Kid’s menu in the restaurant, and milk and cookies for turn-down service
Well-equipped 24-hour fitness center
Popular on-site bar with great cocktails
24-hour business center
Fee for Wi-Fi access (free for loyalty program members)
No coffeemaker in the rooms
Located in N.Y.C.’s shopping and corporate-office hub, the Omni’s spacious rooms, attentive service, stand-out restaurant with kids menus, and great fitness center make it a solid choice for families and corporate travelers. But it's worth comparing rates with the equally elegant, service-oriented Hotel Elysée a few block away.
Business travelers and a few families stay at this service-oriented, 396-room hotel
In the marble lobby, quiet jazz plays while guests scowl at the Financial Times and patter away on their Blackberries. The Omni Berkshire’s upscale Midtown location draws mostly business travelers, but also vacationing couples and well-behaved families. There’s a strong emphasis on service here, but it’s not so over-the-top that it feels stuffy -- though I did feel underdressed in my jeans and Nikes. From what I saw, a pair of heels might have been more suitable.
Classy, consistent, and proper -- some of the best, most attentive service in the city.
There’s a significant emphasis on service, here. A manager from the Omni has responded to nearly every review on TripAdvisor since July 17, 2008, no matter how glowing or berating the review.
Service here is reliable, and for the most part, impeccable. Nightly turn-downs at 6 p.m., elevators held without request, towels delivered in minutes, and cabs hailed at the blow of a whistle. I hadn’t even gotten out my taxi when a porter (dressed in a suit, tie and bellman’s cap) came to open the door and yank my luggage from the backseat.
When I asked the concierge about jogging, he produced a map of the city and mapped out a four-mile loop through Central Park. He was able to provide an exhaustive list of restaurant recommendations, and could actually explain the vibe for all of them (unlike some N.Y.C. concierges). As for business services: “Oh yes, Ms. Blask, of course we’d be happy to take care of your FedEx package for you.”
Going the extra mile, at check out, the porter even asked, “Are you sure you didn’t leave your cell phone or any of your chargers in your room?” Once I was inside my taxi, he tipped his cap and wished me a lovely afternoon.
Safe and super-chic area with an older, wealthier population.
Surrounded by some of the most high-end shopping in Manhattan, the Omni is in one of the safest, most upscale neighborhoods in New York. Across the street from the hotel is French jeweler and watchmaker, Cartier, around the corner is renowned watch retailer Tourneau, and within a three-block radius of the hotel there is Ferragamo, Versace, and Saks Fifth Avenue. There aren't a lot of young, hip 20-somethings walking down the street here, but there are many people suited up with designer briefcases.
12-minute walk to Grand Central Station
7-minute walk to Rockefeller Plaza
9-minute walk to Central Park
8-minute subway ride to Times Square
5-minute walk to the Museum of Modern Art
11-minute subway ride to Penn Station
20-minute subway ride The Metropolitan Museum of Art
7-minute walk to Radio City Music Hall
20-minute subway ride to the Guggenheim Museum
11-minute subway ride to the Empire State Building
11-minute subway ride to Columbus Circle
20-minute subway ride to Wall Street and the Financial District
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey). Flying into JFK or LaGuardia is typically easiest and the least time-consuming. From JFK, it's a one-hour flat-rate taxi ride to anywhere in Manhattan. From LaGuardia, it's about a 30-minute metered cab ride to Midtown Manhattan. Rides from Newark can take more than 90 minutes. Don't forget to tip your driver 15-25 percent.
To save some cash, try the group shuttles that are available at all three airports For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. You can also take public transit from any of the airports for as little as $8 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairs.
With touches like plush beds, bathrobes, and 37-inch flat-screens, these big rooms are classy and modern.
At 270 square feet, the Deluxe Rooms (the cheapest option) are bigger than the rooms in most New York boutiques. There are high ceilings, a king bed (super comfortable with sateen sheets and firm pillows), a chair, and a a desk, plus plenty of room to spare. Soothing, neutral-tone furnishings give the rooms a sleek and sophisticated look. All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, stocked minibars, and in-room safes that can fit a laptop.
Bathrooms are huge. They’re nearly three times the size of those at other business-minded boutiques, like the Carlton on Madison. Mirrors in front and behind the sink give the illusion of an even larger space. Toiletries and hairdryers are provided.
Well-equipped fitness center, small business center where printing boarding passes is free, and Wi-Fi for a fee
The Omni Berkshire has a well-equipped fitness center open 24 hours; there are plenty of cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and yoga mats. It also has a sundeck with couches that overlooks St. Patrick's Cathedral. For in-room workouts (at any hour), guests can borrow the hotel’s in-room “Get Fit Kit” from the front desk. This includes stretch cords, free weights, a floor map, and a pamphlet with suggested exercises.
The business center, located on the 17th floor, is open 24 hours. It has three computers, a printer, and a small meeting room.
There's no spa, but in-room massages can be arranged.
Kids' menus, large rooms, and a safe neighborhood make this a great family pick.
Though most guests are on the older, starched shirt, and polished shoe side, I definitely spotted a few mini-size Uggs and hand-held video games.At check-in, all kids under age 12 get a suitcase filled with games, puzzles, and coloring books to use while they’re visiting, plus a kid’s cup with unlimited refills anywhere in the hotel. When there are two kids in the room, housekeeping’s standard turndown service includes milk and cookies on the first night. There’s also a kids' room-service menu for the Fireside restaurant.
The hotel can arrange for either a twin mattress roll-away bed or a folding cot, depending on the child’s height, and both require a fee. Cribs are free and the concierge can provide babysitting referrals.
Pets less than 25 pounds are welcome, but there’s a $50 cleaning fee.
Small dogs are welcome, but this isn’t the most pet-friendly place in the city (that would be the Loews, the Westin, or the Kimpton hotel). No scoopers, bowls, or doggie beds are provided, so be sure to pack your own.
Comfort food from a restaurant popular with guests and locals, plus superb cocktails at the bar. Breakfast is pricey, of course.
The Fireside, a bar and restaurant located on the ground floor of the Omni, provides comfort food inside the restaurant or inside your room for all three meals.
My room service order (at my door in 18 minutes) was presented on a white table cloth and set up in front of the couch so that I could watch TV while I ate. The ricotta-stuffed ravioli arrived steaming hot and the multi-grain and sourdough rolls were still warm. Unlike most in-room dining menus, there is a large range of options, including dry-aged sirloin, margherita pizza, artisanal cheeses, and kid-friendly ants on a log.
I dropped by Fireside’s bar for a cocktail and it was still buzzing at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night. They have a cocktail menu with more than 15 options, and my cucumber gimlet with Hendrick’s gin, cucumber, fresh lime, and simple syrup was superb.
For breakfast, there are conscionable cage-free, hormone-free eggs, antibiotic-free bacon and sausage, and whole-leaf teas. But it doesn’t come cheap. For a quintessential New York experience -- and to save a few bucks -- head to Ess-A-Bagel instead, just a few blocks away. There, a bagel with schmear (OK, cream cheese) is just as delicious (if not more so), and is less than half the price.
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