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Thompson Central Park bedroom

Going to New York with the kids? The Thompson Central Park Hotel ticked all the boxes

This Midtown hotel is the perfect base for a Big Apple adventure 

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Katherine Robinson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
June 12, 2024
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The last time I visited New York, I was a newly engaged, nightlife-loving youngster. This time, I brought my two kids, aged six and ten, along with my husband - so we were looking for a hotel that was great for children, well located for all the activities we planned to do, and with family-friendly dining options to boot. We found all of the above - and more - in the Thompson Central Park New York, a luxury hotel from the Hyatt group.

Thompson Central Park© Thompson Central Park
A short stroll from Central Park, the Rockefeller Center and Times Square, this Hyatt hotel is a great base for Big Apple adventures

Location

The hotel’s Midtown location couldn’t have been better for our needs. It’s located on the 56th Street, on the southern edge of Central Park (known as Billionaire’s Row) and within walking distance of the Rockefeller Center and Times Square. The children loved visiting the Nintendo Store and seeing the old machines on display there, the M&Ms store and the iconic FAO Schwartz Toy Store, all of which are in the neighbourhood. We also spent a lot of time exploring Central Park - don’t miss the zoo if you have little ones in tow. 

Close by is also the amazing Summit One Vanderbilt experience, which the children absolutely loved. I definitely recommend checking out the sky-high observation deck and art installation - just make sure you book tickets in advance, and try to get there an hour before sunset for the most stunning view you’ll ever see in your life of the Empire State Building.

Incredible views from the Summit One Vanderbilt experience © Katherine Robinson
Incredible views from the Summit One Vanderbilt experience

Carnegie Hall, The Museum and Modern Art, Fifth Avenue and Columbus Circle are also all just a short stroll away, and the hotel is well connected by several subway lines - making it super easy to get uptown or downtown.

Service and facilities

Staff at Thompson Central Park were incredibly friendly and helpful, and great with the children. The doormen gave them maps of the area and several of the waiting staff asked and remembered their names - asking how they had enjoyed their day, or what plans we had coming up. They were delighted!

The concierge team went above and beyond in helping us plan our trip and helped out with every little question we had. (Top tip - get yourself an eSim and data plan so you can make calls and connect to the internet without wracking up huge bills.) They also gave us several great recommendations of restaurants and family-friendly activities.

We had a few problems with our room - we managed to jam the safe and then couldn’t work out how to switch off a light - and in both cases, the technical team were quickly on hand to help. Our trip also coincided with my son’s 10th birthday and the team helped us out with organising a delicious cake to be delivered to our room.

Birthday cake organised by Thompson hotel staff© Katherine Robinson
The smile on his face says is all - my son Evan was delighted wiht the delicious birthday cake organised by the Thompson team

As well as the high level of service, Thompson Central Park features numerous restaurants and bars, and a 24-hour room service menu. Although we didn’t get the chance to take advantage, there’s also a high tech fitness centre with Peloton and Precor machines and a Drybar Salon. Valet parking is also available if you’re hiring a car.

Rooms

Thompson Hotel has 587 spacious rooms, including Doubles and Kings, right up to Studio Suites.

We were part of the hotel’s Upper Stories Experience - guests staying in rooms on floors 26 to 33, which feature 174 rooms and suites designed by upmarket New York design team Stonehill Taylor. These rooms feature breathtaking views of Central Park and are reached by separate elevators at the back of the lobby.

The view from the 33rd Floor at the Thompson Central Park Hotel© Katherine Robinson
The view from the 33rd Floor at the Thompson Central Park Hotel was nothing short of impressive

Upper Stories Guests are also welcomed with a private check-in on the third floor - which was most welcome after the eight-hour flight. As we were checked in, we were also shown the Upper Stories Lounge. A complimentary breakfast was served here each morning, as well as snacks later in the day - and it also served as an expresso bar and an honesty bar where we could go and grab drinks during the day.

Our room (3304) was a City View King Suite. It featured an extremely comfortable king-size bed and four feather pillows and a plush blue five-seater corner sofa which converted to a two-person sofa bed, where the children were more than comfortable. In the middle of the room, a modern minimalist bookshelf acted as a room divider, and set into it was a LG HDTV, which spun on its axis, meaning it could be watched from the bed or the sofa.

The double windows (which couldn’t be opened, so there are no safety concerns in that department) had sprawling city views - and were fitted with effective blackout blinds. To set the temperature in the room there was a central AC / heat controller.

