I've been to the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel a handful of times for afternoon tea and for spa services. I'm always impressed by their superior customer service; the staff is exceptional. If you get a chance, book a treatment at the spa; in my book, it's the best spa in NY.
Go to the Mandarin Oriental hotel entrance on the north side (on 60th Street) of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Take the elevator to the 35th floor. Walk straight to the wall of windows overlooking Central Park and that's where you'll find the Lobby Lounge, where afternoon tea is served daily. The lounge is spacious and open but tables are far enough apart that it feels private. The lounge during tea service, is also used to serve coffee, cocktails and a light menu. I tend to favor settings that are used exclusively for tea service, but an impressive view overlooking Central Park makes up for it. When reserving your table, ask for a table right next to the window.
AMAZING. Really, amazing. Any request made is taken care of immediately and with ultimate care. They make your problem, their problem and you really sense that they care, perhaps even more than you do.
TEA & TEA SELECTION:
Tea is from Tealeaves and they have a small selection of each type of tea. I wished there was a bit more of a selection with about 3-4 choices per type. Loose leaf teas are served in tea filters in a pretty white teapot.
They were still making scones when they brought out the three-tiered tray, so the top tier had a fluffy cake for us to enjoy while we waited for the scones. Below that were two trays of savories. Delicate and tasty, I enjoyed it all.
I had two of the cakes, which reminded me of madeleine cookies, which I love, so they were a hit with me. A little after, the scones were served with housemade marmalade and whipped cream (instead of clotted or Devonshire cream). Scones were a good, manageable size and they were great, since they came straight from the oven. I did miss the cream though.
A variety of sweets arrived on a plate and replaced the empty plate of eaten savories. It was nice to have a big selection, but I would have liked it a bit more if they had given two of each piece so it would be easier to share. I would have been fine with a smaller selection in this case.
Very good with the high-level service and the panoramic view drawing me back for repeat visits.
LOCATION: Mandarin Oriental New York | 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street | New York, NY 10023 | 212.805.8800
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 2:30PM - 4:30PM