The Mandarin Oriental, New York, opened its doors in October 2003 in the AOL / Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in the heart of Manhattan. The hotel required an investment of over $200m to construct, and is located high above (250ft) the Columbus Circle, giving exceptional views of Manhattan, Central Park and the Hudson River.
The Mandarin Oriental was the recipient of the prestigious Mobil travel Five-Star award in 2007. The hotel was chosen as Travel + Leisure World’s Best Business Hotels for 2009. It was also awarded the Five Diamond Award in January 2010.
Finance and operation
Operator Mandarin Oriental International built the hotel as a joint venture with a US-based consortium of real estate developers and investors. It owns 50% of the property, having provided an investment of $50m. Bovis Lend Lease was the construction manager for the development.
The construction started in 2000 and required the services of over 2,000 contract workers.
The hotel offers a total of 248 guest rooms, incorporating 202 rooms and 46 suites, overlooking the city and central park. The interior designers have adopted a 1940s retro style for the furniture in each room.
Types of room include: Standard, Deluxe Double, Hudson River View, Grand Park View or Central Park View. Amenities offered in each room include high-speed internet services, three telephone and fax lines, international direct dialling, surround sound system, flat screen 30in television, digitally delivered music and an extensive range of movies.
Each room has $27,000 worth of entertainment and communication equipment and every guest has access to high speed, wireless,internet, face-to-face video conferencing and VOIP protocol phones.
All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Central Park, the Hudson River or the Manhattan skyline. The Italian bed linens are by Fili D’oro.
Bathrooms have marble baths, LCD flat-panel television and a separate, glass-enclosed shower. There are also soaking tubs featuring picture windows and luxurious bath amenities by Aromatherapy Associates.
Suites and apartments
A 2,800ft² Presidential two-bedroom suite is available. This suite offers a top quality surround sound ‘Home Theatre’ that includes large plasma screen technology and in-room broadcast video services.
Mandarin Oriental provides services to 65 luxury residential apartments, part of the Columbus Center project. At the top of each tower there is 8,400ft² of full-floor penthouses featuring 12ft-high ceilings and 360° views of Manhattan and Central Park.
The residence apartments range in size from 1,287ft² to 3,923ft², offering two to four bedrooms, and have sold for $1.7m to $11m. Additionally, there are residences available of 4,000ft² to 4,500ft² apartments and a 6,300ft² duplex residence. Some of the apartments offer outdoor space.
Restaurants and bars
The hotel offers a selection of dining facilities including Asiate, a trend-setting restaurant that combines elements of French and Japanese cuisine, Lobby Lounge for light refreshments, evening cocktails and late night desserts and MObar an elegant and inviting setting for cocktails and pre- or post-dinner drinks.
Meeting and conference
The Mandarin Oriental offers 7,000ft² of meeting and conference facilities, including four meeting and function rooms that incorporate the latest technology. The 6,000ft² Mandarin Ballroom has fully glazed walls and views over Central Park and Manhattan and features three oval chandeliers.
The Ballroom is able to accommodate up to 750 people and incorporates state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities. A grand staircase leads from the Ballroom and meeting rooms to the hotel lobby below.
The hotel has a business centre with three workstations and the facilities and resources of a fully functional office.
Health and fitness facilities
The hotel offers first-rate health and fitness facilities, with a full service 14,500ft² spa on the 35th floor offering a complete ‘journey of the senses’ and health club that offers a wider selection of treatments. The 6,000ft² fitness centre includes a 75ft, sky lit indoor swimming pool.
The spa offers a wide range of treatments for face and body using natural ingredients and ancient wisdoms from around the world. The spa includes:
- Six multifunctional treatment rooms with private showers
- Thai Yoga Suite with deep soaking tub and water features and Thai yoga massage
- VIP Spa Suite with fireplace and private steam and shower
- Separate men’s and women’s Heat Experiences – vitality pool, amethyst crystal steam room
- Separate men’s and women’s Relaxation Lounges
- Oriental Tea Lounge
- Spa Cuisine
AOL Time Warner Center
The AOL Time Warner Center, where the Mandarin Oriental is located, has a steel base that is 480ft wide and 434ft deep. The structure reaches a height of 349ft (24 stories) on the south and 315ft (20 storeys) on the north. The Mandarin Oriental and residential apartments are situated at the top of the Center.
Mandarin Oriental operates the hotel. Bovis Lend Lease was the construction manager for the development.
The US-based consortium that built the Mandarin Oriental was comprised of The Related Companies, LP, a fully integrated real estate firm that specialises in development, financial services and property management, as well as Apollo Real Estate Advisors, LP, who target an extensive array of direct equity and debt investments in real estate assets, joint ventures and operating companies.
The Sunshine Group was also involved in the development. It specialises in luxury residential and hotel condominium marketing, sales, leasing and conversion programmes. Additionally, HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates provides its services in interior design for the project.
ESPA Consultancy supplies a combination of spa-inspired products, treatments and services that incorporate aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and phototherapy in the health and fitness centre at the hotel.
General Dynamics Interactive installed its new, high-definition Intrigue Multimedia System in all of the hotel’s rooms. The high-definition Intrigue system uses LCD displays and surround-sound systems to provide a home theatre-style guest experience. For entertainment, guests can enjoy high-definition movies-on-demand with the DVD-like ability to pause, fast-forward, rewind and bookmark the movie. An AM / FM stereo radio and DVD / CD player is seamlessly integrated into the entertainment system.
Guests can also access the internet via the television or a laptop in their rooms, or they can access the internet wirelessly in the hotel’s common areas. Another feature, not available in any other hotel in the world, includes the ability for guests to select high-resolution electronic artwork and coordinated music to display on room televisions.