The Westin New York Grand Central Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Midtown East, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • 2 blocks from Grand Central and 5 subway lines
  • Spacious rooms with Heavenly beds and eco-friendly amenities
  • Outstanding fitness center with workout clothes rental
  • The LCL serves a solid menu made with organic, locally sourced ingredients
  • Restaurant turns into lively bar with DJ sessions at night
  • Great city and river views from many rooms
  • Pet-friendly for a one-time, non-refundable fee

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Pricey valet parking
  • No spa

Bottom Line

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.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

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.

 Location

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.

  • 25-minute drive to LaGuardia Airport
  • 40-minute drive to John F. Kennedy Airport
  • 45-minute drive to Newark Airport
  • 2-minute walk to the Chrysler Building
  • 5-minute walk to the United Nations Headquarters
  • 5-minute walk to Grand Central and 5 subway lines
  • 8-minute walk to Bryant Park and the New York Public Library
  • 16-minute walk to Times Square
  • 16-minute walk to Rockefeller Center
  • 17-minute walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • 10-minute subway ride to Central Park
  • 14-minute subway ride to SoHo
  • 18-minute subway ride to Lincoln Center
  • 20-minute subway ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Rooms

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.

  • Westin’s Heavenly beds with 200-thread count linens
  • 42-inch flat-screen TVs with premium channels
  • iPod docks
  • White Tea hotel-brand toiletries
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Coffeemakers with free Starbucks coffee
  • Minibars with drinks and a nice selection of snacks
  • Reading lights on headboards
  • Suites have separate showers and soaking tubs.
  • Accessible rooms available

 Food

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.

 Fitness Center

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.

  • Chilled towels, free bottled water, and apples available
  • Custom running maps for self-guided jogs and walks
  • Natural light

 Services

All the basics -- but some for a fee

  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Fee for valet parking
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour business center
  • Custom running maps for self-guided jogs
  • Pets under 40 pounds are welcome for a one-time, non-refundable fee

 Business and Conventions

Over 12,000 square feet of meeting space with natural light and high-tech equipment

  • Over 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space; largest room is 4,220 square feet
  • Natural light in most rooms
  • High-tech equipment, including projectors and audiovisual gear
  • Catering and banquet services available
  • Customized service through events planner

 Eco-Friendly

Several eco-friendly initiatives

  • Water-conserving plumbing throughout
  • Eco-friendly LED lights in all rooms
  • Greenguard-certified solar shades
  • Water pitchers instead of bottled water in all meeting rooms (reduced plastic bottled water available upon request)

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About The Westin New York Grand Central

Address

  • 212 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Helmsley
  • Helmsley Hotel
  • Helmsley Hotel New York
  • Helmsley New York
  • Hemsley New York
  • New York Helmsley Hotel
  • The Hotel New York City
  • The New York City Helmsley
  • The New York Helmsley

Room Types

  • Accessible Double Double Room
  • Accessible King Room
  • Deluxe Corner Room
  • Deluxe Double Double Room
  • Deluxe King Room
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Premium Room
  • Presidential Room
  • Traditional Double Double Room
  • Traditional King Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 774
Fitness Center: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Midtown East, Manhattan
Address: 212 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017
(See Map)
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