Gramercy Park: Worth spending $380 plus for a hotel room to get access?
February 15, 2017 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone who has been to Gramercy Park (or knows someone who has been there) advise me if it's worth the $380+ cost of a hotel room at the Gramercy Park Hotel just to get access to the park (and if it's even worth seeing Gramercy Park in mid-February)?

Is there anything special about its gardens, statuary, etc. worth seeing on their own merit or is the whole cachet the restricted nature of the park's access? My SO and I are catching a show at the Gramercy Theater in NYC on 2/16 and staying down in NYC for some activities the next day and we have some time to kill in the morning.
posted by KingEdRa to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (19 answers total)
I haven't been there myself but I immediately thought of this article from Curbed: How to get into Gramercy Park. I hope it helps you decide!
posted by cessair at 10:16 AM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

No. It's tiny and you can see over the fence. Donate the difference between the hotel you would have stayed in to the ACLU, or put it in your IRA, or spend it at a bar.
posted by caek at 10:25 AM on February 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

Definitely not, and 100% not in February. Take yourself out to a nice dinner or something instead.
posted by greta simone at 10:33 AM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think the answer really depends on what $400 is worth to you. If you earn that in an hour, then yeh why not, it's like a person who works a near minimum wage job going for a game of bowling. Otherwise, based on my walking by it a few times, it's just a nice little park, nothing extraordinary.
posted by Sophont at 10:37 AM on February 15, 2017

I wouldn't, but I wouldn't think it would be crazy. Other Manhattan hotels will run you a few hundred dollars anyway, so if the two of you are going, it's essentially like paying around $100 per person for a ticket: more than a museum ticket, but less than most Broadway shows.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:49 AM on February 15, 2017

It's nothing special. I mean, if the difference in prices between that hotel and another nearby hotel where you'd otherwise stay is $30, it might be a harmless whimsy. But there are a ton of parks in NYC and nothing about Gramercy Park stands out except that it's locked.
posted by praemunire at 10:56 AM on February 15, 2017

Oh, no. Just stay somewhere else and hang out i Central Park.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:13 AM on February 15, 2017

Thanks, everyone! That was precisely the feedback I needed. The exclusivity of Gramercy Park has always intrigued me but it sounds like its best seen in a more hospitable season and even then, it sounds like it's nice but not "OMG! My life has been changed by seeing this!" Maybe if another modest windfall hits me in the Spring, I'll give it a shot.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:18 AM on February 15, 2017

Yeah, I've been in (had a childhood friend who lived on the park!) and it's quite nice but I don't think it would be worth the cost. On occasion they've been known to open to the public so maybe check on that whenever you come to NYC if the idea of going inside really intrigues you.
posted by ferret branca at 11:43 AM on February 15, 2017

It's a square. Spend $380, fly to London, walk across Grosvenor Square for free, and it is basically the same experience.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:49 AM on February 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

It sounds like Union Square would be a lot more interesting.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:03 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're really set on getting inside Gramercy Park, it's always open for a few hours on Christmas Eve for caroling. We went in 2015, when it was unseasonably warm. I ignored the caroling and instead checked out every nook and cranny, knowing it might be a while before I got inside again!
posted by AJaffe at 12:20 PM on February 15, 2017

literally the sole point of interest for gramercy park is that it's exclusive. if saying that you went to a place that not many people have regular access to is worth that money to you then do it. if you have otherwise realized that this is ridiculous then do literally anything else in nyc.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:24 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can see most of the park by looking in from outside the fence. Get a cheaper hotel, go look at the park from outside before the sun goes down, and then eat at Maialino (which is in the Gramercy Park Hotel).
posted by bedhead at 12:48 PM on February 15, 2017

heartily seconding bedhead's suggestion of enjoying the views of/in/through the park from Maialino - an absolutely lovely place for a meal at any time of day (the breakfast pastries are awesome, though the brunch menu hews pretty lunchy, never been a problem for me).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:52 PM on February 15, 2017

Oh God. I dragged my tired boyfriend and sleepy baby out on Christmas Eve to go see Gramercy Park this past Christmas. It is tiny, the Christmas tree was possibly the most underwhelming public tree I've ever seen, and the park itself was just... a park.

I'd imagine there'd be nothing to see in February that you wouldn't be able to peek through the fence at. In summer it might be pretty, but again, you'd probably see the exactly the same at Central Park.

Don't waste your $380!
posted by Everydayville at 12:59 PM on February 15, 2017

I've been in; the gate was standing open and I just walked in. There are gravel paths, nicely-placed benches, small lawns and some nice manicured greenery lining the paths. Absolutely no fun is allowed. If you have been to a decently-nice European city walking park, or even if you have been to a botanical garden, you have been to Gramercy Park. And it February it will be pretty muddy and gray. Don't sweat it.
posted by Liesl at 1:07 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another New Yorker to say Gramercy Park ain't shit.
posted by spitbull at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2017

I'm late to the party, but for future reference it's a nice neighborhood to walk around in, so if the weather is OK and you're curious to see it, grab a coffee at Irving Farm and walk around the perimeter, then head down to Union Square (especially if the farmers' market is on — M, W, F, Sa) or over to Stuyvesant Square if you want a park to sit in for a minute.

(As everyone has said it's not worth clamoring to get into even in a more clement season, unless you're already around with nothing to do on one of the rare occasions when it's open to the public, and then it's just more of a novelty.)
posted by rafaella gabriela sarsaparilla at 6:16 AM on February 16, 2017

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