Opening the Door on the Marmara Park Avenue New York Hotel

The endless stream of pedestrians flowing though the Park Avenue region of New York could easily pass by a certain new luxury hotel without knowing it’s there.

The Marmara Park Avenue doesn’t call attention to itself with aggressive signage, a gaudy facade or a prominently placed doorman. It’s only once you enter the property that it’s ambition becomes clear. The hotel wants to be an intimate, high class, luxury venue for well-heeled travelers (especially from overseas).

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The hotel is new by Manhattan standards and (by virtue of its Park Avenue location) looks to attract adult travelers and working professionals planning to visit or operate from the heart of activity in the Big Apple.

The lack of a hotel restaurant and the inclusion of functioning kitchens in the rooms indicate that there are designs for the Marmara to be a longer stay property. Sure, it can serve as weekend accommodation for any traveler’s schedule. But, the presence of refrigerators, microwaves, kitchen sinks, etc., in the rooms would point to this space serving as small New York apartments for professionals doing short tours of duty in Manhattan.

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Where did I get the “overseas visitor” target idea that I mentioned earlier? The hotel includes a couple very nice additions in the basement levels that are rarely found in New York hotels. First, there’s a swimming pool big enough to afford the visitor some healthy exercise.

The more unusual attraction is the full size Turkish Bath adjoining the pool and fitness center. The average American traveler is not on the lookout for a hotel with a Turkish Bath. Those worldly enough to know what one is would certainly take advantage of it. I certainly did. But, European, Eastern European, Asian and Middle Eastern visitors are much more likely to rush down to this luxury addition.

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If there’s a quibble or a quirk about the Marmara (or something starting with a Q, anyway), it’s the fact that the rooms don’t match the visual style or intent as the rest of the hotel — especially the lobby. The hotel’s entrance (the first impression for any guest) is gleaming white and elegant — with artwork arranged throughout and a subtle fireplace to add some color.

Once upstairs, the guest rooms are modern and well-appointed, but much more functional and urban. There’s a little bit of an aesthetic disconnect between the two environments.

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Now, that’s not to say either aesthetic is defective. The lobby is a calm, charming space and a great place to do some reading or work, night or day. The rooms are comfortable and provide anything the traveler might need for short or long stays. The vibe just shifts in tone from one to the other.

That tiny complaint aside, the Marmara promises to become an understated gem in New York’s brutally competitive hotel scene.