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“Feel like a celebrity!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Park Lane Hotel

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Park Lane Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   36 Central Park South, 59th Street Between 5th Ave & 6th Ave, New York City, NY 10019-1600 (Formerly The Helmsley Park Lane) (Midtown)   |  
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Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #251 of 463 Hotels in New York City
Edmonton, Alberta
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Feel like a celebrity!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2007

Located right across from Central Park, this hotel will make you feel like royalty. Horses and carriages await across the street while the hotel staff is quick to answer your every request.

And I do mean you will feel like a celebrity. At one point, we walked out and found ourselves flanked by men with machine guns. Apparently, a celebrity or dignitary was next door at Mickey Mantle's restaurant and the extra security was necessary.

Our room on the 32nd floor was utilitarian but comfortable. Lots of thick rich towels, robes, and slippers. Flat screen TV and wireless Internet provided with no issues. We were missing a refrigerator from our room but when mentioned at the front desk, they were happy to provide one.

Although upscale, they still use the horrible scratchy fingernail-catching bed covers. Room temperature is tough to control but we coped by turning on the fan and and raising the heat.

Elevators are plentiful and fast. Staff is very attentive and pleasant.

Location is perfect and within easy walking access to everything from Times Square to Central Park, from Rockefeller Centre and Radio City Music Hall to some of the best restaurants in the city.

Tour buses are just across the street and the subway is just down the block. Very convenient!

But very expensive if you don't watch for a sale.

We would stay here again in a heartbeat as long as we can catch a reduced rate.

  • Liked — Location right across from Central Park and nearness to other attractions
  • Disliked — Bedcover, heating of room, and missing refridgeator
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,277 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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São Paulo, Brazil
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2007

We had a wonderful stay at the Helmsley Park lane: the hotel is in a great location, our room was great, spacious, modern and sophisticated.
The hotel restaurant has a very nice view but is really expensive. Worth going for a coffe and a croissant just to read a newspaper and feel rich.
But we had a very unpleasant experience with a dishonest concierge. I asked him for tickets for the Blue Man Group and he told us they were very, very difficult to find but that he would still try to get them for us. He got back to me with a US$ 400 ticket (I was lucky that night, he said). I said no thanks but just out of curiosity called the theatre. They had tickets for any night of our stay and we bought, for less then US$ 200, tickets in a great place for that same night. I should've called the police!

  • Liked — The room
  • Disliked — The concierge
  • Stayed February 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2007

Before I travelled to New York I read, as a matter of course, all the reviews on TripAdvisor with regard to the Park Lane. I really wanted to stay here as it is central and has views of Central Park from some of the rooms. Having read the reviews I was somewhat hesitant in booking the room but thought, how bad can it be as I was only going to be there for two nights!

Before I booked the room I thought I would ask the Park Lane to defend their hotel and give me some level of reassurance as to the state of the rooms. Despite emails to several people, including Mr Anoussis the general manager, I received absolutely no response. I made an assumption that the hotel staff could not make any assurances on the basis, they did not have any faith in their own hotel. This was a shame, but in such a litigious environment perhaps not so surprising.

Regardless, I decided I would book the hotel. My opinion is this…

On the minus side. The rooms are a bit dated, in fact think 1970s (‘Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads’, Paisley print shirts with long wing collars… that kind of thing!) and you’ll have an idea about the décor. Possibly kitsch, but that really depends upon your taste. Personally I was not bothered one way or the other.

The bathroom, like the bedroom, was in need of a refurbishment (or at a minimum a good steam clean). There was a fridge in the bathroom, which is a nice touch, but not one we took advantage of. As I could not find an ice vending machine I made the assumption you needed to take ice from the fridge or call room service. Again, the room is very 1970s (purple wallpaper on the walls… and ceiling! Interesting but dated wall lights) and the fixtures are showing their age… except the hairdryer.

In general, let me repeat, the room is dated and really deserves a remodel in my opinion!

But then we have the positives. Ignoring the unanswered emails, I found the hotel employees to be pleasant, helpful and a real credit to the hotel. The room was of a good size, plenty of hanging space and drawers and in a nod to modernism there was an LCD TV on the wall. The safe was interesting too. Rather than the ‘think of a number’ type, it uses your credit card, simply swipe it through to lock and then use the same card to unlock.

But there is one really great reason to stay here… the view. If you get a park view room the down sides fade into insignificance, well… they did for us. I spent an hour sitting on the window ledge looking over the park and reading the paper… didn’t even notice the wallpaper behind me! And it is as pleasant at night as it is during the day.

Right outside the door, you have 5th Avenue and its sensational array of shops. Or you can hop on a horse drawn carriage for a trip around the park, they park right outside the hotel… but can be a little pricey!

So all in all, I recommend this hotel so long as you are looking for a sensational New York vista at a reasonable price and can live with dated but functional furnishings. Make sure you get a park view though!

I guess it is also worth considering, if the hotel did refurbish… the clientele would foot the bill. The neighbouring hotels also offering views of Central Park (Ritz, Trump, Jumeriah) probably have better furnishings, same view but are in a very different price band. Also worth considering that with property prices still booming in Manhattan (regardless of what happens in the rest of the US) there is always the possibility Helmsley will take the same route as the Plaza just down the street which has closed as a hotel and is being converted to condominiums, starting around the $1m mark and going up… considerably.

