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Reviewed 27 June 2018

"MICKEY MOUSE looks like he's conducting the lights!" I tell you, the tiny school-girl swinging her arms about at the next table & showing me Mickey in the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was absolutely right.

Since our Mandarin Oriental hotel visit here in New York City, we now stop by whenever we're in the area & have been waiting to try out THE AVIARY, the new lobby bar & small-plate café designed by Chicago cocktail Svengali, Grant Achatz. The Aviary is quite pleasurable & I for one had already been a loyal fan of this grande space for several years.

Now, gazing up at the sweeping new overhead light installation, it did indeed appear that Mickey Mouse was magically conducting the swirling back & forth-shaped illumination dancing across the ceiling. The Aviary is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel lobby which features panoramic views 35 floors over Central Park that regularly melt the heart of even the most seasoned traveler.

Swirling lines of the ceiling lights are picked up again by sweeping lamp-stands curving up & over massive sectional couches & dropping down-light over the central seating areas. They add dynamic whimsy to an already magnificent space.

Known from the start for its promise of "atomic" cocktails theatrically steaming with dry-ice explosions of brandy & bourbon & tequila, I confessed today that I had never actually seen one of these concoctions being served & only knew them from photos, since I usually come to the hotel at lunch-time. To my delighted surprise, the Bar Manager, Berit Soli-Holt, graciously indulged me with an amazing personal demonstration, up in the bar's staging area.

The Aviary cocktails are crafted by "liquid chefs" at an expansive bar space displayed behind floor-to-ceiling glass which stretches the length of The Aviary above & behind us, while we guests gaze out at Central Park. As Berit told me the story of The Aviary, she produced wonderful rum-spiced steam rushing over the counter from a slim-necked chemist beaker at the bar.

All of this inspired me to try out her suggestion of a "Boom," as she called it, with my salad. This is the special cocktail known as "Boom Goes the Dynamite," in which she stirred up a combination of rums, vanilla, violet — with just a gourmet touch of ver-jus and "rooibos," which is some sort of South African herb. After a few minutes of fragrant rum explosion at my table, a straw was playfully served — although I preferred a glass, which was delivered frozen, to best set off the flavors of the drink.

Both times I've enjoyed the chicken sandwich, it has been delivered by the chef himself & combined a spicy fried chicken cutlet dressed with creamy sauce & lightly pickled cucumber slices ever-so-carefully fanned out on a sesame bun. Most dishes — such as my Orchard Salad today — are garnished with colorful flourishes of edible blossoms, often pansies, fresh plucked from the stem. The little movie-savvy princess & her mother were gone by the time I finished a cappuccino, but I will always remember her imaginatively "conducting" the ceiling lights like Mickey Mouse for me.

Room Tip: A view of the Park is a must---and get ready to be pampered by London-based Aromatherapy cosmetics.
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank VKMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandarin_NYC, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, New York, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2018

Dear VKMc,

We truly appreciate the time you took to write about your experience with us at The Aviary NYC at Mandarin Oriental, New York. It was such a pleasure to read about the little "princess'" interpretation of the lights in the bar space. It was an absolute delight to hear your feedback on the bar, the cocktails and the views. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Aviary NYC on your next visit to New York City.

Warm Regards,
Mandarin Oriental, New York Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2018

It's exactly what you would expect it to be. Accommodations are top notch. Service is on point. The view from bar is ridiculous. Yes it's expensive but worth every penny. Enjoy! Oh and don't be cheap know what you are getting into - live a little.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank watchflair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandarin_NYC, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, New York, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2018

Dear watchflair,

We sincerely appreciate the time you took to write such a lovely review of your stay with us at Mandarin Oriental, New York. It is wonderful to read how much you enjoyed The Aviary NYC, your accommodations and the service our colleagues were able to provide you with. We hope to have the pleasure of your company on your next visit to the city.

Warm Regards,
Mandarin Oriental, New York Management Team

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Reviewed 26 June 2018

Lovely hotel, enjoyed our stay in a large room for NY with good views over Central Park. With the hotel being so high you do not get any street noise. The breakfast was included and excellent. I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: June 2018
Thank Harbitom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandarin_NYC, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, New York, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2018

Dear Harbitom,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your stay with us at Mandarin Oriental, New York. We are delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your visit along with breakfast. We look forward to welcoming you back to Mandarin Oriental, New York on future occasions.

Warm Regards,
Mandarin Oriental, New York Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

Love the view, the service, the food, the cocktails and the giant “chicharrón” (pork). Perfect to go with friends at the End of the day. It is in floor 35 looking central park. Ask for a table near the window.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with friends
Thank ireneperurena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandarin_NYC, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, New York, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2018

Dear ireneperurena,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us at The Aviary NYC at Mandarin Oriental, New York. It is such a pleasure to read how much you enjoyed the cocktails, view from the bar and the cuisine. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Warm Regards,
Mandarin Oriental, New York Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018

My wife and I visited new york and stayed in the madarin oriental for a friends wedding. I wanted to make it a special trip and the mandarin oriental did not disappoint! I can honestly say this is one of the finest hotels i have stayed in anywhere in the world. The level of service was superb and the staff were friendly and attentive. We had a meal in the hotels restaurant and had the tasting menu. It was the best meal we ate in new york, bearing in mind we ate at Daniels (michellin starred restaurant). On top of the stunning tasting menu we had a gorgeous view of central park. I couldn't recommend either the hotel or the restaurant more highly, truly a 5 star experience, expensive but well worth the money.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank nerrad59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandarin_NYC, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, New York, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2018

Dear nerrad59,

We appreciate you taking a moment to write about your stay with us for your friend's wedding. It is a delight to read how much you enjoyed your time with us from Asiate to the service our colleagues were able to provide you with. We hope that you will join us again soon.

Warm Regards,
Mandarin Oriental, New York Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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