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From our 23rd floor room at the Thompson Central Park New York hotel, the sunset reflects off the sleek glass windows of the midtown Manhattan office buildings across the street as my husband and I pour ourselves two flutes of Champagne, freshly delivered from room service. We clink glasses as our 7-year-old son, Jonathan, spins the swivel TV around to face our suite’s living room area, jumping onto the velvet seafoam green couch to begin flipping through the channels, on the hunt for cartoons.
It's Friday night, and we’ve just checked in to a cush Studio King Suite at the newly renovated boutique hotel, located two blocks from the South end of Central Park, after taking the train down from our home in Westchester County. We’ve traveled less than 20 miles — and my husband and I both regularly work from Manhattan offices — but it’s been an easy slide into staycation mode, thanks to the Thompson’s chill vibe and the trendy yet elegant feel of our room: glitzy brass trimmings, midcentury modern-style wood accents and light fixtures, crisp Italian bed sheets.
For 40 years, the property at 119 W. 56th Street was occupied by the iconic Le Parker Meridien New York hotel, before it was purchased by the Hyatt brand in 2019. After a top-to-bottom renovation, the Thompson Central Park New York opened its doors in the fall of 2021. (Hyatt took over Thompson, a boutique hotel brand known for its stylish design, in 2018. The Thompson Central Park New York is the third Thompson property in NYC, but the first under the Thompson name.) Most recently, the 587-room property entered its final stages of renovation, with a newly expanded lobby connecting the 56th Street and 57th Street entrances. In addition to a massive skylight and an eye-catching canopy of greenery, the refurbished lobby atrium is home to a new bar and restaurant, Parker's, that will regularly feature live jazz music.
While it’s easy to picture business folks in town for work or couples on a romantic weekend getaway staying here, it’s also a great home base for a family vacation in the Big Apple. Our suite was plenty roomy for two adults and one child, with a king bed for us and a sleeper sofa in a separate living room area for our son. And any kid is sure to be a fan of the hotel’s “secret” burger restaurant, Burger Joint, tucked away the end of a hallway off the lobby. The divey, no-frills spot serves up juicy burgers with all the fixin's, French fries and milkshakes — and they even let you write on the walls, a perk that thrilled our son.
But if you prefer to eat in the comfort of your own room, you can also opt to have anything off Burger Joint's menu delivered right to you, in addition to the extensive selections on the main room service menu — including Milk Bar treats.
There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities nearby. During our weekend getaway, we took Jonathan to CAMP, an interactive, two-story toy store and craft workshop located at the Shops at Columbus Circle. We also explored Central Park, hitting the playgrounds and the carousel. And with Times Square just 10 blocks south of the hotel, we decided to treat Jonathan to his first Broadway show, a matinee performance of Aladdin. After the show (a bit hit with with our son) we made our way over to Rockefeller Center’s Nintendo store (an even bigger hit with our son), and easily walked back to the Thompson from there.
Another great family-friendly amenity you'll find at the Thompson Central Park New York if you're traveling with younger children, in addition to cribs available on request: Through October 1, 2022, the hotel is partnering with Bugaboo to offer guests complimentary stroller service, with access to Bugaboo’s new compact folding Butterfly strollers during their stay. The bottom line: We had a fantastic stay at the Thompson. If you’re traveling with small children to NYC, I highly recommend it as a home base for all of your big city adventures! Rooms currently start at $530.
The author was a welcomed guest at the Thompson Central Park New York.
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