free Wi-Fi, and if you rank high enough, access to the Executive Lounge. What’s cool is that even if you don’t have high enough Marriott Reward status there’s a package you can book that gains you access. The lounge is located lobby level, which is a little different than most places. Insert a special key you receive upon check in, and inside you’ll find attentive staff, coffee, tea, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day. The best perk is the deluxe American breakfast buffet, offered seven days a week. It’s truly fantastic! Other than breakfast, hours definitely tend to favor weekdays vs. the weekend, with all day access M-TH (6:30am-10pm), and evening offerings SUN-TH, so keep that in mind.
There’s a restaurant attached to the hotel, Southgate, but unfortunately we didn’t get to check it out. The atmosphere appeared sophisticated and lovely, and upon a quick glimpse at the menu it looked delicious. There’s also room service, as well as many amazing restaurants nearby (after all, you are in New York City)! The concierge is more than happy to provide recommendations and/or make reservations for you. Speaking of concierge, I have to mention the staff in general. Everyone we came in contact with was very accommodating and friendly – from housekeeping and the doormen, to turndown service and the front desk personnel.
Tip: Be sure to utilize the wonderfully curated Central Park Tour brochure you get at check in! It includes a walking tour highlighting some of the parks most sought-after sights. There are 12 points of interest, and from someone who happens to love and randomly know a lot about the park, it’s fabulous!
To book your very own stay directly through Marriott click here.
Disclaimer: My love for elegant hotels cannot be swayed by an upgrade or access to the executive lounge, both of which I received while staying here. I already can’t wait to return! The JW Marriott Essex House is clean, luxurious, and in a location that can’t be beat. All thoughts/opinions are my own.