Modern, polished chain hotel with inviting public spaces
Situated in the thick of Midtown near the Empire State Building
Streamlined rooms with modern amenities like mini-fridges
Some rooms have balconies and panoramic city views
Skylawn offers a hip alfresco space for lounging in the city
Brooklyn-style pub gives a relaxed spot for beer and burgers
Petite lobby bar gives a polished cocktail spot with snacks
Free breakfast buffet and reception gives added value
Attractive, well-equipped gym full of modern equipment
ATM, public computer, and mini market on the premises
Services on hand include room service and babysitting
Rooms don't have as much personality as public spaces
Midtown location isn't the liveliest for nightlife
Opened in 2018, the 310-room Embassy Suites by Hilton offers a glossy, modern home base to explore Midtown. It's walking distance to major transportation hubs and some top attractions, like the Empire State Building and the iconic New York Public Library. The property's highlight is its Skylawn, a fun, hip alfresco roof deck hovering above street level and furnished with loads of cushy seating. It's attached to a bar that serves up "Brooklyn style" along with burgers and beers. A lobby-level bar is the Skylawn's polished counterpoint for cocktails or wine. But it's the free breakfast buffet and evening reception that provides the most added value. Rooms are pulled together with a similar modern, streamlined look and all the expected amenities, including flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. For an option a touch closer to Times Square, travelers could consider the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.
A slender building with a chic "courtyard" space on a roof deck
Hilton’s Embassy Suites is a brand known for a sprawling horizontal footprint generally anchored around a courtyard. But here, everything has been flipped on its head—literally. Rather than a long, flat silhouette, the hotel sits up vertically, with a green “courtyard” space set in a roof deck sandwiched between its 39 floors. It’s a layout that suits its Garment District location, which is lined with buildings sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in narrow streets.
From the street-level, the building is an expansive, windowed grid of glass and chrome. Inside, the lobby takes on a smaller comfortable scale, all chicly furnished with a pair of leather armchairs, another set of mauve armchairs, plus a long marigold-colored banquette. Echoing the hotel’s tall and lean structure, the typical fountain has also been streamlined into a column surrounded with shafts of water. Across from this, the front desk stands in front of a black and white photo mural of NYC street signs. To one side, the petite five-stool Heist bar and lounge gives a place for a nightcap or a post-work drink. Pop music like the Jonas Brothers tends to play as guests check in and out. All in all, it’s a comfortable space, but it’s mostly used as a landing pad for guests rushing out to their rooms or off to sightsee or business events.
The true heart of the hotel is up three stories. Here the Skylawn gives a place for guests and locals to linger with an urban-beach-club vibe. Its roof deck is carpeted with faux grass and furnished with semi-circle wicker seats and modular sofas, and cushioned and surrounded by greenery. The vibe is a V.I.P. extension to the nearby Bryant Park. Ongoing events in this space include a rooftop cinema club and live Brazilian music. (Private events take place here, too.) This alfresco lounge is attached to a laid-back bar—the craft-beer counterpoint to the lobby’s martini spot. Wood panels, wire-frame light fixtures, and a neon sign reading “Hello Beautiful” captures a more Brooklyn-esque vibe.
Crowds here are a true mix of business travelers, women on a girls’ getaway, and young couples traveling with their kids—although larger families are a rarity, given the room sizes.
In Midtown, walking distance to the Empire State Building and multiple transit hubs
The Embassy Suites is located in Midtown in a hectic part of the Garment District. It’s a busy, workaday area of Manhattan, full of office buildings, lunch spots, small shops, and several sights. The hotel is three blocks away from Bryant Park, a pretty rectangular park that’s anchored by the iconic New York Public Library building and its lions. The Macy’s flagship is a five-minute walk away, and the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are seven minutes and 15 minutes on foot, respectively. Times Square can also be reached walking in just nine minutes. The area is also a major hub of transportation, with Grand Central a 12-minute walk, Pennsylvania (Penn) Station a 10-minute walk, and the major subway station of 42nd Street is a quick six-minute walk connecting to all of NYC’s boroughs. Other sights best reached by subway include Central Park (15 minutes), SoHo (16 minutes), and Metropolitan Museum of Art (30 minutes). Note that while this neighborhood is full of dining options, it doesn’t have much of a nightlife scene—apart from the karaoke of K-Town along 32nd Street. Those looking for more nightlife might prefer a location in Brooklyn or closer to the Meatpacking District. JFK Airport takes about an hour to reach by car or an hour and 15 minutes by subway.
