Charges are pending against the man, who was arrested hours after the body of 44-year-old Andree Bejjani was found Saturday afternoon at the Jumeirah Essex House hotel.
Police say a maid found Bejjani face down on the kitchen floor in a condo at the Manhattan hotel. She was naked, with her throat slashed and a knife sticking out of it.
"It's scary, I'm really scared," hotel guest Alanna Fabian said. "I don't even know how I'm going to be able to sleep tonight."
The door to the room showed no signs of forced entry, reports CBS Station WCBS correspondent Dave Carlin.
The 44-story hotel is on the park's southern edge. The art deco landmark opened in 1931 and has 509 luxury rooms and suites as large as 2,500 square feet.
The building was thought to be among the most secure in New York, with around-the-clock security.
Saturday afternoon's discovery of the body immediately led to even stricter safeguards.
"They asked for my room key before I got into the elevator tonight, so it was a bit different," hotel guest Jim Torykian said.
"We'll be more careful tonight, for sure," one hotel patron said.