• Thursday, October 1, 2020

Mandarin Oriental New York

A Room with a View
March 4, 2014

The place: Lobby Lounge at Mandarin Oriental, Columbus Circle

The space: Sometimes, drama is a good thing. Especially when it comes to the floor-to-ceiling panoramic views from the 35th floor of the Time Warner Center, overlooking Central Park. Just walking into the Mandarin Oriental makes you feel like you’re on vacation (albeit a lavish one) with its grand marble lobby and dramatic Dale Chihuly blown-glass chandeliers. But the power scene of titans of industry meeting for a tête-à-tête on loungey banquettes makes it distinctly NYC. Sure you can break out your computer, but you won’t find an outlet in sight and there’s a $15 charge to use the internet. We suggest saving the space for important work meetings when you want to make a statement.

The beans: Cappuccinos and espressos make a solid showing, but the star is the tea. Selections include lychee green, imperial earl grey and English breakfast. For those channeling Don Draper, time it right and coffee can turn into cocktails in the lounge and at the MO Bar, which opens at 4pm. We’ve made meals out of their wasabi-coated peanuts. 

The complement: By reservation only (or if you ask super nicely), you can close that deal over traditional afternoon tea, a selection of a smoked salmon roulade, egg and watercress tea sandwiches, ginger scones and decadent desserts. Of course, being the Mandarin Oriental, they also have a dim sum bento box with shrimp, chicken and vegetable dumplings, and an ahi tuna that’s a feast in itself. We’ve been known to break all afternoon snack rules and go for the lobster fried rice, with egg, scallions and XO sauce. XXXO, if you ask us. 

What to know: The hotel reserves a stash of tables next to the window with prime park views for VIPs and hotel guests. Make your reservation before scheduling the corporate coffee, as tables are often a wait, even during the week.

(Photos courtesy of Mandarin Oriental)