With a touch of nationalistic verve after visiting the Australian Consulate twice in as many weeks, I was most impressed to recently find a fabulous spot in the heart of Manhattan that caters specifically for Australians. Well, they also welcome Brazilians, stars of the stage & screen, and flood & fire clients. But Australians are at the top of the list. ( There is even an AKA ‘AU’ website ). The reason being is that the AKA Central Park specializes in long term stays for those needing an apartment rather than a hotel, and who are looking for hospitality with a room rate that scales according to the length of your visit.
The great – but not the greatest – thing about the AKA is that it’s modern, it’s thoughtful and it’s comfortable. The hands-on service from the front desk will translate to picking you up from the airport or organizing a food starter package ( bread, fruit etc ) to be in your kitchen when you arrive. This seems such a small thing, but after 24 hours in transit, a piece of toast and a strong coffee will really catch you up to New York speed. Then there’s the all day fresh-food cafe, the guest-only bar ( with regular invites from the GM to share a ‘captain’s table’ type cocktail party ), a private gym, a spa and massage room, and a laundry in the basement. There is even quiet in the spacious rooms thanks to double windows – just in case you’re not used to sirens at 3am…
An interesting cultural point – the General Manager of the hotel is intending to put roast turkey on the Christmas menu specifically for Australians. He mentioned he had heard this was a popular choice, and is looking for tips on what it should consist of. I said to be guided by his Thanksgiving menu, although the pumpkin pie would not be necessary…
There is one thing that is absolutely unique about the AKA that unfortunately I cannot report on first hand – yet! The penthouse at the hotel has a wraparound balcony with a spectacular view looking towards the Plaza and 5th Avenue where you can sleep alfresco during the summer months. The hotel calls it ‘5 star camping’ with a wood-burning fireplace and a telescope to view the stars. How good is that?! It is definitely a special celebration splash, and I am sure to find the perfect occasion before the summer arrives…
My family and I have stayed at both the Sutton Place AKA and the Central Park AKA Apartments and highly recommend both to any of our friends who intend to visit New York. We wouldn’t stay anywhere else!
We’re there for a month from mid Dec (from inner city Melb). It’s our 3rd trip….one in 2008 for Christmas – New Year and one in May 1994….another name, pre refurbishment….we love the place….lovely hotel, great location…say hi to Trev and Pav
Good to hear Jenny – we’ll just get that hanging crane from Sandy sorted out so they can let you into the street!
We had an amazing amazing trip…you can read about it in the NYC Trip Advisor Forum…It’s called Progressive Trip Report – mid Dec to mid Jan..(and another one about our visit to Per Se in mid Jan)
I enjoyed listening to you chatting to Rod this morning…yes…flat white coffee ….Very difficult!!! But we were close by to a place near the AKA that serves amazing coffee…..so it was only when we were out and about that coffee was a problem…3 other places we discoved: American Wing Cafe at the Met, Jack’s in Greenwich Village (10th Street from memory) and Via Quadronno on the Upper East. side..(good place for lunch when visiting the Museums)
….Loved the photos of the COLD….have kept up with the NYC forum and it looks like the weather is having an impact on people’s holidays
An excellent ready Jenny, thank you – sounds very action packed indeed!