The Mansion - Best Mansion in New York

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More and more I feel that the best value accommodation is the kind that reminds you every minute exactly where you are (rather than waking up in a white box and trying to remember which city you’re in), and this amazing townhouse certainly delivers on that.

With a maximum capacity of the whole house of 18 people! this Upper East Side townhouse can also be rented as two separate apartments (average occupancy of each is 6 people), each with its own kitchen, bathrooms etc.  (Here’s a tip - I’d rent the upper one if you don’t need to keep popping out into the garden for a cigarette and you can manage the stairs!)

It’s not perfect and it’s not a mansion, but it is a real house - which means sometimes it takes time to figure out the shower, the air conditioning, the entry system (which - hoorah - works on codes so you don’t have to give everyone keys), and if you want something that’s not already in the house you have to wander to the corner shop or the 24 hour diner (actually they deliver).  In short, it’s like living in New York.

Let’s start with the high points - the master bedroom with king size bed, plentiful mirrors and space became a little girlie paradise when we were getting ready to go out.  The upstairs bathroom with skylights (slightly unnerving when you’re jet lagged and showering when it’s still dark!) quickly became my favourite.

The upstairs lounge with sumptuous leather chairs, chandelier and little birds painted on the ceiling is a wonderful place for early morning yoga.

The enormous TVs quite literally took my breath away when they were on - not to mention the extraordinary sound system in the downstairs lounge.

And the downstairs kitchen with dining table, internet and access to the front “garden” became our base camp - despite the gorgeous lounge one floor up.

So the downsides... well, as I mentioned, some things are not easy to figure out - in particular the supposedly private steam room that we struggled to get working and, despite looking at the pictures of the hot tub, only a couple of girls were brave enough to try it out and they didn’t really like it.  Unfortunately systems like these really do run better with constant attendance and supervision (i.e. in a hotel).

Also I do think for health and safety they need to fix the coffee table in the downstairs lounge.  It’s one of those ones with glass panels and half of them are missing - we nearly put a cup of tea or bottle of wine down on an empty square several times!

But apart from those few niggles it really was a wonderful place to stay - not least because it meant the first port of call was the local shop for milk and essentials (we English girls do like our tea in the morning!)  And the very best thing about this house is its location; not just that it’s in the Upper East Side, walking distance from Central Park, the subway, the Guggenheim and Museum Mile, but also that it’s right in the middle of a residential neighbourhood where there are grocers, diners, bagel shops, sushi, Italian restaurants, a great off licence on the corner, nail bars and plenty of cabs flying by.  It’s also right on various bus routes, if you can figure them out!

But what I loved best about staying here, apart from the ridiculously comfortable master bed, was that as soon as I’d had my shower (and got my bag together - I tried to only climb up the stairs once a day!) I could wander downstairs, slip out of the front door, walk to the bagel shop for my morning coffee, cream cheese and lox bagel and then walk away, coffee in hand, feeling every inch a New Yorker and wondering... well I’ve lived in London, I’ve lived in Paris, maybe it’s time to give another great city a go?

The master bedroom, Best Mansion in Manhattan, New York

$369 (£235) per person for 4 nights - 16 people sharing.

The Mansion is available to rent in its entirety (max occupancy 18 adults) or as two separate apartments (standard occupancy 6 people per apartment), and standard rates for each apartment are $750 each per night with $150 one off cleaning charge for each apartment (normally minimum rental period of 5 nights). 

Sale rates for the apartments were $600 each (up to 12 adults in total), but we paid a premium for extra people.  There may also be additional charges if it is a busy holiday season: as at September 2011

Best Mansion In Manhattan Ltd.

433 East 85th Street

New York, NY 10028

Tel: 1+518-304-1328