Straightforward modern rooms with modern amenities, some offering balconies
Guest rooms don't have quite as much personality as other public spaces like the Skylawn, but they're uniformly modern and tastefully done up in a soft neutral color palette of tans, beiges, and browns. In some rooms, decorative details like barn doors on sliders keep the spaces looking fresh and stylish. Rooms are furnished to make a good home base for business travelers and tourists alike. Spaces are often divided into sleeping and living areas, with gray loveseats dividing out the two. Smart, bracket-shaped side tables can act as convenient tray tables for those dining in. Amenities are equally modern and polished including individual AC, flat-screen TVs, safes, microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free, fast Wi-Fi.
Bathrooms reflect the same clean-cut modernity of bedrooms with broad gray tiles and white surfaces. All come stocked with Neutrogena toiletries, illuminated mirrors, and hairdryers. Roomy walk-in showers with massaging showerheads are standard.
Of the hotel’s 310 rooms, 187 of these are King Studios with the remaining rooms as standard King Rooms. King Studios also include a sleeper sofa that could serve to bunk kids. And these rooms have two separate flat-screen TVs: one in the living space and another in the bedroom. Rooms above the 20th floor are billed as “city view” rooms overlooking the towering buildings of surrounding streets. Six rooms also have private terraces with staggering Midtown views (which can be booked for private events). Room 2609 is particularly popular for events with an alfresco space that can hold 18 and outstanding Empire State Building views. ADA-compliant rooms are also available.
Highlights include a rooftop lounge and bar, free breakfast, and a free reception
The hotel’s crowning feature is the Skylawn and its accompanying bar. Set on the third floor, this space acts as an open-air lounge, complete with faux grass, potted trees, and loads of seating. Patio furniture, sofas, tub chairs, even wood-plank bleacher seating is set to handle a crowd. The alfresco space is connected to a relaxed bar serving up beers, burgers, and Cuban pressed sandwiches. (Indoor seating can be found here, too, if the weather doesn’t cooperate.) The Skylawn has its own dedicated elevator, so locals coming to hit the scene don’t crowd hotel guests headed to their rooms.
The Skylawn's counterpart is The Heist, a little lobby bar wedged into a space by the front desk, all done up in a purple-and-gray color palette. The name is a homage to the diamond district and famous jewel heists, but its name also implies a bit of craftsmanship, which is reflected in the drinks menu complete with seasonal cocktails and local wines and beers. A short menu also covers light bites like flatbreads and truffle-parm fries.
For other on-site dining, a sunny buffet space also serves up a free breakfast spread and a free manager’s reception with drinks and snacks. There are 26 items on the buffet menu including the usual fruit juices and cereals. In a high-tech flourish, guests can use a touchscreen to order their omelets.
The hotel’s fitness room is a sleek space just above street level. Floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrors keep the room bright. While it’s a compact space, it’s outfitted with everything a gym-goer would expect including treadmills with screens, ellipticals, free weights, a recumbent bike, weight-lifting machines, balance balls, yoga mats, and plenty of towels. Outdoor yoga and Pilates classes are also hosted in the Skylawn.
A single board room gives a meeting space for business travelers, done up in the same modern, tasteful decor as the rest of the property. Plenty of on-site conveniences cover the basics including a lobby ATM, public computer, and mini market on the premises. The lobby is also stocked with free copies of USA Today.
Other services on hand include a concierge, room service, laundry service, babysitting, massage, and luggage storage. Cribs and high chairs are on loan to parents. Ice machines are located on every floor. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, and it’s quick to connect.
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