I love New York in the fall. So lovely. The Essex House certainly is the closest property to Central Park, but I'm interested to hear if other Insiders recommend a different property for you to stay at. Regardless of where you stay, I'm sure you're going to have an amazing time!
SFCitygirk, Marriott Marquis is at Times Square, and some rooms have great views of Times Square. That hotel is huge and has good-sized rooms, but it is not super easy to navigate. It has strange elevators and an open atrium design and has a 1970s era vibe (or maybe what some architect in the 70s thought was modern and space age). The CL is good, and both the CL and fitness center have great views of Times Square. It's crowded and touristy, though, and I don't like the vibe. There are good shops on site, and of course it's in the center of everything. Essex House is historical and much more upscale and refined and also much quieter. Some of those rooms have Central Park views. The CL at Essex House is larger than the Marquis and is, in my opinion, better. The location is great, too (right across the street from Central Park), and an easy walk to Times Square. Essex House is my favorite NY hotel, so I would highly recommend. It is more romantic and classier than Marquis. Also the Ritz Carlton is just down the street from Essex House and also has rooms with great views of Central Park, but I think the JW is actually nicer and usually (but not always) less costly. Plus no CL access at the Ritz unless you pay big bucks or have status with RC or some type of upgrade certificate. I'd suggest Essex House for you since you are traveling with the new hubby and would presumably enjoy the historic beauty and quieter more elegant atmosphere. Have fun!