What’s it like? Originally designed by Morris Lapidus, the modernist Art Deco architect, in 1961 as The Summit Hotel, the exterior blue façade is shaped like a perpendicular rolling wave, though you have to cross the street to appreciate it. Inside the lobby and bar area was recently refurbished, and over the summer of 2011 that work will continue on the meeting rooms on the first floor with a complete refurbishment cost of $35 million.
It’s a small lobby area given the hotel has 749 rooms, and seems quite dark after coming in from the sunshine, though it’s better in the evening, almost intimate. As a Doubletree there is immediate recognition when you are presented with the trademark cookie at check-in.
Where is it? in Midtown, well situated on 51st and Lexington in the heart of the East Side. Within one minute walk there is a W Hotel, a Marriott and an Intercontinental Hotel, and the subway is only a few steps away.
Room facilities The building has 19 floors in all, with the deluxe rooms located on higher floors with one king or two double beds. The standard rooms come in either Queen or King bed configurations and decor-wise are in earthen tones. They are obviously aimed at business travellers and have high-speed wired internet access ($14.95 per 24 hours), a good size work desk and ergonomic chairs, along with 37-inch flat screen television and the Doubletree beds, or "Sweet Dreams by Doubletree Sleep Experience" to give it the full name.
Refurbished bathrooms have been completely redesigned in slate and limestone and feature arched shower rails, and Neutrogena toiletries. There is a small Club Lounge at the back of the lobby level for drinks in the evening and breakfast.
Bars and restaurants there is no in-house restaurant (the hotel has dozens of restaurants within a few minutes walk), but for breakfast there is the Met Grill on the lower ground floor. On the lobby level the bar also serves coffees and snacks during the day.
Business centre and meeting rooms There are a total of 12,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space accessed by stairs just behind reception. At the time of my visit in June this area was scheduled for a refurbishment. The 24-hour business centre has been newly renovated.
Leisure facilities There is a 24-hour fitness centre again accessed by room key on the second floor.
Verdict This is a solid hotel benefitting from recent refurbishment. It’s not an exciting prospect, but it runs a very high occupancy rate because of the Doubletree by Hilton branding, the continued investment, and the Hilton HHonors Reward programme with the privileges it brings for higher tier members, including a dedicated line at check-in.
How many rooms? 749 divided into King, Queen, single or doubles. Standard, Deluxe and Club
Room highlights there are modern and airy compared to many competing properties in the sarea – good flat screen TVs and Neutrogena products in the bathrooms.
Price Internet rates start from $399 for a single King room midweek in October 2011.
Contact 569 Lexington Avenue, New York, Tel: 1-212-752-7000 Fax: 1-212-758-6311; hilton.com