Openings: The Thompson Central Park Hotel Brings ‘Dazzling Glamour’ Back to Midtown

For all its workaday elements, Midtown has long been the beating heart of NYC, ultimately because it is where most of the city’s tall, shiny office towers stand. But last March everyone went home…and most never returned. Recently, the Real Estate Board of New York reported that nearly 30% of storefronts in the area remain empty.

But Broadway has been bouncing back, drawing vital tourism again to Midtown. And high-profile restaurant openings like Casa Limone over on E. 49th Street offer a necessary bit of hope for revitalization. But few things bring a jolt of optimism like the arrival of a new luxury boutique hotel – and indeed, this week the plush new Thompson Central Park New York debuted on a usually bustling stretch of W. 56th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.

As the name implies, it’s also just three blocks south of one of the greatest parks in the whole world – so location, location, location is a definitely thing, despite the current dearth of office worker traffic. It being a Thompson, it’s also got oodles of style, with public spaces by Danish-born, New York based architect Thomas Juul-Hansen (chef Jean-Georges‘ go-to guy), and rooms by Gotham interior designers Stonehill Taylor.

If the address sounds familiar – 119 W. 56th St. – that’s because it’s the former/historic Parker Meridien hotel. So the lunchtime crowd will appreciate that the beloved Burger Joint is returning, still acknowledged to serve one of the best of what its name suggests in all of New York. But new is the sleek, sexy lobby lounge SRO, which will be a coffee bar in the mornings (until 11am), and a sultry, moodily lit cocktail spot in the evenings. (Additional dining high-profile destinations will be announced soon.)

Upstairs, the 400+ current rooms (how’s that for optimistic?) are done up in crisp whites and blues, with warm woods and significant aesthetic nods to Thompson’s signature mid-Century modern design sensibility. Midtown skyline views from higher floors are particularly gasp-inducing. But coming soon is Upper Stories, a collection of 174 rooms at the very top of the hotel, with even more breathtaking vistas, plus high-end amenities, exclusive programming, and access to the private Upper Stories Lounge.

But the hotel’s most prominent amenity is simply the pronounced sensuality of its design, with Juul-Hansen observing, “When walking into Thompson Central Park New York, hotel guests are greeted with a sensory experience. From the building’s classic exterior to the luxurious, newly designed modern lobby space and atrium, we have created an atmosphere for travelers to connect with the iconic style and dazzling glamour of Manhattan.”

And that’s just it. If Midtown has indeed been shrouded in gloom these last nineteen months, perhaps it is a bit of glamour and a generous helping of dazzle that will decisively lead the way forward out of that gloom. Of course, a really good burger doesn’t hurt, either.

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