Welcome to The Mark – where luxury has been reinvented. Two years ago, the iconic New York hotel, on the chi chi Upper East Side, made waves by opening a lavish five-bedroom penthouse suite and now – adding to its status as most opulent hotel in the city – is back in the news with a slew of luxury offerings.
When it flung open its doors, the penthouse made a stir with the press questioning who would actually book the $75,000-a-night apartment. Proving that there is indeed a demand for an uber-luxury tier of hospitality in the city – it turns out that it has been fully booked since it opened, despite it being the most expensive suite in the whole of the USA. What’s more, to cater for this increasing demand for a high-end, private experience within a hotel, The Mark has now launched a further two top-end suites to emulate its prize draw.
While these will no doubt pull in the uber-wealthy, The Mark, of course, is never short of celebrity endorsement. It’s always the starting point of choice for a ranch of A-listers for the city’s most starry event – the Met Gala (the annual themed fundraising event for the Metropolitan Musuem of Art’s Costume Institute, overseen by Anna Wintour). With the likes of Mario Testino, Usher, Michael Kors, Kate Hudson, Emily Blunt and Kendall Jenner being ‘papped’ leaving the lobby – the guest book is like a roll call of the most influential across fashion, film and music.
Jacques Grange’s bold interior design is no doubt the draw for many. He was first called in to revamp the famous 1920s hotel in 2009 and his dramatic interiors are still the talk of the town. Zebra-striped black-and-white floors, Paul Mathieu orange velvet sofas and a Ron Arad sphere chandelier set the scene in the lobby.
In the buzzy bar, there are cow-hide chairs and a neon-pink-lit bar. It’s a fun, modern-day take on haute-pop couture.
To the back of the bar is Jean-George Vongerichten’s The Mark restaurant. It’s a people-watching paradise, but better still is the menu. It’s an eclectic gathering of what seems like the world’s best dishes: tune tartare, crispy sushi, Maine lobster, veal chops and black truffle pizza.
The lavish fine-tuning continues in the guest bedrooms. Marble bathrooms give a nod to the hotel’s Art Deco past, with sea-green vanity units, a monochrome palette and elegant lighting. Rooms are streamlined and pared-back but effortlessly chic: think fine Italian bed-linens, glimmering sea-grass wallpaper and deep carpets. Compared to the public spaces of the hotel, rooms shout quiet luxury.
The attention to detail is also second-to-none with Ladurée macaroons left on your bedside, whimsically-illustrated toiletries (so covetable) and 24-access to Bergdorf Goodman (take one of the custom-designed pedicabs for a novel arrival). The literal head-to-toe care continues with the in-house Frédéric Fekkai salon (for the perfect blow-dry) and a John Lobb Kiosk (for the ultimate shiny shoes). The hotel even has its own custom scent, ‘Jurassic Flower’, created by master perfumer, Frédéric Malle.
Sitting on top of all this is the 12,000 square-foot super-suite. It includes five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a steam room, walk-in wardrobes, a chef’s kitchen, dining room, library lounge and conservatory. Best of all, perhaps, is the expansive private roof terrace with its jaw-dropping views across Manhattan, taking in Central Park and the top of the Chrysler Building.
The lounge, with its 26ft-high ceilings, has an oversized fireplace and grand piano and, should you need it, can transform into a grand ballroom. As well as a number of high-profile names who can be called on to meet guest’s needs – personal trainers, a driver with your choice of car and private shopping and tailoring – Jean-Georges Vongerichten himself can be booked to create a bespoke menu for private dinners. As expected, interior details are opulent and unique with every piece of furniture purposely designed by Jacques Grange.
“This majestic penthouse is really like a castle in the sky,” Jacques Grange says.
It’s dreamy stuff.
The new suites, meanwhile, which start at $25,000 per night, have naturally airy rooms punctuated by rich jewel-toned accents and exquisite detailing. The large windows give sweeping views of Central Park and Madison Avenue – while their spacious terraces are a real find in a city such as New York.
Finally, comes the hotel’s latest piece de resistance – another first for a New York hotel. The Mark Sailboat, is decked out with the hotel’s monochrome signature palette with pops of bold orange and pink, and gives hotel guests the ultimate luxurious experience. A seasonal bonus (it will be available each year from July to September), the bespoke 70-foot Herreshoff-designed vessel will set sail from Tribeca’s North Cove Marina for a three-hour journey southward into the iconic New York Harbor, with guests being able to practically touch the Statue of Liberty. It’s the ultimate American dream.
Carrier (0161 492 1356, carrier.co.uk) offers three nights from £1,790 per person based on two adults sharing a Superior Courtyard King Room on a room only basis, including return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways and private transfers. For more information, including reviews and news, please visit www.carrier.co.uk.
The Mark Hotel, 25 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075; +1 212 744 4300. For more information, visit www.themarkhotel.com.