Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, is the classic Manhattan hotel, from its 1930s sandstone edifice to its 33 floors of sweeping views of the city and park. It is home to 212 guestrooms, 47 suites, and 12 luxury residences—all with the white-glove butler service and refined style that has defined the Ritz since 1927, when it opened its first hotel in Boston. Initially intended as a group of private clubs, the first Ritz hotels would reject hand-written notes requesting reservations if the paper was not of the highest quality.
Even within the hotel group, this particular location is exceptional. The Hungarian architect Emery Roth designed the building with the setbacks and pilasters that have become classic features of the New York skyline. In 2002, Ritz-Carlton took over the Beaux Arts and Art Deco-inspired building from the original hotel, the St. Moritz, and quickly won recognition for its high level of hospitality and definitive location. The Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Hall, and Fifth Avenue are all within walking distance; a La Prairie spa specializing in Swiss treatments such as a signature “caviar massage” is located within the hotel.
New to the hotel this fall is Auden Bistro and Bar. The 120-seat restaurant, designed by the Rockwell Group, features dark wood floors and mahogany leather banquettes. Chef Mark Arnao’s menu updates bistro dishes such as Oyster Rockefeller and beef short ribs with seasonal ingredients, while the bar is helmed by Norman Bukofzer, one of the city’s legendary barmen. But for one night, Bukofzer and Arnao handed the reins to chef Gavin Kaysen, for the fourth dinner of Robb Report’s Culinary Masters competition.