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Hotel review: Martinique New York on Broadway

It’s started to rain. It’s a Friday night, and possibly one of New York City’s busiest. The tree at the nearby Rockefeller Centre has just been lit and the whole city is buzzing even more than usual. I’m cold, wet, and car sick. And then we arrive at Martinique New York on Broadway.

It’s started to rain. It’s a Friday night, and possibly one of New York City’s busiest. The tree at the nearby Rockefeller Centre has just been lit and the whole city is buzzing even more than usual. I’m cold, wet, and car sick. And then we arrive at Martinique New York on Broadway.

Tom Wolfe wrote that one belongs to New York “as much in five minutes as in five years”. Perhaps for us, it’s all those books and movies set here, but there’s a familiarity here. And that’s part of New York’s power: to feel simultaneously at home and yet completely alien to this city no one (including cab drivers) can ever know completely.

The thought is a jarring one. And then I step into Martinique New York on Broadway. We’ve chosen this hotel as it’s close to everywhere we want to be on our short visit to New York. But we didn’t expect that a place so close to everything could be so far removed from the busyness of it all.

Inside the foyer, there’s a sudden calm and a warmth that relieves the travel weariness. But once refreshed (love those beds and that shower) you want to be in the very thick of it. And at Martinique New York on Broadway, you are.

A step back in time

The hotel’s story begins in the late 19th century, at a time when New York was moving faster than some cities move today. The five boroughs had just united and the city’s total population was already over three million people. Opening its doors in 1898, Martinique New York was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect behind the iconic Plaza Hotel and the Dakota apartment building.

It took little time for Martinique New York to establish itself as a beacon of luxury and sophistication in the heart of Manhattan.

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In times pas. Image: Martinique New York

In its early years, Martinique New York was a favoured haunt of the city’s elite, hosting lavish balls and social gatherings. I run my hands along the walls hoping to find a portal back to those Gatsby-esque days. 

Martinique New York was also a part of New York’s cultural fabric, mentioned in literature and becoming a backdrop for the burgeoning theatre scene on Broadway. 

It was here that James Earl Jones played Othello in 1964, where Sylvester Stallone (pre-Rocky Balboa) was telephone repairman Mike, in Jerry Douglas’ production of Score in 1970.

And here, in 1973, Morgan Freeman gathered like-minded artists to form the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop with a mission to support black playwrights. 

Over the decades, Martinique New York witnessed the ebb and flow of the city’s fortunes, adapting and evolving with the times. The hotel underwent several renovations throughout the 20th century, each time updating its facilities and services to meet the changing needs and tastes of its guests while preserving its historic charm. Its status as a New York City landmark, designated in 1998, underscores its significance in the city’s architectural and social history.

Today, Martinique New York on Broadway stands as a testament to New York’s ability to blend the old with the new. Its façade, a stunning example of Beaux-Arts architecture, invites guests into a world where history and modernity coexist seamlessly. Inside, the hotel offers all the amenities of a contemporary luxury hotel, including finely appointed rooms, state-of-the-art facilities, and attentive service, all while maintaining a connection to its storied past.

Staying at Martinique New York is more than just a visit to a hotel; it’s an immersion into the living history of New York City. It offers a unique vantage point from which to experience the vibrancy and dynamism of the city, making it an ideal choice for travellers seeking both comfort and a touch of nostalgia. Whether it’s the elegance of the architecture, the warmth of the welcome, or the richness of its history, The Martinique New York on Broadway is a place where every stay is memorable, bridging the gap between the bygone days of old New York and the bustling modern metropolis it is today.

FAST FACTS //

LOCATION

Situated in the vibrant Midtown Manhattan, Martinique New York boasts an enviable location that serves as a gateway to the city’s endless attractions. A stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, and Times Square, its locale is perfect for both the leisure and business traveller seeking the pulse of New York City. Upon arrival, the hotel’s grand facade—a harmonious blend of Beaux-Arts architecture and modern design elements—immediately sets a tone of sophistication.

ROOMS & SUITES

Martinique New York offers a diverse range of accommodations in its 504 guest rooms and suites. Each room features plush bedding and up-to-the-minute technology. The attention to detail in the design, featuring a palette of soft neutrals accented by bold artworks, creates a sanctuary of calm amidst the city’s frenzy.

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Image: Martinique New York on Broadway

AMENITIES

An extensive, around-the-clock fitness facility, GRIT, is outfitted with cutting-edge equipment to ensure guests can maintain their fitness routine while travelling. The centre is equipped with an array of cardio and strength-training machines, featuring a Peloton bike with live streaming and on-demand fitness classes.

GRIT at The Martinique New York on Broadway
Image: Martinique New York on Broadway

There is also the Martinique Boutique which sells one-of-a-kind curios. We joke that this is one of those stores that you love and then somehow never find again. The day we leave, the store’s fit out and items are different to that which was there on our arrival.

DINING

The on site Press Club Grill with dishes conceptualised by Chef Franklin Becker will tempt you from those many New York restaurants and eateries on your list to try. It’s just mean in its convenience.