The 64th session of the United Nations’ General Assembly kicked off on September 15, which means the east side of Manhattan is flooded with international delegates, dignitaries, and their retinues. While everyone will be working tirelessly, making sure everyone sleeps soundly at night will no doubt further world peace. Below are our top hotel choices for those with business at the U.N.
An 8-minute walk to the United Nations, plus extremely tight security, make the Alex Hotel a favorite for diplomats. Not only is there a guard on-duty 24/7 in the lobby by the elevators, but there are only two entrances/exits to the hotel and both are monitored by a surveillance camera. Once inside, business travelers enjoy Wi-Fi for free in the lobby and for $15 a day in their rooms. An Internet connection and printer are available in the business center, and a stylish meeting room above Riingo restaurant accommodates 30 people. Kitchen-equipped suites with Poggen Pohl appliances and Sub-Zero refrigerators make the hotel ideal for extended-stay business guests.
Steps from the U.N. Headquarters, this location can't be beat for officials who care about convenience -- some 30 or 40 consulates are located within a three-block radius. In fact, the bottom 28 floors of the hotel's two towers house U.N. offices. Not surprisingly, security here is some of the tightest in the city, and the New York Police Department has a bomb-sniffing canine on the property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Service here is everything you would expect from a hotel that regularly sees dignitaries among its guests: polite desk clerks, prompt porters, and formal doormen.
Japan's delegation in particular will feel at home at this Japanese-owned hotel on a quiet stretch of Park Avenue. The full-service concierge is fluent in both English and Japanese, and impeccable staff has been trained in Japanese hospitality. The Kitano is only a 13-minute walk from United Nations Headquarters and made our list of Best Business Hotels in New York for its amenities, which include a business center, laptop rentals, and meeting rooms. The hotel's [/new-york-city/hotels/kitano-new-york-hotel/photos/restaurants-bars-kitano-new-york-hotel-v82717/ Hakubai] restaurant serves renowned, traditional (albeit expensive) Japanese food.
Quiet, classy, and located between Times Square and Grand Central station (about a 20-minute walk from the U.N.), the Sofitel is a great all-around business choice for international travelers. Many of the hotel staff speak both French and English and various members of the concierge staff speak Arabic, Russian, Spanish, or German. Signs around the hotel are in both English and French as well. The hotel's French-inspired Gaby restaurant is a good choice for refueling between negotiations, or try Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne a few doors down. The free business center is open 24 hours a day and consists of three PCs and a printer.
U.N. visitors who need to get down to work will love this hotel, which made our list of Best Business Hotels in New York. Its 24-hour business center is armed to handle the high volume of worker bees staying at the hotel, with several PCs, printers, and fax machines, and a helpful staff member on hand for anything else. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building for $9.99 per day. The hotel is conveniently located right next to Grand Central station, and it takes just eight minutes to walk along 42nd Street to the U.N. A well-equipped fitness center, 24-hour room service, and 32-inch flatscreens in all rooms make a stay here not only convenient but comfortable as well.
After U.N. Millennium Plaza, this hotel is the closest you can get to sleeping inside U.N. Headquarters. It's a mere five-minute walk down 42nd Street and a good choice for international guests who want a classic New York experience without sacrificing convenience. The Helmsley looks like it could be one of New York's grand old icons -- the type of place Ernest Hemingway might have stayed in the '50s, but with all the modern amenities a business traveler might need. Service is excellent from beginning to end, and large, clean rooms have free Wi-Fi and LG flat-screen TVs.