Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Refurbished rooms give fresh life to this Lower Manhattan Marriott. Next to Ground Zero, with sweeping views of the harbor, this hotel is frequented mostly by those doing business on and around Wall Street.
The most notable characteristic of this Marriott is its location directly across the street from Ground Zero. (The hotel was closed for four months after the World Trade Center attacks, during which time it housed Red Cross personnel.) The obvious drawback is that guests must pass through the noise and chaos of the area's reconstruction -- not to mention that some may prefer not to be so continuously reminded of the 9/11 tragedy.
On the other hand, the hotel has participated in the area's energetic revival process: In anticipation of the city's promise to breathe new life into Lower Manhattan, Marriott renovated all 497 guest rooms in 2008. They're spacious (particularly for New York City) and well-equipped -- and more than 70 percent of them offer superb views of New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty.
Though the hotel's guests are mostly corporate travelers attending an event at the on-site conference facilities or doing business in the downtown Financial District, the Marriott clearly holds some appeal for leisure travelers as well. This part of Manhattan tends to be undervalued as a tourist destination, despite its proximity to the beautiful Hudson River Greenway, the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the oldest and most historic parts of the New York City, which was once geographically limited to the small area at the island's southern tip below Wall Street.
Like other chain hotels in the neighborhood -- the Millenium Hilton and the Ritz Carlton -- this Lower Manhattan Marriot is definitely less congested and can be as much as $100 cheaper than its Midtown sister property. If guests are willing to put up with a less manicured neighborhood where construction sites are the norm, they may find much to like about this historic neighborhood that is far from the frenzy of Midtown.
This hotel is in the center of several construction sites and the Financial District, and next to Ground Zero. But proximity to the Hudson River promenade makes it an appealing alternative to the midtown frenzy.
The Marriott downtown is directly next to the construction site on the site of the former World Trade Center. If that's not a deal-breaker, you'll find an interesting neighborhood that's in flux but rich with history and interesting tourist sites. Among other local assets, the hotel is within a 10-minute walk to the ferries that take visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
This hotel is also just a few blocks away from the Hudson River Greenway, an 11-mile pedestrian route, great for a stroll, run, rollerblade, or bike ride (there's even a spot in Battery Park to rent bikes by the hour). There are plenty of lovely stops to take in the river view along the way. Just a two-block walk from the hotel, visitors may have the best view of the Statue of Liberty, short of heading to Liberty Island.
The Financial District is not the place to look for bustling nightlife. There are a handful of well-known restaurants, including Delmonico's and Cipriani's on Wall Street; but restaurant-, bar-, and shop-filled TriBeCa is a short walk north.
Transportation is easy enough. Visitors can catch the R, N and 1 trains at Rector Street; the 4, and 5 trains can be picked up at Wall Street. Taxis may not come around here as much as Midtown, but they are still easy enough to get. The doorman of hotel seems constantly busy hailing cabs for guests.
The area is fairly empty and quiet at night -- but generally safe.
Standard rooms at this Marriott are mostly built for the business traveler, but leisure guests should find plenty to like, too. About 70 percent of the rooms have a view of the New York City harbor and are about 324 square feet -- a far cry from the usual 200 or so allotted to New York City hotel rooms. For the harbor view, guests must pay a little extra.
This hotel lacks the fun perks many hotels provide to lure the kids, but it does offer complimentary cribs and rollaway beds. Baby-sitting is available for an additional charge.
Some families, especially those pushing kids in strollers, may want to avoid the broken-up streets and sidewalks caused by the construction going on throughout the neighborhood. That said, the waterfront park and promenade two blocks away is a great place for kids to get their energy out. And cribs and rollaway beds are available at no extra charge. Connecting rooms are also available in most room types (but not Standard rooms).
Baby-sitting services are available, with 24 hours' notice, for an additional charge.
Two on-site restaurants and dail room service
Located in the Financial District immediately next to the construction going on at Ground Zero, this Marriott is mostly a place for business travelers to rest their heads. But the downtown location has more going for it than many visitors realize, including proximity to the underrated Hudson River Greenway. The clean, and spacious rooms, many with views of New York Harbor, make this hotel a decent alternative to the nearby Millenium Hilton (if only because there's less construction noise). This Marriott is also a good alternative to its Midtown sister, especially for visitors looking for easy access to (and views of) New York's revitalized waterfront.