A Touch of Zen in The Big Apple: The Kitano, New York

It’s always tempting to try one of the hot, hip hotels in New York City. But for a touch of Zen and some serenity, The Kitano New York is an excellent choice.

Located at Park and 38th, The Kitano opened in 1973 as NYC’s first Japanese owned hotel. Today, it’s still the only Japanese hotel in the city and it’s a peaceful haven in the heart of Gotham.

Tucked away in the Murray Hill neighborhood, it shares the streets of such famous luminaries who made this area their home: J.P. Morgan, Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Astors and the Lunts. Walk around and admire the restored 19th century mansions, elegant townhouses and carriage houses that surround The Kitano.

The 149-room hotel underwent a $55-million reconstruction in 1995 and today includes luxurious guest rooms, a sun-lit cafe and Hakubai restaurant. The lobby is awash in mahogany and marble and features Fernando Botero’s whimsical Dog sculpture in bronze. The lobby also includes a tea room, business center and gift shop.

The one-bedroom Tatami Suite (with two twin beds or a futon) is located on the 17th floor and includes a living and dining room. The space features all natural wood floors, shoji paper screens, tatami mats and a soaking tub in the bathroom. With views out to Park Avenue, there is also a Japanese Tea Ceremony room in the style of sukiya-zukuri, a centuries-old architectural style noted for its simplicity and use of natural materials.

Three elegant, one-bedroom Townhouse Suites are located in the adjoining townhouse and ideal for honeymooners.

We arrrived late one evening from Seattle and didn’t want to venture out for dinner. So we sat in on the last part of Billy Drummond and Friends in the Bar Lounge where we had a late night meal. The lounge features live jazz Wednesdays-Saturdays, with two sets at 7:30 PM and 9:15 PM.

The Kitano New York
A: 66 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
T: 212.885.7000.
W: www.kitano.com.

Posted by Sue Frause on October 23, 2006 in Travel

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