The Mark New York made headlines last year when it opened the largest hotel suite in the US and the most expensive in the world – at US$75,000 a night for a 12,000-square-foot space with a 2,500-square-foot rooftop. But the in-the-know fashion crowd had been flocking to the property long before that. It’s not at all unusual to catch a glimpse of Alexander Wang or Anna Wintour power-lunching at The Mark Restaurant, and the hotel actually offers a New York Fashion Week front-row ready package, which includes styling at the in-house Frédéric Fekkai Salon, chauffeur service courtesy of the Bergdorf Goodman pedicabs that sit out on the sidewalk, and personalised nutrition programmes that ensure fashionistas look slim and trim – without a starvation diet.
But the most telling sign that The Mark is the hotel of choice for the fashion set comes in early May, when rooms are booked by everyone who’s anyone attending New York’s annual Met Gala, and the lobby becomes a pre-party venue for the celebrities, models and designers preparing to attend the iconic museum’s big blowout.
And why wouldn’t they? Besides the hotel’s ideal location on 77th Street, a 10-minute jaunt from the Met (not that anyone walks, darling), its rooms are spacious and stylish, the service impeccable, and, more often than not, The Mark is the rst stop for post-gala after-partiers anyway, thanks to shindigs hosted by the likes of Michael Kors. Even those who have a home in New York, such as director Baz Luhrmann, make it a habit of staycationing at the hotel for the occasion.That said, The Mark is a dream stay no matter what the affair. Design buffs will appreciate the splash and sass of the Jacques Grange- conceived interiors, including black-and-white striped lobby oors paired with plush orange Paul Mathieu sofas. Foodies will fall for the well-executed cuisine (The Mark’s restaurant is helmed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten), as well as the smattering of excellent restaurants all within a stone’s throw – from old favourites like Sushi of Gari, Nello and Marc Jacobs’ favourite, Sant Ambroeus, to newer hotspots like Michael White’s French foray Vaucluse or the Japanese Kappo Masa at Gagosian Gallery. It goes without saying that art consumers love the proximity to Museum Mile. And while you don’t go to the Big Apple to experience nature, you can enjoy green scenes by borrowing one of the complimentary bicycles for a ride to Central Park, complete with a picnic lunch devised by Vongerichten and team. If the kiddies want to come, there are custom-designed strollers from Maclaren to get them there, too.
It may seem – with all that’s going on around The Mark – that there’s little reason to stay inside, but that would be a waste of a very nice hotel room. Even the smallest accommodation features a very large bathroom, with custom- designed amenities and, according to the hotel website, “the fastest hotel Wi-Fi speed available”. For grown-ups, there’s a welcome snack from French macaron-maker Ladurée, while kids can enjoy chocolate milk and cookies as part of the Slumber Party suite special, and pets get the same VIP (very important pet) treatment their owners do.
Brand tie-ups are on point, too – starting with complimentary shoe shines from John Lobb if you scuff your heels on the sidewalk outside. You need only wander the halls to get a sniff of the Frédéric Malle fragrance that’s exclusive to the property, and which can be purchased on site. But perhaps the coolest perk as a Mark guest is 24-hour access to Bergdorf Goodman, should you wish to conquer jet lag with a shopping expedition in the middle of the night – even Anna Wintour would approve of that.