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Inside The New Marmara Park Avenue Hotel

TRAVEL

Inside The New Marmara Park Avenue Hotel

A stunning lobby leads to comfy rooms, extended stays, and a one-of-a-kind Turkish hammam

by David Graver
on 03 March 2016

It could be said that every neighborhood in Manhattan is in some sort of emergence or reemergence. From the Financial District to NoMad (and everywhere above, around or between) new places continue to pop up, catering to an ever-more diverse audience. Some 10 blocks south of Grand Central Station, at the corner of Park Avenue and 32nd Street in Midtown East (though, arguably NoMad), the new Marmara Park Avenue Hotel has opened its doors. Location matters in NYC, especially for very mobile visitors, and with this hotel's proximity to Midtown-proper and ease of access to anywhere downtown, its quiet placement makes it ideal for anyone interested in getting good sleep, but still being central. It's the second Marmara property in the city, but will be the brand's flagship—and inside, visitors will find many surprises.

The hotel's 21-story façade is unassuming. Entering through the two large front doors, however, reveals a microcosm of the design identity employed throughout. 670 pieces comprise the interior of the door, a mesmerizing glass and faceted steel entryway complete with a massive brass second door. A 14-foot-long fireplace runs against the western wall and a flowing water fountain, that also happens to be a table, rests nearby. The ceiling is crafted from a lightly-colored reclaimed wood and the floors are hand-laid tiles with brass inlays. A magnificent sculpture of floating birds divides up a portion of the space. All of this was overseen by designer Joe Ginsberg who wanted elements of the natural to meet modern luxury. Everything within the lobby was custom built for the space.

Tucked into the corner of the lobby, OneOneFour Bar isn't the usual hotel lobby bar. There's a deep roster of signature cocktails, many of which play on classics (or modern classics) like the Negroni or Manhattan. The drinks are successful and the space is open and affable. Further, the bar stocks Vinkara Wine, from the hotel's own wine collection. The Turkish owners of Marmara have vineyards in Turkey where these wines are produced. During our stay, the bar area remained quiet and peaceful, though populated with a knowledgable, friendly staff.

All entry-level rooms are cozy and warm and sport Ginsberg's interiors line, known as Tempo Luxury Home. With unobstructed windows on three sides of the building, an abundance of light filters into almost all rooms. Ginsberg's vision was of imitating a home. It's comforting in the guest rooms, but even more successful in their extended-stay suites. Month-long (or more) stays are a pillar of Marmara's identity. The hotel also features three penthouses, some of which are multiple-floor. All of them offer vast outdoor spaces and striking views. It's also worth mentioning that the hotel welcomes pets.

On the basement level, one final feature rounds out the uniqueness of the Marmara. Beside the pool and gym, a marble Turkish hammam offers a spa treatment one can't get elsewhere in NYC. Its origins are traditional but the soothing experience was tailored for the space. A guest lies on the warm marble centerpiece while splashed from various angles with water pouring from hot taps. The participant is then scrubbed clean from head to toe before being buried beneath a rising mound of bubbles drawn from a silk sheet. It's transportive, thoughtful and ultimately pleasent—much like the hotel itself.

Book a stay at Marmara Park Avenue online, with prices starting at $355. It's located at 114 E 32 St, New York

Hammam image courtesy of the Marmara Park Avenue, all other images by David Graver

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