One One of the spacious suites in the Thompson Central Park Upper Storiesof the spacious suites in the Thompson Central Park Upper Stories© Thompson Central Park
One of the spacious suites in the Thompson Central Park Upper Stories

We had the use of a double wardrobe which offered more than enough space for a week-long trip’s worth of clothes for a family of four, with 12 wooden hangers and two deep drawers. The cupboards were backlit when the door was opened - a detail I really appreciated. There was also a chic marble, gold-rimmed breakfast bar with two dark leather high chairs. We were given complimentary bottles of water too, which were regularly restocked.

The safe was spacious enough for my camera, three iPads and the rest of our valuables, and we also had the use of a Nespresso Virtuo machine and a large fridge. Other luxury amenities included a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and a pair of full-length hooded dressing gowns - which we loved so much we ended up purchasing to take home with us.

In the bathroom - full-sized Bowmakers toiletries (I appreciated they weren’t bolted to the wall) which were replenished daily and an incredible black marble-lined walk-in waterfall shower, which included a stool for sitting down. The huge mirror was well-lit, and there was an additional magnifying mirror on offer. The Oakwood and gold shelves were stocked with four large towels, three small towels and a face towel.

Bathroom at Thompson Central Park© Thompson Central Park
The chic bathrooms are stocked with full-sized Bowmakers toiletries

I loved the decor of the room - It felt very chic and upscale, with muted earthy tones, oak and black wood with matt gold accents and pops of navy and bright blue.

Style and Character

The hotel has a sleek and contemporary feel throughout, with plenty of dark wood and mood lighting. The high-ceilinged lobby, with its statement light fixture, leaves a lasting first impression. Bold abstract art draws the eye, as does the greenery which lines the ceiling - a nod to the nearby Central Park. 

As in the rooms, the decor colour scheme throughout is focused on earthy tones, matt gold and black marble, broken up with bright greens and blues in the furnishings, fittings and armchairs.

Eggs Benedict served at Parker's restaurant, Thompson Central park Hotel© Katherine Robinson
The incredible truffle eggs benedicts served at Parker's is not to be missed

Dining options

Thompson Central Park’s signature restaurant is Parker’s - named after jazz icon Charlie Parker. You can enjoy live music here on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and an all day menu featuring classics like Steak Frites and the spectacular Truffle Cheese NY ‘Dirty Water’ Hot Dog (This features Moliterno Cheese, frizzledonions, house relish, spicy truffle sauce and truffle fries on the side. Parkers also serves breakfast - the truffle eggs benedict is definitely one you need to try if you’re starting the day here.

Thompson Central Park's restaurant Parker's - where live music can be enjoyed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings© Thompson Central Park
The hotel's signature restaurant Parker's - where live music can be enjoyed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings

But the icing on the cake for us was the Burger Joint, the speakeasy-style, graffiti-lined establishment hidden behind a curtain off the lobby by the elevators to the Upper Stories. Here you’ll find some of the city’s best burgers, and my top tip is you order ‘The Works’ - a burger with everything - and a milkshake to wash it down.

We were repeat visitors to the Burger Joint as the kids absolutely loved it. If you’re visiting with children it will definitely be your new local! Whatever time we arrived, the place was absolutely packed. They don’t accept reservations, so you just have to line up and wait. The big advantage of being a guest in the hotel, however, is that you can call ahead to get your burger to go and take it up to your room. 

The Burger Joint at the Thompson Central Park Hotel© Thompson Central Park
If you're visiting with kids, Thompson Central Park's graffiti-lined restaurant The Burger Joint will be a firm favourite

Value for money

Rooms at the Thompson Hotel start from $499 (£392) for a King room, which is actually a really competitive price for the area - especially considering average prices for the zone. Rooms at nearby high-end hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and The Plaza can cost a lot more - often upwards of $800-1000 per night.

How to book: I recommend you book via Booking.com or Expedia.

Thompson Central Park The Upper Stories lounge © Thompson Central Park
The Upper Stories lounge - which serves a complimentary breakfast for Upper Stories guests each morning

Why you should trust me

As well as being a lifelong travel enthusiast, I’ve been reviewing hotels and travel experiences for HELLO! Online for the past decade. Having stayed in hundreds of different hotels across the globe, from boutique hotels on the clifftops of Iceland to overwater cabins in French Polynesia, I’ve seen every type of hotel imaginable, and I know what’s fab and what’s drab, and I’ll always tell you the truth.

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