Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Residence Inn New York Manhattan / Central Park

27 Feb 2014 by Tom Otley

BACKGROUND

Marriott International opened the tallest hotel in North America at the beginning of this year.

Containing both a 378-room Courtyard by Marriott (floors six to 33) and a 261-suite Residence Inn (levels 37 to 65), the building has a total of 68 storeys (the top three are devoted to "mechanicals" – elevators and air conditioning).

WHAT'S IT LIKE?

The entrance to the hotel is just around the corner on West 54th Street. The lobby is quite small considering it serves two hotels comprising 639 rooms, but separate banks of elevators take you up to your room depending on which one you are staying in.

The property certainly breaks the mould for Marriott, with the lobby filled with sculptures of tall etiolated figures by abstract expressionist William DeBilzan, although their colours do reference either the Residence Inn or Courtyard brands. These are set against a waterfall feature, and also appear in the meeting space, the restaurants and the bars.

The lobby has a small shop selling drinks, snacks and meals you can heat up using the in-room microwave.

WHERE IS IT?

At 1,717 Broadway, a few blocks north of Times Square, south of Central Park, and close to Carnegie Hall, the theatre district, Fifth Avenue and the Rockefeller Centre.

ROOM FACILITIES

All of the guestroom floors are accessed by key card. The suites come with either a king bed or two doubles, and range from 22 sqm to 30 sqm in size.

Views differ depending on the side of the building you are on and how high up you are – the Residence Inn's rooms generally have better vistas than the Courtyard's for this reason. My room on the 43rd floor looked out across the tops of buildings to the Hudson River. Views from the upper floors facing Central Park are breathtaking.

Wifi was free, with the option of faster speeds for US$7 per 24 hours and the ability to connect up to three extra devices, although perhaps standard wifi would suffice for many travellers. A 40-inch TV was on the wall above the desk, which had a comfortable chair and plug sockets in the base of the lamp, and there was an iPod dock/clock radio.

There was also a chair and footstool by the window, a small kitchenette with tea and coffee-making facilities, a microwave, a dishwasher, a large fridge and freezer. A laundry room was located on level 35. The bathroom had a large walk-in shower. 

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The hotels share some facilities, but the third-floor restaurant, where a free buffet breakfast is served, is for Residence Inn guests only – it also has a work zone with computers and printers.

One floor up is the Bistro, a similar space where you can order hot food. The fifth floor will house a bar with an outdoor area from April.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

Business facilities are on the third and fourth floors, including Go Board, the Courtyard touchscreen concierge, which provides local information and headline news on a 55-inch LCD screen.

The two hotels share the meeting spaces on the lower ground floor. There are seven in total, with the largest holding up to 125 delegates theatre-style.

LEISURE FACILITIES

There is a gym and a sun terrace on the 35th floor.

VERDICT

A great addition to the Manhattan hotel scene – it’s wonderful to have a new-build hotel in this location. Designed for a new age of business travellers, technology is at the forefront, but it’s the views from the top floors that make the hotel special.

 

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 261 suites, ranging from City View Studio Kings to Central Park Studio Doubles.
  • HIGHLIGHTS The free wifi, fabulous views from the upper floors, laundry facilities and free breakfast.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in April started from £242 for a City View Studio King. Rates reduce by 25 per cent for stays of four days or more.
  • CONTACT Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park, 1,717 Broadway; tel +1 212 324 3774; marriott.co.uk


Tom Otley

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