ONE UN New York Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Midtown East, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Worn rooms (but renovations underway)
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Outdated gym equipment
  • Over-priced restaurant

Bottom Line

Steps from the UN headquarters on the eastern edge of Midtown East, ONE UN New York offers an indoor pool and the only indoor tennis court in NYC. As of now, the property is showing wear and tear since its last renovation in 2000. However, guests can expect big changes at the hotel with a three-phase renovation of the entire property through 2013.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Its indoor pool and tennis court, and its prime location next to the U.N. headquarters, attract diplomats along with leisure travelers.

United Nations building across the street
United Nations building across the street

ONE UN New York is housed in two towers, coming in at 38 and 40 stories. The east tower is hobbling along on a renovation from 2000, but the luxury West Tower reopened in September 2012 post-facelift. Renovations are much-needed throughout the hotel -- its lobby was designed in an earlier era when thick green marble columns and gold kidney-shaped couches once bestowed a rich, luxurious feel. The armrests of what surely must have been pristine black-and-gold honeycomb upholstery are now covered in black pieces of fabric to hide the wear beneath. Some of the couches are stained, and the thick black and gold rug that's reflected in the mirrored ceiling is also showing signs of wear.

But the hotel's features still best the great majority of Midtown East business hotels. Its indoor pool comes with a stunning view from the 27th floor, and this is the only hotel in Manhattan with an indoor tennis court, one in which the Williams sisters were spotted warming up before a U.S. Open. The equipment in the fitness center is outdated, but the view of the East River and the U.N. headquarters from the perch of a treadmill is hard to beat.

The hotel's massive renovation is coming in three parts, and are set to be completed by 2013. Phase I debuted in 2012 and featured luxury amenities and a better view of Manhattan's East River from the West Tower. The panoramic 30th floor Skyline Club in the same tower is available for breakfast, snacks, and cocktails throughout the day. Phase II, of the lobby and restaurant, and Phase III, of the less luxurious (and less expensive) East Tower, will be completed in late 2013.

 Location

It's all suits and no shopping on the easternmost edge of Midtown East, but the hotel is just a frisbee throw away from the U.N. headquarters.

Between 30 and 40 consulates are located within a three-block radius of the hotel, including the Kuwaiti consulate next door and the Mexican consulate across the street. In fact, the bottom 28 floors of the hotel's two towers actually house many U.N. offices. Security is among the tightest in the city, and a bomb-sniffing canine is permanently on-site at the hotel.

The hotel is located on the easternmost outskirts of Midtown East, four long blocks from the subway hub at Grand Central and 10 minutes by taxi to Central Park. The sidewalks in the neighborhood are packed with office workers during the day, but everyone clears out once the consulates, embassies, and UN offices shut down for the night. The advantage is that it's really quiet in the evenings, and very safe, but unlike at the Midtown West or downtown hotels, there's no nightlife.

 Rooms

Good-size rooms with basic bathrooms, comfortable beds, and large, 40-inch flat-screen TVs.

Living area at The Suite
Living area at The Suite

Rooms in the ONE UN New York are split between two towers, the east and west. The hotel began a massive three-phase renovation in 2012, with the West Tower reopened in September 2012 featuring luxury amenities and better views of Manhattan's East River. The panoramic 30th floor Skyline Club in the same tower is open for breakfast, snacks, and cocktails throughout the day. Phase III, covering the less luxurious (and less expensive) East Tower, will be completed in late 2013.

Standard rooms start at a respectable 250 square feet, which is a bit bigger than the rooms at many of New York's boutique hotels, but smaller than the comparably priced Westin or Hilton in Times Square, and considerably smaller than the rooms at the nearby Kimberly Hotel. Standard rooms come with a either a king, queen, or two double-size beds, and a choice of a view to the East River and Queens, or to Brooklyn.

  • Comfortable bed: firm mattresses; down comforters; Frette linens
  • Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
  • 40-inch flat-screen TV with basic cable and movies on demand
  • Wi-Fi is available for a daily fee
  • Coffeemakers and minibars are available in all rooms.
  • In-room spa services available
  • Rooms begin on the 28th floor in the east tower and the 29th floor in the west tower, and go up to floors 38 and 40, respectively. Given that the hotel is on the easternmost side of Manhattan, most rooms come with great views.
  • Tip: The most requested rooms are corner rooms in the east tower ending in 16 with sweeping views east towards Queens and south towards Brooklyn.
  • The enormous one-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom suite is 1,000 square feet (bigger than many New York apartments), but its kitchenette doesn't include a single pot, pan, or utensil.
  • The Luxury West Tower reopened in 2012 with 154 deluxe rooms and 25 suites. In addition to Skyline Club access, guests get free in-room Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and Nespresso coffeemakers.

 Features

The only hotel in the city with both an indoor pool and an indoor tennis court, plus a decently equipped gym with fantastic views -- but no full-service spa.

Indoor Tennis Court
Indoor Tennis Court
  • The pool has spectacular views from the 27th floor
  • 38th-floor Har-Tru indoor tennis court, the only one in any Manhattan hotel.
  • 24-hour gym with views from a treadmill. Fitness center also offers massages.
  • In-room spa treatments are available
  • Fee for in-room Wi-Fi
  • The business center has several PCs and a printer

 Family

Rooms are big, cribs are free, and rollaways are a nightly fee, but the location is not the most kid-tastic part of town.

  • Cribs are free, and rollaways -- which fit into any room size -- come at a nightly fee
  • There are a few connecting rooms and suites with pullout couches and multiple bedrooms.
  • The room-service menu has a kids section listing items like chicken fingers, burgers, and silver-dollar pancakes

 Food

The hotel is debuting new dining options throughout 2013

Breakfast at Ambassador Grill
Breakfast at Ambassador Grill
  • The Ambassador Grill is only open for breakfast, but does have small bites in the evening. The restaurant will not escape renovations, either. Expect changes to come in late 2013.
  • Ambassador Lounge is an on-site bar that serves cocktails daily
  • Un Café serves coffee and pastries throughout the day.
  • Room service is available in the mornings and evenings.
  • Skyline Club features free breakfast in the mornings, all-day snacks, and evening cocktails for guests in the Luxury West Tower.

 Bottom Line

Steps from the UN headquarters on the eastern edge of Midtown East, ONE UN New York offers an indoor pool and the only indoor tennis court in NYC. As of now, the property is showing wear and tear since its last renovation in 2000. However, guests can expect big changes at the hotel with a three-phase renovation of the entire property through 2013.

Things You Should Know About ONE UN New York

Address

  • 1 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017-3575

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Hotel Millennium Un Plaza
  • Millenium Hotel
  • Millenium Un Plaza Hotel
  • Millennium UN Plaza Hotel

Room Types

  • 2-Bedroom Suite
  • Junior Suite
  • Standard Room
  • Suite
  • Superior Room

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Nearby Hotels to Consider

Hilton Manhattan East
Hampton Inn Manhattan/United Nations
Wyndham Midtown 45
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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 438
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Midtown East, Manhattan
Address: 1 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017-3575
(See Map)
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