Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A busy and important business hotel hub during weekdays; quieter on weekends
It’s impossible to overlook the sleek, 55-floor dark monolith across the street from One World Trade Center. And it shouldn’t be missed. The Millenium Hilton closed its doors after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and underwent a $32 million gut renovation. After it reopened in 2003, the hotel staff and its guests have been able to watch the transformation across the street happen before their eyes, every step of the way. The influence of One World Trade Center is felt all around the property and there are important bits of memorabilia in the lobby. Post-renovation, the hotel seems to exude a new wave of energy, much like the neighborhood that is rapidly evolving around it.
Because of the financial district location, business travelers tend to stay here during the weekdays, and the lobby is a bustling scene with meetings taking place over cocktails at Liquid Assets. Prices dip slightly on the weekends when business travelers go home, making it a great base for sightseeing.
In the Financial District, facing the September 11 Memorial and within walking distance of Wall Street
This major hotel sits in the center of New York City’s Financial District -- two blocks from the World Financial Center and right across the street from One World Trade Center, as well as St. Paul’s Chapel (a base camp for 9/11 recovery workers). It's a 10-minute walk to Wall Street and the South Street Seaport.
The hotel quiets down at night and on weekends, when business travelers go home and it becomes a base for tourists looking to explore the sights -- though tourists should note certain popular attractions in the Financial District can get very crowded. Dining and nightlife options are still slim, but both Tribeca and South Street Seaport are within walking distance. (It's just a bit farther to trendy SoHo -- around 20 minutes on foot). Guests can stroll over to Battery Park and watch the sailboats float by during sunset. During warmer months, the Staten Island Ferry provides a free boat ride -- a chance to take those important photos of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty without the lines or fees. Many subway lines are next to the hotel for easy access to other areas of the city.
Modern rooms with spectacular views
The hotel offers 471 guestrooms (mostly king-size bed) and 98 suites (some quite large) with simple, neutral interiors designed for business travelers (and their expense accounts), hence that charge for Wi-Fi. The biggest amenity that these rooms offer are the large, practically floor-to-ceiling windows that look over various views of greater New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, ships sailing on the Hudson River, and of course, One World Trade Center across the street. The higher the floor, the better the view. All rooms have Hilton-brand beds, coffeemakers, minibars, iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have shower/tub combos and counter space for toiletries.
An indoor pool and nice fitness center are standouts here
There are convenient features for all types of travelers, and the large property is fun to explore. Guests who don't want to pay for in-room Wi-Fi can use the free Internet in the business center, and there are a range of meeting rooms overlooking the WTC Center. The 40-foot year-round indoor pool is a rarity in the city, and guests can take a dip or just relax in a humid environment after a cold day of sightseeing during winter months. The modern fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the WTC site offers quality equipment, water dispensers, and fresh fruit. Dining options such as Church & Dey on the third floor are (not surprisingly) overpriced -- especially the buffet breakfast. Room service is available (though it's not 24-hour).
The hotel's location across the street from One World Trade Center -- for many years a noisy and emotional construction site -- is now the hotel’s best feature. Guests can walk not only to the September 11 Memorial, but also to Wall Street and South Street Seaport. This upscale business-oriented hotel is a big name and also a big property (it rises 55 floors), and the 569 modern rooms and suites have large windows to capitalize on the spectacular city views. Just note that room service and Wi-Fi fees add up fast; it's also worth considering other upscale hotels in the neighborhood, such as Gild Hall and Andaz Wall Street.