Grand Hyatt New York Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Midtown East, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Steps from the 4, 5, 6, and 7 subway lines
  • Contemporary rooms with flat-screen TVs and comfy beds
  • Well-equipped gym
  • Fine dining at New York Central Restaurant, and 24-hour room service
  • In-room spa services available
  • Business center with secretarial services
  • Family-friendly amenities include kids’ menu and baby toiletries

Cons

  • Thin walls
  • Fee for parking
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Fee for rollaway beds

Bottom Line

Catering to families, business travelers, and major conventions, the 1,306-room Grand Hyatt lies next to Grand Central Station -- a prime location in New York’s corporate center. Comfortable rooms, prompt service, an excellent fine dining restaurant, and a nice gym make this Midtown East giant a decent value.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Stylish for a 1,306-room mid-range hotel, the Hyatt draws business travelers, weddings, and plenty of tourists to its Midtown East tower, only steps from Grand Central Station.

With 1,306 guest rooms, five ballrooms, 45 conference rooms, and nearly 1,000 staff members to keep everything straight and tidy, the Grand Hyatt is a constantly bustling large chain hotel. Located on busy 42nd Street, and next to the landmarked and equally busy Grand Central Terminal, the Grand Hyatt suits both small and large parties for both work and vacation. A massive, $130 million renovation in 2011 reinvented the hotel, with new art installations and a bold new look for the entire property.

The hotel enlisted a few different artists for the renovation, including Jaume Plensa, who is known for his giant public art pieces like Crown Fountain in Millennium Park in Chicago, and Per Fronth, whose photography hangs throughout the building. The hotel also gave makeovers to guestrooms, suites, and the Empire Ballroom, in addition to welcoming new event space Gallery on Lex, and restaurants New York Central and Market.

The lobby features two giant Easter Island-looking macael marble sculptures from Plensa, one in a "water-wall" fountain, and the other on a white onyx pedestal. Leather couches and seating areas also help give the lobby a sleek look.

Originally named the Commodore Hotel after "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, the property first opened in 1919 and offered accommodations for $2.50 a night with the slogan: "A room and a bath for two and half." Financier Donald Trump made the Hyatt his first pet project when he took over ownership in 1980 (and raised the prices accordingly).

 Location

Legendary crowds and a legendary street make for a busy but convenient location.

To say that 42nd Street between Park and Lexington avenues is busy would be a gross understatement. Sitting directly next to Grand Central Terminal -- and its five subway lines -- means the Grand Hyatt is smack in the middle of one of the most constantly congested and transient hubs of the city. Because of this, police officers and security are always plentiful, and the hotel's block is fairly safe.

However, because the neighborhood is primarily a business district, visitors will be hard-pressed to find restaurants and cafes at the end of the business day, unless they head next door to Grand Central Station. Across the street is world-famous Cipriani, but it operates for the business set and isn't even open on the weekends.

Several big-chain retailers are connected to Grand Central Station. From Banana Republic to Strawberry's to Kenneth Cole, the shops on this block keep early hours with the hopes of catching a commuter with time to kill. During the winter holiday season, Grand Central Terminal hosts one of the city's many craft and artisan fairs.

There are several other points of interest in the vicinity. With its iconic stone lions, Patience and Fortitude, the New York Public Library's main branch is not just an old building filled with books. The library hosts a wide range free events and exhibitions during the day as well as evening. Plus, the wedding scene in the "Sex and the City" movie occured on the library's grand staircase.

Just behind the library is Bryant Park, the famed green space for the midtown working world. Movable tables and chairs create a French-style park where visitors picnic (there is always a long line at the 'wichcraft sandwich kiosk) and hang out. A carousel, imported from France, belts out Edith Piaf. Bryant Park transforms into an ice skating rink during the winter and holds a popular film series in the summer.

 Airport Transportation

30 to 90 minutes from three airports.

New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Getting into town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate of $45 and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan costs about $40 and can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark cost at least $40 plus tolls and can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.

Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses that are available at all three airports for about $14 per person. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. Public transit is also available for as little as $7 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.

For mass-transit directions right to the hotel, check out HopStop.com.

 Rooms

Comfortable beds, 37-inch flat-screens, and iPod docking stations, but the walls are pretty thin and there are no bathrobes.

