Tried & Tested

Hotel check: New York Marriott East Side

1 Mar 2005 by Tom Otley

WHAT'S IT LIKE?A restored historic hotel that was formerly the Shelton Towers Hotel, the Marriott East Side was built in 1924 by Arthur Loomis Harmon, who later contributed to the design and construction of theEmpireStateBuilding. The painter Georgia O'Keeffe lived here with photographer Alfred Stieglitz between 1925 and 1935 and painted "View of theEast Riverfrom theShelton". Elegant Art Deco interiors have been given a modern sheen in its latest renovation.
WHERE IS IT?525 Lexington Avenue, in the heart of midtownManhattan.RockefellerCenter, Bloomingdales and Fifth and Madison Avenues are all close by.
HOW MANY ROOMS?646 rooms of varying shapes and sizes due to the age of the hotel. There are 17 suites.
ROOM FACILITIES:All rooms have high-speed internet access. The Marriott's "Wired-for-Business" service offers it for a set daily rate of $9.95 with unlimited local and long distance calls (within the US) thrown in. Rooms have a featherbed and duvet covers, minibar, clock radio and two-line speaker phones with voicemail and dataport. The rooms come in many different sizes, but ask for an inside double on a low floor and you won't be disappointed (there are 17 of them in all).
The hotel staff were helpful. On one occasion, while trying to dial an outside line, I accidentally dialled 911. Despite explaining my mistake to the operator, I had a hotel security man at my door within two minutes to check there were no problems. The executive rooms also have access to a top-floor executive lounge with stunning views.
BUSINESS CENTRe:It's small but is manned during office hours and is accessible 24 hours a day. There is also more than 1,858sqm of meeting and banquet space spread among 18 rooms, with wifi in public areas and high-speed internet access in all the meeting rooms.
FITNESS CENTRe:There's a fair-sized gym in the basement, though there is talk of moving it to the top of the hotel to take advantage of those views.
RESTAURANTs AND BARs:The Shelton Grille is an American-style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, though with hundreds of restaurants within 10 minutes' walk of the hotel, it was never full. The Lobby lounge also serves snacks, and is a good place to relax. Once the barman saw me watching football on the small TV at the bar, he checked with other customers and transferred the picture onto the giant plasma screen behind the bar so I could watch more easily. The steak sandwich and fries was superb.
VERDICT:Lots of history, but this hotel feels very modern with its attention to the needs of 21st century business traveller.
PRICE:Starts at $259 for a standard room.
CONTACT:New YorkMarriott East Side,525Lexington Ave,NY10017tel 1 212 755 4000,

Tom Otley

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