The Kitano New York
What We Love
- The feeling that you’re the hotel's only guest
- The quiet and discreet service of the multilingual staff
- Live jazz at the Bar Lounge Monday through Saturday (and at Sunday brunch)
- READ MORE: Where to eat, play and shop in NY
What To Know
- The hotel’s respect for quiet won’t suit everyone; partiers should look elsewhere
- There’s no on-site gym, but guests can work out for free at the New York Sports Club on Madison between 35th and 36th streets
- There are some smoking rooms
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Inspired by Japanese custom and design, the Kitano makes privacy and peace a priority. Owned at one time by the Rockefellers, the 18-story building is now all sleek lines and modern decor, with an impressive art collection. The lobby’s bronze dog, a sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, is said to give guests luck in money (just rub its tongue).
Bed and Bath
The 149 rooms feel serenely modern yet warm thanks to the soft color scheme of cream and pale gold and the sunlight streaming through the large windows. Expect small but meaningful perks, such as free green tea and spacious closets filled with bathrobes and slippers. The marble bathrooms are large, with deep tubs and detachable showerheads, towel warmers and bath products by Gilchrist & Soames.
Service by the multilingual staff is discreet and helpful, and the hotel doesn’t even allow housekeeping carts for fear of the clutter and noise. Public areas, including the hotel’s 70-person Bar Lounge, are more lively, with evening jazz Monday through Saturday. The traditional Japanese restaurant, Hakubai, is a hidden gem on the hotel’s lower level, serving decidedly nonfusion dishes to an upscale clientele (including, we hear, the mayor).
How to Get There
Compared to the many hotels we’ve stayed in in the city, this is probably second only to the St. Regis in terms of quietness. Apparently, it is a business hotel that has a high number of Japanese guests so there are no noisy tourist families, no loud parties, no drunken revelry in the hall at 3 am. In short, it was perfect and located in a convenient location near enough to all the “things” but in a relatively quiet area compared to busier streets. It’s not super fancy but it is better than many places we’ve stayed. Clean, quiet, professional. We definitely recommend. Breakfast buffet is way overpriced though. There are so many local, affordable options (Pershing Square, Moonstruck Cafe).
Location is good - we could walk everywhere and walked around 26,000 steps a day but there wasn't anywhere good to eat within the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
Prior to going, I requested a room on a higher floor with a view if possible as it was a special occasion. I know these rooms aren't guaranteed but when we arrived at the hotel, the staff at the desk had our booking slip which had room 1110 written at the top. They said our room wasn't ready and to come back later which wasn't a problem but on return, we were give room 310. You could see the tip of the Empire State Building if you craned your neck up, otherwise you were looking at air conditioning units outside.
The room itself was also very dated. It was very dark too. Could use an upgrade and some better lighting.
Our room was directly above the Jazz Bar. The noise was unbearable and it went on until late every night. Not good for two people who made the most of the day and wanted to sleep well for another busy day ahead. The only plus about the Jazz Bar was the free Wifi which we could connect to from our room. The hotel itself has paid Wifi which is almost unheard of these days, but at $10 per day, I don't know how they justify it! Its certainly more than contributing to costs. So, we settled with the noise in exchange for hooking up to their internet.
Overall it was ok, but I wouldn't go back.
A tasteful business style Japanese owned hotel on Park Lane only a 5 minute walk south from Grand Central and 10 minute walk to the Empire State. The rooms are very smart old style with virtually no noise from the busy Manhattan streets.
Unfortunately a few things let this hotel down - WiFi is only free in the downstairs lobby otherwise you have to pay for usage in your room.
They have a small business centre for use of a computer and printer but that too you have to pay a cost per 15 minute usage.
Both these things are always free at every hotel and motel I’ve stayed at.
The shower in the room has 3 levers on it which makes it near impossible to work out how to control it and the water took a minimum of 4 minutes to get to a decent hot temperature. Having a simple shouldn't be so difficult.
The beds (as mentioned in some other reviews) are too soft and even king sized beds, like the one we had, you could easily feel the person on the other side moving around.
Finally one of the front desk staff didn’t seem to know anything and had to ask his colleague answers to our questions. She (the colleague) replied to him in Japanese. Extremely rude when we were standing right in front of them both. She could’ve easily responded directly to us and in English, rather than relaying the answer to him first. We were not impressed!
On a positive note, Raphael on front desk was extremely helpful and a pleasure to talk with. Congratulations to him for his genuine friendliness and professionalism.
This hotel has so much to offer, looks amazing inside and out, but as you can see has some fairly major flaws hence only 3 out of 5.
We were allowed into our room the morning after a cruise which gave us an opportunity to refresh and store our bags before starting our itinerary . Centrally located on tree lined Park Avenue two blocks from Grand Central terminal. Rooms are elegant , clean and comfortable.
The Kitano is an excellent hotel located just a few blocks from Grand Central Station. The rooms are always clean and comfortable, and unlike many other New York City hotels, very quiet. It is my favorite hotel for business travel, and is so close to everything that you would want to see when traveling in the city.