By Sheree Bykofsky
The Marmara Park Avenue hotel is a work of art. Created and designed by architect and artist Joe Ginsberg, and filled with his art, the Marmara elevates the New York experience for its guests.
Built from the bones of a 1927 apartment building, the 128 rooms are all different and of varying sizes, but each boasts an understated modern and luxurious elegance and many offer every amenity of home, such as fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, washer dryers, marble baths, giant LED TV’s, complimentary Wi-Fi and an iPad. Because of that and the state-of-the-art, carpeted 1375-square-foot private event center, the Marmara caters to business people on long-term sojourns, as well as those looking for a posh setting for smaller-scale meetings and celebrations.
What may be overlooked is how perfect the Marmara is for a weekend romantic getaway. Imagine one of the best locations in New York — an easy walk from the theatres, the Village and Midtown — where you can explore, shop, and dine and then return “home” to your love nest. Whether you’re staying there or not, the Marmara is an ideal place to satisfy your afternoon hunger pangs.
Choose a banquette, a couch, or table for two and linger over cocktails and light bites by the steel sculpture fireplace, which is the showpiece of the OneOneFour Bar and Lounge that flows from the breathtaking lobby. Some choice menu items are flatbread pizza, charcuteries, and grilled brie. Then take the elevator to your home away from home.
Our one-bedroom suite #1701 had not one, but two, terraces with stunning views of the Empire State Building and the crown of the Chrysler Building. Forty of the rooms have terraces. There is nothing quite like a grand view to create a certain mood. Luxurious C.O. Bigelow bath amenities are always welcome to couples on a romantic retreat, provided in generous quantities in the guest room apartments, and in the intimate spa on the cellar level. Have you ever been to a hammam? A real Turkish steam bath! The small spa offers a menu of massages including a couples massage, a special massage on the heated tile in the center of the hammam, and a variety of other sensory pleasures with skilled therapists. Or relax together on your own in the lap pool or in the hammam, as part of your guest experience. You may also want to work up an appetite in the small but fully-equipped modern fitness center.
Marmara is a sea in Turkey; and right around the corner on Lexington Avenue is a magnificent candle-lit Italian restaurant called Marcony that evokes the atmosphere of the Mediterranean surrounding the island of Capri, the favorite of the convivial restaurateur Marco. Dominating the restaurant — which is designed to make you feel like you’re on a yacht near Capri — is a blue and white 147-piece glass sculpture hanging from a buoy-like chain created by Ed Pennebaker in the style of Chihuly, for whom the artist worked. As lovely as it is to sit in Marco’s subtly nautical paradise, the food is the reason to go to Marcony. Expect to savor such delights as perfectly-prepared Polpo alla Griglia, which is grilled octopus served on a citrus and arugula salad with fennel. If you’re there at the right time of year, you will never forget having fresh handmade fettucine cooked perfectly al dente and finished tableside with shavings of real white truffle — presented like the Queen’s best jewel under a silver cloche. Share a zabaglione with mixed berries for dessert. Depending on the number of crystal goblets you toasted with, you’ll be glad that in a matter of minutes you can be sinking into your delicious bed, turned down with soft sheets and a fresh, white, fluffy duvet.
Book Valentine’s Day now! Here’s the info you need:
The Marmara Park Avenue Hotel
114 East 32 Street
New York, NY 10016
184 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016