A trip to New York City is a never-ending choose-your-own adventure opportunity. Everything from your ride into Manhattan to your choice between street cart or world-famous restaurant is a a chance to enjoy a uniquely Big Apple experience. Your hotel is the backdrop that sets the tone for your New York story. Should you begin your tale in a chic boutique or at a respected chain?
Be a Native New Yorker at New Boutiques
If my inbox is any indication, developers are snapping up abandoned retail and office spaces and converting them into guestrooms faster than you can say “late checkout, please.” New hotels with amenities as hip as their names (you can borrow a skateboard from The Nolitan) appeal to a wannabe-urban clientele and provide a chance to live like a New Yorker for a weekend without any risk or roommate hunting.
The decor tends to be contemporary to the extreme, as much a design decision as an attempt to disguise the painfully small size of a typical room; tiny rooms seem to add authenticity to the New Yorker experience. Instead of offering state-of-the-art fitness centers, boutiques like The Library in Midtown provide guests with complimentary day passes to nearby private fitness clubs where tourists can break a sweat next to real live Manhattanites. You won’t find a boutique hotel within 2 blocks of Central Park, but you can find properties like Hotel Giraffe boasting easy access to Chelsea. If your must-do list for your next NYC vacation includes deli bagels for breakfast and an afternoon of people watching in Union Square, check into a Manhattan boutique hotel to set the scene.
Stay as a Welcomed Guest with Familiar Names
Do your big city fantasies involve a show on Broadway and a carriage ride through Central Park? Are you more interested in Barney’s than bagels? New York City welcomes more than 40 million tourists each year, and there’s no shame in happily being one of them. Be pampered like a guest at hotel chains that long ago secured the best locations in town.
The Ritz-Carlton Central Park sits directly across the street from Central Park and a few short blocks from the most popular Midtown tourist attractions. You can’t rent a skateboard here, but you will have room to spread out in large guest rooms and views worthy of a postcard mailed home. While you certainly can grab a bagel from a deli around the corner, you can also indulge in a gourmet snack in the Club Lounge at any time of day. No one here is new to the game, so expect expert touches like a crystal ring holder beside the bathroom sink. Similarly, The Hilton New York won’t get you into the NY Sports Club, but you can host a meeting onsite; you can also hit the in-house fitness center without traveling farther than the fifth floor.
When you visit a boutique hotel in New York City, you get the feeling that you’re staying with a friend who’s showing off their new Manhattan apartment. If you’re lucky, you can imagine yourself moving in with that friend after a night or two. The big chain hotels don’t have the hip edge or the competitive pricing of the new kids on the island. Instead, they offer a sense of security that comes from staying with the people who set the standards for New York luxury in the first place.
Hilton New York
In just a few days, bloggers from all over the world will begin to pour into New York City for BlogHer ’10, a blogging conference targeted towards female bloggers and the brands who want to work with them. The conference, as well as numerous parties and brand events, is being held at the Hilton New York.
I pity the poor out-of-towner attempting to vacation at the Hilton next weekend.
But if you’re one of the 1,000 or so expected guests attending the conference – here are some tips for your stay!
Make friends with the Hilton New York - @hiltonnewyork is the official Twitter account for this property and they do a great job of responding to questions and concerns. You can also become friends with Hilton New York on Facebook.
Make sure you have the right Hilton – there is more than one Hilton in New York City. There’s even more than one Hilton in Manhattan, so be sure you’re headed to the right place. The BlogHer conference is being held at Hilton New York, which is located at 1335 Avenue of the Americas. This property is closer to Central Park than Times Square
Bring your laptop - if you booked your room at the Hilton New York under the BlogHer conference rate, free wifi is included. Wifi will be available in your room and all over the hotel during the conference.
Bring your workout clothes - whether or not you’re participating in the BlogHer 5k on Friday morning (and if you are, wave to me as you jog by my slow butt!), you can still get your exercise in at the hotel’s fitness center.
What about food? There is free food included in the full conference pass, but there is also food available on site. The hotel offers fine dining at Etrusca or more casual dining at their Marketplace Cafe. You can also grab a coffee and a scone at the Starbucks located in their lobby. If you’re looking for food in the middle of the night and a genuine NYC experience, hit up the famous Halal cart right outside.
And remember… bring cash for your tips!
Do you know which is the largest hotel in the United States? As in the most number of rooms? Ok, that one’s easy – The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with 5,690 rooms. Top 10 largest hotels in the US? All in Vegas…
But do you know which is the largest hotel in your city? Listed below are the largest hotels in 10 of the largest cities in the US.
Hilton New York - 1,980 rooms in a prime location at Radio City Music Hall & Rockefeller Center on 6th Ave. The hotel is a mini-city all by itself, with 151,000 sq ft of meeting space and an 8000 sq ft fitness center.
Hilton New York
Right behind the Hilton New York are the New York Marriott Marquis (1,949 rooms), Sheraton New York (1,757), Hotel Pennsylvania (1,700) and the Grand Hyatt New York (1,311).
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What’s the deal between the Hilton New York and the Bloomberg Administration? The Mayor is congratulating the hotel personally for being an “innovator in implementing sound environmental practices.”
Hilton New York
Last week, the Hilton New York was awarded the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program – “Green Street” Award by the Avenue of the Americas Association. Hilton New York received the award in the Energy Efficiency / Sustainability Projects category for “Buildings Over 1M Square Feet” in recognition of its energy fuel cell, which the hotel installed 2 years ago.
Apparently, it takes some time for New York to recognize a breakthrough achievement. Or the patronage of a certain high-ranking NYC elected official. To be fair, the hotel has also recently added some new green initiatives to its toolkit – they’re now dissolving food waste with microorganisms to reduce garbage volume. For real.
But something is surely going on with the Hilton New York and NYC officials. In addition to the awards and kudos over the green stuff, there’s also the Olympic connection. On Nov 4, the U.S. Olympic Committee (with Hilton as it’s sponsor) will be turning New York’s Rockefeller Center into a winter wonderland as a 100-day countdown for the Vancouver 2010 Olymipics – something about the Making of Team USA.
Lisa Baird, USOC’s Chief Marketing Officer, added to the kudos – “I’d like to extend a special thanks to Hilton Worldwide and our associate sponsors for their support in bringing this 100-day countdown event to historic Rockefeller Center.”
If you’re looking for green hotels in New York, look no more. Head straight for Mayor Bloomberg’s favorite green hotel – located on 1335 Avenue of the Americas.
Photo by mrkathika