Guestrooms and suites feature contemporary decor with fabrics in shades of champagne and plum, and have updated technology. They're not huge, but the 250-square-foot standard rooms are a little bit larger than the average New York City hotel room (most rooms in this city come in about 200 square feet). The executive single, at 266 square feet, might be considered a mansion by comparison. Redesigned VIP suites are ideal for families or longer stays, and are available as Loft or Residential Suites.

  • Each room has a king-size bed or two full-size beds with a pillow-top mattress
  • iPod docking station
  • Mini-friedges
  • 37-inch flat-screen TV with built-in movie options
  • Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and can be purchased online for a day rate
  • Windows come soundproofed, but unlike at many of the midtown tower hotels, you can open the window and let in a breeze. About half of the rooms have a view of 42nd Street (I could catch a glimpse of Grand Central Station from mine)
  • Bathrooms have granite vanities, imported ston floors, marble showers, and are mostly kept clean.
  • June Jacobs brand bath products are available in the rooms.

 Features

A modern fitness center and a quality business center -- too bad there's a pesky fee for Wi-Fi.

Stay Fit Fitness Center
Stay Fit Fitness Center

There is a well-equipped fitness center on the penthouse level. There are plenty of treadmills, LifeCycle cardio bikes, Stairmasters, StairClimbers, assorted weight-training equipment, and free weights, all of which are brand-new. The cardio equipment also has built-in TVs. Towel service and filtered water are available. Guest services is happy to coordinate with several local gyms to set up a trainer, or you can watch an on-demand yoga instruction video on the TV in your room for a very small fee. Mat rental is free; guests only need to call down and have one sent up.

The business center is armed to handle a high volume of worker bees staying at the hotel, with several PCs, printers, and fax machines, and a helpful staff member on hand for anything else. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building for a fee.

The Grand Club lounge on the 16th floor offers food and drink service, and features a terrace with tables and lounge chairs. Free breakfast is served daily.

 Family

Though mostly a business-leaning hotel, the clean, decent-size rooms are fine for families. But there are no "real" cribs, just playpens.

Some parents may find the hustle and bustle of 42nd Street to be a bit much with kids, but those who are brave --and patient -- enough will find the neighborhood exciting for the little ones.

  • The New York Central offers a kids menu, and the simple American buffet-style fare should bode well with finicky kids.
  • Cribs are listed as available, but they are actually playpens, so some parents won't be satisfied with this hotel's offerings.
  • Rollaway beds are available for a one-time fee, but the hotel won't guarantee them until check-in. (But they're pillow-top!)
  • The Babies travel Lite program includes great family-friendly amenities, such as baby toiletries, diapers and more.
  • None of the couches in the suites opens up into a bed.

 Food

An upscale fine dining restaurant, a 24-hour gourmet take-out spot, and a stylish lounge

  • New York Central restaurant and bar serves upscale western European-inspired fare, such as a pancetta and marrow burger or braised short rib with Manchego polenta.
  • Market, a gourmet to-go venue in the lobby, is open 24 hours a day and offers treats from Chickalicious, Tisserie, and Roasting Plant (all local favorites), as well as hot meals and salads.
  • The Lounge, a stylish spot with leather seating and an open kitchen, serves cocktails and lite bites.
  • 24-hour room service available

 Bottom Line

Catering to families, business travelers, and major conventions, the 1,306-room Grand Hyatt lies next to Grand Central Station -- a prime location in New York’s corporate center. Comfortable rooms, prompt service, an excellent fine dining restaurant, and a nice gym make this Midtown East giant a decent value.

Things You Should Know About Grand Hyatt New York

Address

  • Park Avenue At Grand Central, New York, NY 10017

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Grand Hotel Hyatt New York
  • Grand Hyatt Hotel New York
  • Grand Hyatt New York City
  • Hotel Hyatt New York
  • Hyatt Hotel New York
  • Hyatt Hotel New York City
  • Hyatt New York City
  • New York City Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • New York Hyatt

Room Types

  • Business Plan Room
  • Deluxe King Room
  • Executive Room
  • Grand Club Room
  • Hypo-Allergenic Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Lexington Suite
  • One King Bed Room
  • One Queen Room
  • Standard Room
  • Two Double Bed Room
  • VIP Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1311
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Midtown East, Manhattan
Address: Park Avenue At Grand Central, New York, NY 10017
(See Map)
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