Lobby and hallways decorated with sculptures and paintings by renowned artists
Family-friendly amenities include kids’ menu and baby toiletries
Free Wi-Fi throughout
In-room spa services available
Five ballrooms and 45 event spaces
The location is central, but very chaotic
Some wear and tear in the rooms
Small bathrooms and complaints of weak water pressure
Rooms lack minibars and coffeemakers
The upper-middle-range Grand Hyatt New York has a prime location in New York's corporate and tourist center. The highlight here is the location -- it's next door to Grand Central Station and within a 15-minute walk of Times Square, Bryant Park, and Rockefeller Center, although the Midtown address can be too chaotic for some guests. The 1,306 modern rooms come in a wide range of categories, and all include a mini-fridge and windows that open (rare for NYC). New York Central restaurant, lounge, and bar serves upscale western European-inspired fare with views right over 42nd Street. There's also a 24-hour to-go market in the lobby, modern fitness center, and business center with secretarial services. Travelers seeking a chain hotel in a slightly quieter setting, should check rates at The Westin New York Grand Central.
Originally named the Commodore Hotel after "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, the property first opened in 1919 and offered accommodations for $2.50 a night with the slogan: "A room and a bath for two and half." Today, the Grand Hyatt is a constantly bustling and enormous chain hotel and prices have risen significantly. Located on busy 42nd Street, and next to the landmarked and equally busy Grand Central Terminal, the Grand Hyatt suits small and large parties for both work and vacation. A massive, $130 million renovation in 2011 reinvented the hotel, with new art installations and a bold new look for the entire property. The hotel enlisted a few different artists for the renovation, including Jaume Plensa, who is known for his giant public art pieces like Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Per Fronth, whose photography hangs throughout the building.
The sleek lobby is a vast moody-lit space with soaring ceilings and two giant Easter Island-looking Macael marble sculptures from Plensa -- one resides in a "water-wall" fountain at the lavish entrance, and the other on a white onyx pedestal overlooking the reception area. Leather couches and seating areas scattered throughout the lobby give guests plenty of spots to linger.
A busy and super convenient location next to Grand Central in the bustling Midtown area
To say that 42nd Street between Park and Lexington avenues is busy would be a gross understatement. Sitting directly next to Grand Central Terminal -- and its five subway lines (4, 5, 6, 7, S) -- means the Grand Hyatt is smack in the middle of one of the most convenient and congested transient hubs of the city. That said, a number of city highlights are located within excellent proximity to the Grand Hyatt. Walkable highlights include the Chrysler Building (one minute), the New York Public Library (seven minutes), Bryant Park (seven minutes), Times Square (13 minutes), the Empire State Building (15 minutes), St Patrick’s Cathedral (12 minutes), Rockefeller Center (14 minutes), and 5th Ave’s bustling shopping (12 minutes). Several big-chain retailers (such as Banana Republic) are connected to Grand Central Station, and the Station also houses a wide range of shops and food outlets. It's a bit further afield to Central Park (28 minutes on foot) and Chinatown (an hour on foot or 20 minutes by train).
New York City has three nearby airports: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (in New Jersey), and travel times from each are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. Generally speaking, it should take around an hour to JFK, 30 minutes from LaGuardia, and about 90 minutes to Newark.
A range of contemporary rooms and suites, though many show wear
Guest rooms and suites feature contemporary decor with fabrics in shades of Champagne and plum, with sleek wood finishes, and big abstract canvases behind the beds. Available with bed configurations of single king, single queen, or two double beds, rooms are a good size for NYC. Standard Rooms start at 280 to 300 square feet, while suites range from 400 to 1400 square feet. Suites (Premier, Grand Executive, Grand City View, and Presidential) are ideal for families or longer stays, with dining and sitting areas, and access to the Club Lounge. Tech features include flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, and touch-screen panel lighting which can be temperamental. Rooms provide mini-fridges, but no minibars or coffeemakers. Bathrooms have granite vanities, imported stone floors, marble showers, toiletries, and hairdryers -- although some guests complain bathrooms are too cramped and the absence of robes frustrates many. Other in-room features include safes, irons, and ironing boards. Windows are soundproofed, but unlike many of the Midtown tower hotels, guests can open the window and let in a breeze. About half of the rooms have a view of 42nd Street. Past guests have complained of wear and tear.
New York Central restaurant and bar, modern fitness center, gourmet food market, a quality business center, and free Wi-Fi
Features at Grand Hyatt are aimed equally at tourists and business travelers. The highlight is New York Central restaurant, with it's accompanying lounge and bar. It serves upscale western European-inspired fare with views right over 42nd Street. Room service is available 24 hours. Market, a gourmet to-go venue in the lobby, is open 24 hours a day and offers an array of snacks, sandwiches, hot meals, salads, and Starbucks coffee to-go. The Grand Club lounge on the 16th floor offers food and drink service for guests staying in Club rooms. It features stylish indoor and terrace seating, with plenty of free snacks, drinks, coffee, and breakfast served daily.
There is a well-equipped fitness center on the penthouse level, with plenty of Precor treadmills, cardio bikes, stairclimbers, assorted weight-training equipment, and free weights. The business center is armed to handle the high volume of worker bees staying at the hotel. The space offers several personal computers, printers, and fax machines, and there's a staff member on hand for anything else. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel. For events, there are five ballrooms and 45 chic meeting rooms with flexible space. Catering is available.
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