Hope that helps!

  • Liked — The view of Central Park
  • Disliked — The Kitsch and dated decorating.
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2007

Here are the positive aspects first. The location is unbeatable and the park views are outstanding. The lobby, bar, breakfast, elevators, concierge, and staff were adequate.
Our room had a flat screen tv and great internet connection, but no refrigerator.
Our room did not have a shower curtain, mattress pad, or bottom sheet. These were problems that could be corrected. The decor was dreadful. The furniture and carpet were very worn and stained. The bathroom needed updating (badly). So it just felt dirty whether it actually was or not.
However, some in our party had nicer rooms which had been somewhat updated. Their rooms were blue, and they had a city view. Our rooms were red, and there was not a view. The prices were the same.
The halls also need updating.
I've stayed at this hotel many times over the years because of the location and the price. I thought the decor was tacky and gaudy even when it was new, so it's just not my taste. But now it's just too worn out.
The location is so perfect that many things can be overlooked. But I won't be back until there is a renovation.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Room decor
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2007

I traveled to the Helmsley Park Lane for work and was very pleased with the location. The hotel is situated one block west of 5th Avenue and directly across the street from Central Park. CBS, FAO Schwarz, Tiffany's, Henri Bendel's, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral and MOMA are all within walking distance.

I had a double room facing the city. The tapestried headboards and aging furniture weren't as noticeable as the great view. Their was ample closet space, a minifridge under the bathroom sink, and a flat screen TV.

The front desk manager was lovely but her staff seemed listless. The concierge was helpful. The bartenders at Harry's Bar were attentive. The housekeepers seem ever present so use your 'Do Not Disturb' sign if you want to avoid the housekeeper's 10:30pm knock for turn down service.

Their is a small workout center on the lower level. I was looking for an Elliptical machine but this hotel doesn't offer one. The Cybex machines were great though.

Overall, my stay at the Helmsley was comfortable and I would stay at this hotel again.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield,England
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2007

After reading other reviews about this hotel on Tripadvisor,I wasnt sure what to expect when we pulled up outside in the taxi.When we got to the desk the receptionist said our room was ready on the 21st floor(city view).The room was spotlessly clean,large and with a great view.Never went into the bar...as we spent most of our days shopping!!
I did find everyone on the desk very helpful.I read one review that said the lift was slow....all the lifts were like the speed of sound!!
The guys on the doors were always helpful.A tip if you dont want to have breakfast in the hotel there are 2 good delis nearby.The Green cafe,just outside the back entrance to the hotel and Angelos on 6th Ave...both cheap and great food.
So maybe I got lucky,but I found the hotel great and the location,probably the best in New York.

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wasshington DC
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2007

The positives: The room and bathroom were clean and spacious. The bed was comfortable. The hotel is located right in front of central park and the location is certainly a plus point.

The negatives: The staff of this hotel is very disorganised, unhelpful and SLOW. I had booked this hotel many days in advance through my travel agent and made complete advance payment for the room. Before my arrival in the evening at about 6 p.m., I called the front desk to ensure that everything was in order and was told that there was no booking in my name! I faxed them a copy of my payment confirmation and booking details, not once, but thrice, and was assured that the hotel staff would look into the matter. Upon my arrival, it was obvious that the staff members had not done anything about my case. They continued to tell me that there was no booking in my name and refused to let me check-in without obtaining my personal credit card details.

Because I had to leave for a meeting urgently, I took the risk and provided them with my personal credit card details and was given a room after a long wait. I was told that the problem could be sorted out upon my return as the front-desk staff would be available upto 11 p.m. When I returned at about 10 p.m. the person on duty said that he could not do anything and that I would have to speak to the morning staff! I was awfully worried about being double charged. In the morning I called my travel agent and asked them to help me sort out the problem. Since they have a tie-up with this hotel, the matter was finally resolved.

For a one night's stay, I could have lived without the headache and stress that I was put through.

All the best!

  • Liked — the room and bathroom were clean and spacious
  • Disliked — the staff was very disorganised and unhelpful
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Park Lane Hotel

Address: 36 Central Park South, 59th Street Between 5th Ave & 6th Ave, New York City, NY 10019-1600 (Formerly The Helmsley Park Lane)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#147 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#189 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#201 Family Hotel in New York City
#201 Business Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Park Lane Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 628
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Park Lane Hotel - A Central Park Hotel, is a luxury 46-story hotel with panoramic views of legendary Central Park and the iconic New York City skyline. Spacious, elegant Guest Rooms and Guest Suites offer picture windows and superb views along with exquisite bath products, fine linens and other amenities. This iconic Hotel sits directly on the edge of beautiful Central Park, offering gracious services to ensure a fulfilling stay. From on-site dining at the renowned Park Room Restaurant to cocktails at Harry's New York Bar & Lounge, the Park Lane Hotel wants to make your visit to New York an enjoyable one. We offer a Fitness Center, Mail Service, Internet Access, and more. Located directly on Central Park, in the Midtown Manhattan Business District, Park Lane Hotel is just steps from Fifth Avenue Shopping, Broadway Theaters, Museum Mile, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center and many other NYC Activities and New York Attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Helmsley Park Lane Hotel New York City
Helmsley Park Hotel

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