In my entire time reviewing at Manhattan Digest, I have never had an experience where I reviewed a place within a place before reviewing the actual… place. Sounds confusing, right? Let me make this more clear. Last weekend I was entranced and delighted to experience The Kitano Hotel’s weekend “Jazz At Kitano”, which takes place each Sunday. You can read my fab review here. As great as the experience was, something I noticed on a larger scale was how breathtakingly beautiful The Kitano Hotel was. It’s grandiose in stature and decorated so amazingly upon first glance that I knew I had to do something more than just the brunch write up. And boy was I glad that I made that decision.
I was lucky enough to stay at Kitano this past weekend on a chilly Friday and Saturday here in New York City. The hotel spans over 17 floors with incredible views of several New York City landmarks. The room I stayed is was beyond compare (If you want to choose the ultimate to stay in at Kitano, Suite 1702 will be your best bet), as it was almost like being in an apartment with a fantastic view, and quite possibly the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in while at a hotel. Not to mention they have Bidet’s, which I have never experienced before but was quite happy with the end result (silly joke).
While I stayed there, I got to sit down and interview the wonderful manager Zack Zahran about the history of the hotel, amenities you get while staying and why Kitano is the best place to stay in New York City.
Please tell me a little more about Kitano. How did this establishment get started?
The Kitano Hotel New York opened its doors in 1973 as New York’s first Japanese hotel. Forty one years later it remains the first and only Japanese-owned hotel and has become an integral part of one of Manhattan’s historic neighborhoods, Murray Hill. Located four blocks south of Grand Central Station on fashionable Park Avenue at 38thStreet, the 18-story hotel towers over some of New York City’s most magnificent turn-of-the-century dwellings, offering spectacular views of city landmarks. The hotel features 149 guestrooms, including 17 contemporary suites and a one-of-a-kind Japanese Tatami Suite. The Kitano Hotel New York is also home to the critically acclaimed Michelin-rated Hakubai restaurant where traditional Kaiseki delicacies are served.
Is it true you are the only Japanesed owned hotel here in New York City?
The Kitano Hotel New York is Manhattan’s first and only Japanese-owned hotel, offering extraordinary traditional Japanese hospitality.
What are some of the amenities that you get when staying at Kitano?
The Kitano Hotel New York is home to the critically acclaimed Michelin-rated Hakubai restaurant where traditional Kaiseki delicacies are served. Our other on-Site dining venue, JAZZ at KITANO, opens at 7:00 AM for breakfast, lunch at 12:00 noon, and dinner at 5:00 PM. Other amenities include:
24-hour Business Center
High-speed wired and wireless Internet access
Iron, ironing board and hair dryer
Complimentary coffee and tea
Sleeper Sofa Available in Suites
Individual thermostat control
Power socket is 110V and adaptors are available
Fully stocked minibar
Oversized executive work desk
Luxurious marble bathroom
Separate shower stall and bath tub
Flat screen television, radio and alarm clock
Bathrobes and slippers
Daily local and Japanese newspaper
Dual-line telephone with voicemail system
Raised toilet seat on request
Do you have a brunch spot on location at Kitano? Can you tell me a little more about that?
Known for an acclaimed jazz program, The Kitano is home to JAZZ at KITANO, a supper club located in a former Rockefeller townhouse adjacent to the hotel, featuring daily performances of classic and contemporary jazz accompanied by a Pan-Asian inspired menu and offering Jazz Brunch every Sunday from 12 to 2:30 PM at $38.00 per person, including Bloody Mary and Mimosa.
Why ultimately should people choose The Kitano Hotel upon their next visit to New York City?
Our location, at 38th Street and Park Avenue, is perfect for guests who wish to stay in the heart of the city, footsteps from the most prestigious shopping, entertainment and cultural district. The hotel is within walking distance to The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, The United Nations, Grand Central Station, Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, historic museums and Broadway theaters.
We provide great customer service, for our guests’ maximum comfort, and all the necessities to make them feel at home. Our rooms are clean and stylish with great beds, original artwork, and luxurious marble showers, at reasonable prices, with deals to be found on the web.
Owners and management clearly care about the details and maintenance. Everything looks well-maintained and clean; the staff is genuinely hospitable with great attitudes.
The Kitano team is the perfect host for a supremely memorable wedding; our 18th floor ballroom offers stunning views of The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, making for a perfect backdrop for distinctive photo opportunities. Only one wedding per day takes place at the hotel, ensuring exclusivity and personalized attention.
Something that is worth highlighting with Kitano New York is that, as previously stated, they are much more than just a fabulous place for you to stay for a night or more. If you are looking for a space to hold a wedding, seminar, meeting, or whatever business type thing you have going on, they have you covered and then some. Let me introduce the Penthouse Banquet Suite.
I was able to meet with their fantastic Catering Sales Manager Melissa Paston to learn more about this added bonus that The Kitano New York offers. “The Penthouse Banquet Suite features incredible views of the Empire State Building and Midtown from the large outdoor terraces. The food and beverage comes from our signature restaurants Jazz at Kitano (American cuisine) and Hakubai (Japanese cuisine).” The Penthouse is ideal for the following types of functions:
Weddings with up to 70 guests
Cocktail Parties for up to about 125 guests
Landmark Celebrations: Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, Birthday Parties, Sweet 16 Parties, Anniversaries
Rooftop BBQ for up to 125 guests
Meetings with up to 70 guests
Pricing for these events run at different costs of course, however they are affordable and ultimately worth it given what they are providing and then some. With wedding season coming up shortly, as well as the warm summer months approaching, the Kitano is a great place for you to hold your next big event.
Of all the hotels that I have stayed and reviewed with Manhattan Digest, this one in particular gets immensely high honors for its professionalism, look, spaciousness, variety of options and overall experience. Easily a 10 out of 10 in my book. I would recommend highly staying here the next time you are in New York City for whatever reason need be. All of the information about the hotel and The Penthouse Banquest Suite can be found on their official page located here.
Kitano New York
66 Park Avenue East 38th Street