When I need to get away, I’ll take Manhattan any day. I don’t really want to unwind. I just want to savor the very good life in NYC. Spending hours searching for an online hotel deal by neighborhood is so tiresome. There are times when you just need the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park to come to your rescue. Destination: 50 Central Park South! I send a nod and a wink across the street to Central Park, my new neighbor. The top-hatted doorman swings open the door and the reception welcomes me by name; they’ve been expecting me. In less than three minutes, I have stepped into a different world, so elegant,

but not formal. I have become a V.I.P. in my own life, and oooh, I feel special. The Ritz-Carlton Central Park has that effect, and I haven’t even seen my room yet. This is a hotel that anticipates your arrival with a list of preferences for you to complete ahead of time. “Favorite candy?” was difficult to answer: Too many to mention. “What type of traveler are you? Explorer, Relaxed, or Foodie?” Foodie! When I was shown to my room there was a welcome tray of pastel macarons and a mini framed painting of my name

view of Central Park could be the setting of a meditation app, the mind quiets, the breathing slows. I have discovered the ability to be still, simply watching the horse carriages slowly trot around Central Park. That’s settled, I must live in the Ritz- Carlton New York, Central Park. It’s the only place I can meditate effortlessly. Enough relaxation, time for a glass of Cabernet and the largest shrimp cocktail you’ve ever seen in The Club Lounge located on the second floor.

resting on an easel made out of CHOCOLATE! I couldn’t decide whether to eat the chocolate easel before the white chocolate painting or visa versa. You see, these are the decisions I want to struggle with! A few years ago, my family celebrated my mom’s 90th birthday at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. We stayed with her in a glorious suite and the hotel treated my mom like the Queen had arrived. I remember hearing that Aretha Franklin celebrated her birthday every year at the hotel. I get it. Once you’ve experienced this welcoming embrace, why stay anywhere else? In the past couple years the hotel has undergone a multi-stage renovation. The result is stunning: sophisticated neutrals, beiges and taupes, accented with the chic photography of Rodney Smith. More apartment than hotel room, a suite is your dream pied-à terre. It’s 3:00 in the afternoon, too early to get into bed and luxuriate in the plush bedding? Why not! Under the covers, the heavenly mattress speaks in silent code: Your body is REALLY TIRED. The

Be sure to add the Club Lounge to your hotel experience. Those who work on the computer should bring their laptop to the Club Lounge. It’s like a fantasy WeWork: lovely waiter service, elegant small plates, coffee, wines, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, desserts throughout the day and evening. A concierge is on-site to assist with any questions or needs and best of all, there are jars of candy at the entrance. On the second floor is the exclusive La Prairie Spa of Switzerland and on the mezzanine, a new Peloton equipped fitness and movement studio featuring virtual fitness classes by FitnessOnDemand™. Contour is the centerpiece of the lobby renovation, a day to night Gastro-Lounge. The perfect spot for a breakfast meeting or gathering with friends for seasonally- infused, artisanal cocktails and small plates. Or, like the late great Aretha Franklin, throw yourself a fabulous birthday party. The truth is, I could spend a weekend at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and happily never leave the hotel. * –By Debbie Silver


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