Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A contemporary hotel popular among business travelers, couples, and diplomats (it is less than two blocks from the UN)
The Westin Grand Central has come a long way since its rebranding. The Helmsley -- which is what the hotel was called before Starwood hotels bought it in 2011 -- was a classic property that had transitioned fairly well into the 21st century, with up-to-date technology and solid amenities. However, after the rebranding the hotel looks much more contemporary and fresh (gone are the floral prints and the golden picture frames above the bed), and will probably appeal to a wider variety of visitors.
The hotel’s location, between the UN headquarters and Grand Central, might make it feel more convenient for business travelers than for tourists, but it's still near a few major attractions and multiple subway lines, making it suited for leisure travelers as well.
The vibe here is probably more business-oriented than family-friendly, with a restaurant that turns into a hopping bar with DJ sessions at night; over 12,000 square feet of meeting space, and a wonderful fitness center. However, some room configurations are also convenient for travelers with kids, and proximity to public transportation makes it a good pick for those with children in tow.
In Midtown East, right next door to Grand Central Station
The Westin is on 42nd Street, probably the most famous east-west road in Manhattan. It’s two blocks from Grand Central, just over a block from the Chrysler Building, and the UN headquarters are just down the street. Some other attractions, including the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, are within walking distance, and popular sights and restaurants in Midtown West are a quick subway ride away.
Spacious, contemporary rooms, some with views of the Chrysler Building and the river
Rooms at the Westin are larger than at the average New York hotel, and can fit at least a small sitting area and a work desk. Unlike many hotel rooms, all units here have large windows and let in a good amount of light, especially those with a north orientation, which also have views of the Chrysler Building. Decor is contemporary (if a bit bland), with large wood headboards, a neutral color scheme, and artwork of pretty New York scenes on the walls. All rooms have a few eco-friendly touches, including LED lights, Greenguard-certified solar shades, and water-conserving plumbing. Bathrooms have either a sleek glass-enclosed shower or a shower/tub combo, both with rain showerheads.
The only difference between Traditional Rooms and Deluxe Rooms is the floor they’re on. While Traditional Rooms are on floors six through 22, Deluxe Rooms are located on floors 23 and up. Both room types come either with two doubles or a king bed.
The hotel’s restaurant, The LCL, offers an organic menu, and drinks at night
The LCL is a contemporary restaurant open for all three meals. In the mornings, it serves breakfast consisting of pastries from local bakeries, organic juices, and Stumptown coffee. For lunch and dinner, the menu is prepared with organic, locally sourced ingredients and fresh produce.
At night, The LCL turns into a hopping bar (one of the few in the area), with a great list of cocktails and DJ sessions.
A wonderful fitness center, and self-guided runs with custom maps
The Westin has an outstanding fitness center with a wide variety of high-end machines, ranging from treadmills to professional strength-training equipment. All machines have individual TVs screens, and there are several flat-screen TVs on the gym’s walls.
All the basics -- but some for a fee
Over 12,000 square feet of meeting space with natural light and high-tech equipment
Several eco-friendly initiatives
With spacious, contemporary rooms featuring Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds, iPod docks and flat-screen TVs; a wonderful gym with tons of machines and natural light, and an appealing restaurant that turns into a hopping bar with DJ sessions at night, the Westin Grand Central is a solid pick for those who prefer a quieter location in Midtown within walking distance of a few major attractions. Most rooms have great city views (including of the Chrysler Building), but note that there’s a daily fee for Wi-Fi, and that valet parking is quite pricey.