Come for the views, stay for the martinis.
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View over Central Park from Park Lane NYC
Credit: Courtesy of Park Lane New York

As far as famous Manhattan streets go, Central Park South is one of the city's most recognizable: think horse-drawn carriages, street performers, the grand facade of The Plaza Hotel, and the Sarabeth's brunch crowd, all sandwiched between Columbus Circle and the flagship Apple store (you know, the one with the big glass box).

But the best place to be on this tourist-trodden stretch is not at street level — it's up high, where the sound of honking taxis subsides and the view overwhelms the senses; where the iconic park takes full form as a rectangle of lush greenery lined with shiny new skyscrapers and classic old-New York architecture as far as the eye can see. Even as a local, it'll get you every time.

View of Central Park from Park Lane New York
Credit: Courtesy of Park Lane New York

Coming March 26 to the rooftop of the 47-story Park Lane New York hotel at 36 Central Park South is a brand-new vantage point, Darling, billed as what will be "the only rooftop lounge on Billionaires' Row" — a garden oasis serving seafood towers and wine. (What else?)

And in the meantime, about 300 of the hotel's 610 revamped rooms and suites come with park-facing views. Seven different categories offer everything from studio suites with plush seating areas and one-bedroom suites with freestanding soaking tubs to the Belvedere Suite, a two-bedroom penthouse on the 45th floor.

Park Lane New York white bathtub against black striped wall
Credit: Courtesy of Park Lane New York
Park Lane New York guestroom double
Credit: Courtesy of Park Lane New York

Design firm Yabu Pushelberg is behind the new look, but instead of erasing the hotel's history, they worked with its post-war architecture and original fixtures such as chandeliers and sconces, pairing them with new murals and iconography that represents the dynamic city it calls home.

Outside of Darling, new dining concepts include Harry's New York Bar, an intimate space with a decidedly New York theme that serves up a mean martini, oysters, Mediterranean-style octopus, steak tartare, and more; and Rose Lane, an all-day cafe and coffee bar with Parisian flair. Both are already open and welcoming guests and non-guests. Scott Sartiano (of 1 OAK fame) is behind all the culinary spaces at the hotel. 

Harry's Bar at Park Lane
Credit: Courtesy of Park Lane New York

For more information on Park Lane New York and to keep up with Darling's opening plans, visit parklanenewyork.com.

Nina Ruggiero is Travel + Leisure's deputy digital editor. A New Yorker living in Los Angeles, she's happiest on a beach, a cobblestone street, or in a hotel bathtub with a view. Find her on Instagram @ninamarienyc.