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Malene Birger
The Mark
25 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075, United States
1st October 2015

Perched high up on the Upper East Side, The Mark is one of New York’s most illustrious hotels. It’s a grand, yet quite intimate, property housed in a historic building overlooking Madison Avenue, less than a block from Central Park and a short walk from the Guggenheim Museum and the MET.
Malene Birger travelled with RASK, and stayed at The Mark; she shares below her experience.

The location is fabulous - but not for everybody; this is an area for those who've been staying in south Manhattan for many years - and have found that things are just a little more civilized/old school up here on the Upper East Side. I may have gotten a bit older, and yes, the area lacks a bit of the nerve and “busy-ness” of Midtown and further south - but the Upper East also has considerably less tourists and overall feels more authentic (and seems to have more "real New Yorkers") than what you find further south. And then there's the easy access to the big museums, great shopping and Barneys of course, not to forget to mention Central Park.
Who stays?
The guests at The Mark make up a slightly older, and monied, clientèle – they're demanding guests for sure. During Fashion Weeks and the arts fairs, the guests and celebrities are an inspiration in themselves. The guests are a mix of business and creative, arty, cool types - and then there are a lot of French guests (no surprise that The Mark is managed by a Frenchman) including many regulars and long stay residents.
Style and Character
I adore the style, design and character of this hotel. Recently renovated yet again, the design is by Jacques Grange from the 80´s, one of my favorite interior designers. There’s a strong Memphis influence and the black and white stripes. It's a pleasure staying at the hotel which sticks so thoroughly to its original style. Everywhere has Mr. Grange paid attention to details; the bikes outside, the graphics, the printed material in the rooms and so on.
This is a full service hotel and, on paper, it offers everything in terms of hard product. However, service was a true low point during my stay. Rarely have I experienced such lack of communication between reception, room service and housekeeping. An example; I had to call three time to reception to get some extra hangers delivered (after 50 minutes, I was still waiting). Others: getting soft boiled eggs when asking for hard boiled eggs, asking for a small mirror for the bathroom and getting a two-meter tall one placed next to the bed instead. There were lots and lots of apologies, and while I'm not one to bear a grudge, such errors should simply not happen in a hotel of The Mark's standing and price level. One thing I did love, however, was the complimentary Tesla transfer downtown when I needed it.
Rooms and Suites
Where the service was a letdown, the rooms and suites were a highlight; all is just fabulous. I particularly love the bathroom with its black and white striped marble, and its Memphis green cabinet. Big fluffy towels and robes were lovely too.
The bedrooms have a calm and peaceful palette of colours and textiles. The bed is wonderful, and I slept like a baby. Only minor niggle was that the minibar fridge was so noisy that I had to turn it off in order to sleep - which of course meant that the ice (delivered at turndown) was melted when I needed it; not a big problem, but again, not value for money. The showerhead leaked throughout my stay - but this is possibly more of a service issue than an issue with the room (i.e. small problems with hardware are quite common in many hotels – but the way the hotels deal with fixing them can really tell you a lot about the service, or lack thereof). Overall, however, I loved coming back to my comfortable room - and then to listen to soft jazz, and have water and chocolate as a turndown treat.
Food and Drink
Well, when the orders were taken correctly by the waiters and by room service, it was all delicious - although I did get annoyed with having to pay full price for half portions. Furthermore, the waiters were possibly a little too attentive in serving you in the morning - which makes the "wrong order taking" all the more of an issue.
The Mark has a fabulous restaurant in The Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges - although we stuck to The Mark Bar.
The bar is a wonderful place to hang out and to watch people and guests; the drinks top notch. However, we never saw the same bartender; every night there was new staff. Not a big problem, but it’s nice to feel “at home” in the bar of your hotel, I think. I felt the staff was a bit tired.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
As noted in the above, The Mark has all manner of amenities, including a hairdresser and a gym. I preferred Central Park for my runs; in itself, the access to Central Park is one of the hotel's most precious amenities. There is no spa here, although you won't have to walk far to get to one. Another amenity is the hotel's own bikes which you can borrow - I didn't use them. The concierge, Jackie, was an amenity in herself - and, as mentioned, I was happy with the complimentary Tesla house car taking me downtown.
Perceived Value
This is a fabulous hotel - but service needs to be a whole lot more polished for a hotel whose rooms often start at the USD700 mark - before taxes.
I love The Mark, the only drawback (and it's unfortunately a big one) was the lack of service I experienced during my stay. However, location, quality and design all successfully come together up here at The Mark, and I'd happily return.